The Devastating Impact of the Thirty Years War on Europe’s Political Landscape

Category: Aggression, Europe, Spain
Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
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Sarmad Kako 7th period DBQ Essay The Thirty Years War devastated all of Europe from 1618-1648. The thirty Years war was principally fought throughout Central Europe and involved most of the countries in Europe. The origins of the conflict and goals of the participants were complex, and no single cause can accurately be described as the main reason for the fighting. Initially, it was fought largely as a religious war between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire, although disputes over internal politics and the balance of power within the Empire played a significant part.

A major consequence of the Thirty Years' War was the devastation of entire regions, denuded by the foraging armies. Famine and disease significantly decreased the population of the German states and Bohemia, the Low Countries, and Italy, and most of the combatant powers were bankrupted. These statements and the thirty years war all led to: The fall of Spain, France’s aggression to win, and absolutism in France. In the two treaties of the Thirty Years War, France replaced Spain as the most powerful country in Europe. Spain was unable to recover so quickly from her great losses: she was not only without funds, but without credit, incapable of any great effort in terms of money or man-power…Her king was old and in dubious health; he had just one son, young and rather feeble…” Document 3, this was said by King Louis XIV. Louis XIV shows bias in this document by presenting the flaws and exaggerating Spain’s situation; making it seem like Spain was going to fall and no one will be/is there to rule it. He made it seem like there was no competition, only him left.

The Spanish navy was badly crushed and Portugal revolted against Spanish rule, corrupting Ferdinand II. Louis XIV aggression to win most made huge statements across Europe. King Louis XIV in document 3 along with document 5 shows tons of bias; he only talks about how great France is and how they wouldn’t make it without his foreseeing and support. France had many allies during the thirty years war for example, France. King Louis XIV talks about how he couldn’t have won alone, but it was mainly his success. In the course of this war I flatter myself that I demonstrated what France, unaided, can achieve…All of my subjects supported me to the best of their ability: in the armies, by their valour, in my kingdom, by their zeal, and in foreign lands” Document 5. Louis XIV was very one sided and believed France was above everyone else. In addition, France was backed by Sweden, from what you see in Document 2 Sweden soldiers thought of peasants as sub-human and believed they freely act without judgment.

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After the thirty years war was over, France sprung into the age of absolutism. King Louis XIV fought to eliminate Protestants and the practicing of their faith in France. King Louis XIV’s ideas were always respected and no one dared to cross judge his ideas; as said in Document 7, “All the eyes are fixed on him alone; it is to him that all the wishes are addressed; he alone receives all the respects; he alone is the object of all hopes…” Even though France had a Protestant population, Louis XIV wanted France to be pure of Protestants and their believing’s.

The Thirty’s Years war devastated all of Europe; financially, economically, and politically. So great was the devastation brought about by the war that estimates put the reduction of population in the German states. Catholics and Protestants went to war in the Holy Roman Empire due to the power struggle that could hold on no longer. France was completely bankrupted (Document 9) and sent famine across Europe. The thirty years war all led to: The fall of Spain, France’s aggression to win, and absolutism in France.

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The Devastating Impact of the Thirty Years War on Europe’s Political Landscape. (2017, Jun 16). Retrieved from

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