The Thirty Years’ War was a series of conflicts in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. They were fought among several Catholic and Protestant states. The Thirty Years’ War started as a religious conflict in the Holy Roman Empire between Protestants and Catholics. In the early stages, the war was predominantly fought in Germany, and at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, the pro-Catholic forces of Ferdinand II of Bohemia dealt a crushing blow to the Protestants. The conflict gradually developed into a more general war involving most of the great powers of Europe, resulting in widespread devastation.
The Thirty Years’ War had a big impact on European history. In particular, it resulted in the virtual destruction of the German state and the wholesale slaughter of its population. It also had a significant impact on the development of warfare, with new tactics and technologies being introduced on both sides.
The war began with the Defenestration of Prague, in which two royal officials were thrown from a window in Prague Castle by a mob of Protestants. This sparked a series of conflicts in Bohemia, Austria and Germany, which quickly became a full-scale war. The main combatants were the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Sweden and Denmark-Norway on the one side, and the Bohemian rebels, the Dutch Republic, France and England on the other.
The war was fought primarily in Germany, but also in Bohemia, Hungary, Italy, the Low Countries and Spain. At its height, the war involved most of the major powers of Europe. The war began to turn in favour of the Imperial forces after the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, and by 1648, the Empire had regained control of most of Germany. However, the war continued in other theatres, with the Dutch Republic and France continuing to fight Spain in the Low Countries and Italy respectively.
The war ended with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which recognized the rights of the Protestant states and ended the concept of the Holy Roman Empire as an overarching political entity.
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