The Thirty Years' War: A Brutal Conflict That Shaped Modern Geopolitics

TLDR The Thirty Years' War was a long and brutal conflict that resulted in a new geopolitical order. It was characterized by battles, alliances, and religious conflict, and it led to the deaths of an estimated 8 million people. The war ended with the Peace of Westphalia, which established fixed borders and shaped the international order that exists today.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The Thirty Years' War was one of the longest and most brutal wars in history, resulting in a new geopolitical order that still exists today.
01:54 The Peace of Augsburg created a patchwork of states with different religions within the Holy Roman Empire, but it didn't completely end religious conflict and violence.
03:37 The Defenestration of Prague in 1618 sparked the Bohemian Revolt, which was the opening act of the Thirty Years War, a continent-wide conflict characterized by battles and alliances over a long period of time.
05:24 The Catholic League, led by Ferdinand II, initially had success against the Bohemians, while the Ottoman Empire supported Protestants in Hungary and fought Poland, and in 1625, King Christian IV of Norway and Denmark joined the fight in support of the Protestants, but was eventually defeated by Ferdinand II, leading to much of Northern Europe falling under Catholic control, until Swedish King Gustavus of Delfus joined the fight on the side of the Protestants in 1630 and managed to turn the tide of the war, reclaiming much of what had been lost in Northern Europe, until his death at the Battle of Lutsen in 1632, which weakened the Swedish forces.
07:03 The Peace of Prague in 1635 returned to the status quo of the Peace of Augsburg, nullifying previous alliances and allowing the Emperor to save face, but the war continued due to the involvement of France, which began working directly with the Dutch against the Spanish and sent troops into Northern Italy, despite both France and the Holy Roman Empire being led by Catholics.
08:47 The war reached a stalemate for several years, but then Portugal rose up against Spain, Sweden joined the fight against the Habsburgs and had a major victory, Norway and Denmark became allies of the Habsburgs, France had a huge victory against Spain, and fighting continued in various regions including the New World and Asia, all while disease and famine devastated the population, resulting in an estimated 8 million deaths.
10:30 The Thirty Years' War ended in 1648 with the signing of the Peace of Westphalia, which established fixed borders and absolute authority of governments within those boundaries, shaping the international order that exists today.
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