The 360th Anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia

Münster, Prinzipalmarkt


(Libär: VIA FLICKR & CC)

Peace is not made at the council table or by treaties, but in the hearts of men.

Hoover, Herbert Clark on Peace
Quote from Quotations Book

What’s this you say?
The Westphalian System has been the basis for non-intervention for centuries. It has been the key to a system of sovereignty that has excluded non domestic forces from internal politics and religion. But its origins are in the Thirty Years War and religious hatred, chaos and war of the early to mid seventeenth century.

The wars tore apart the centre of Europe engulfing the lands now occupied by German, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and others. Religion and power formed a dangerous vortex for ordinary and minor figures. Even the powerful did not escape death and ruination.

My point in choosing this to remember today?
If I have any is that treaties and peace agreements, even ones as old as 360 years, can impact our lives even now. It is remarkable that the concepts that emerged from Westphalia served as the basis for our ideas of national sovereignty, self determination and underpinned both the positive and the negative aspects of nationalism.

Access?
Google Books has quite a few full view books that mention the Peace and offer us an insight too. Like this one, History of the Revolutions in Europe, from the Subversion of the Roman Empire in the West, to the Congress of Vienna: From the French of Christopher William Koch. The embedded image gives a good idea of what that focuses on concerning Westphalia.

History of the Revolutions in Europe, from the Subversion of the Roman Empire in the West, to the Congress of Vienna From the French of Christopher William Koch. With a Continuation to the Year 1815 By Christophe Koch

It’s not a simple path that history takes and we should learn that well.
Eoin

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