30 Years War

By: Maddison Ponder, Krista Ortiz, Kenzie Mckillip


1618-1648 is when the thirty year war occurred.


The Thirty Years War began in Bohemia, when Ferdinand II became king in 1617. The people of Bohemia feared that Ferdinand would make the country Catholic again, since that was his religion. In May, 1618 the people of Bohemia invaded the Prague Castle to literally throw the governors out the castle windows. Ferdinand was disposed, and became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Fredrick V became the new king, but Bohemia collapsed to the Catholics after the Battle of the White Mountain in November 1620. Ferdinand then issued the Edict of Restitution, which restored all land taken by the Protestants since 1552 back to the Catholics. This obviously caused problems with other countries. The war was more about territory than religion. Peace negotiations started in 1644. On October 24, 1648 the Treaty of Westphalia was signed. In terms of religion, the treaty included the Peace of Augsburg that allowed Lutheranism and Calvinism to be recognized religions.


The direct cause of the Thirty Years war was Ferdinand II issuing the Edict of Restitution. The Root cause was the fear of countries being re-catholicized. Also, the origin of the Thirty Years war comes from the tension between the Protestants and the Catholics.

Course- Timeline

1617- Ferdinand Hapsburg becomes king of Bohemia; revokes Letter of Majesty
1618- Defenestration of Prague; Thirty Years’ War begins
1619- Ferdinand II elected Holy Roman Emperor; Bohemians crown Frederich Wittelsbach king, deposing Ferdinand
1620- Battle of White Mountain
1629- Edict of Restitution bans Protestantism throughout Holy Roman Empire
1635- France declares war on Spain
1648- Peace of Westphalia; Thirty Years’ War ends

Key Figures/Groups

Ferdinand II- King of Bohemia until disposed in 1618, then became emperor of Holy Roman Empire.

Fredrick V- King of Bohemia after Ferdinand was disposed.

Gustavus Adolphus- King of Sweden, entered war to protect Sweden's interest in the Baltic


The Peace of Westphalia was the foundation of a unified Austrian nation-state, which would soon be the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Hapsburgs would continue to rule Austria into the twentieth century.

The Battle of White Mountain

- Start of the 30 yrs. war

-Collapse of Bohemian Protestantism

- Victory of Catholicism

Main Significance

The Thirty Years War started as a matter of religious resistance in Bohemia, but then turned out to be mainly about territory when Ferdinand issued the Eddict of Restitution. After the war, the Treaty of Westphalia was signed which allowed Lutheranism and Calvinism to be recognized religions. This was a starting point for religious freedom.

Treaty of Westphalia- Primary Source

The Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years war. It allowed the Holy Roman Empire to be divided into more than 300 states. Switzerland and the Netherlands became independent. The treaty confirmed the Peace of Ausburg that allowed Lutheranism and Calvinism to be recognized religions.