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Historical Essay Example: The Thirty Years of War

3 pages
607 words
George Washington University
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Conflicts have existed among people due to the ideological differences and perceptions (Wedgwood 66). Some conflicts have developed and become wars where people have lost their lives while others have seen all parties find common ground and discussed on how to live in harmony. When a conflict escalates to a fully-fledged war, it means that other underlying issues pushed parties in the clash to engage in a fight (Anievas 67). Many reasons lead to disputes among people. Religious, political, social, and economic differences are some of the reasons conflicts exist among people in one society or amongst nations. The thirty years of war is one of the leading examples of how religious differences can escalate within a short time and cause division amongst people (Boys 17). The original causes of war were the differences between Roman Catholic and Protestants faithful, with complications of the struggle for power amongst leaders, it resulted to loss of lives, drought and famine, social imbalances and political instability on nations involved.

Complications that prolonged the war was the struggle for power (Anievas 27). Before the war commencing, Ferdinand II, was elected and his religious views were based on the Roman Catholic faith. After ascension to power, Ferdinand II suggested that all people should follow the Roman Catholicism faith, which did not go well with the people who opposed his leadership. In addition, they were Protestants and took Ferdinand II ruling as an invite for war (Wedgwood 59). Protestants viewed the decision by the Emperor as a violation of the right to worship. There was fear across Europe. Faithful of each religious belief started meeting in secret organizing how they could outdo the other (Boys 43). Further, armies from other countries like Spain, Denmark, Sweden, and France joined the religious conflict as each supported one end depending on the faith a nation supported. The war escalated into a war against superpowers at that time.

Many people from both conflicting sides lost their lives while others got injuries because of engaging in war (Anievas 54). Separation of families took place as most young men and women joined the armies to fight on behalf of their nations. The war also disrupted the conduct of business and farming activities in Sweden, Germany, and Europe. This meant that active economic activities that people had engaged in the past were limited and people lacked foods to keep them alive (Wedgwood 56). Drought and famine affected a large number of people with most people living in rural settings losing their lives to lack of food. A social imbalance and mistrust resulted from the war and people were unable to relate to each other on trust. For instance, persecution of people started believed to engage in witchcraft (Boys 11). People lost their lives after suspicion from other members in the society.

In conclusion, the thirty years of war was among the worst conflicts in human history. It resulted in large political divides among nations took place, and friction is evident today. In addition, the conflict between Roman Catholics and Protestants escalated and widened as people felt their religious view was superior to the other. However, it was evident that leaders had no power to dictate the faith their subjects could follow. Freedom to worship emerged and citizens were allowed to have diverse faith as long as they lived in harmony with each other.


Works Cited

Anievas, Alexander. Capital, the state, and war: class conflict and geopolitics in the thirty years' crisis, 1914-1945. University of Michigan Press, (2014): 23-67.

Boys, Jayne EE. London's news press and the Thirty Years War. Vol. 12. Boydell & Brewer Ltd, (2014):11-45.

Wedgwood, Cicely Veronica. The thirty years war. New York Review of Books, (2016): 56-78.


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