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Forty Years' War (Fidem Pacis)

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Forty Years' War
Beginning:

1544

End:

1587

Place:

Central Europe

Outcome:

Peace of Limburg
Decentralization of the HRE

Combatants

Bohemia
Swabian Confederation
Aquitaine
Spain
Lithuania
France
Prydain
Bavaria
Austria
Venice
Romania

Saxony
Brandenburg
Denmark
England
Sweden
Lyonesse
Papacy
Norway
Genoa
Milan

Commanders

Sigismund I, Holy Roman Emperor

Francis I, Elector of Saxony

Strength

~600,000

~500,000

Casualties and Losses

~4,000,000, including civilians

~4,000,000, including civilians

The Forty Years' War was a series of wars fought mainly in central Europe that eventually dragged in most of the countries of Europe. It was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in history before the modern era.

The war began with the election of Sigismund II, King of Bohemia, as Holy Roman Emperor. Unfortunately Sigismund was a Muslim, from a mainly Muslim country, and the staunchly Catholic rulers of the northern empire refused to accept his election. When the Pope in Mainz refused to crown Sigismund, the Catholic party took this as a pretext to overthrow him by force, and attacked Bohemia the next year in 1544.

Initially the war simply pitted the Muslim and Catholic states of the HRE against each other. However, as it dragged on with neither side able to gain an advantage over the other, neighbouring European states began to intervene, thus expanding the scope of the war.

Peace of Limburg

The war was finally brought to an end by the 1587 Peace of Limburg, which was agreed upon by most of the states involved.

The terms of the peace treaty included the following:

  • Wladyslaw III of Bohemia, son of Sigismund II was recognized as Holy Roman Emperor.
  • Freedom of religion was guaranteed for all subjects of the Holy Roman Empire. No ruler would have the right to restrict any form of worship.
  • States with imperial immediacy were henceforth to be recognized as sovereign, with complete freedom over foreign and domestic policies.
  • The independence of the Swabian Confederation was recognized.
  • Franconia was transferred to Bavarian rule.
  • Silesia was transferred to Bohemian rule.
  • Poitou, Auvergne and Provence were transferred to Aquitanian rule.
  • The independence of Venice, Lombardy, Milan and Genoa was recognized.
  • Free trade was guaranteed along the Rhine and Elbe rivers.
  • An indemnity of 3,000,000 thalers was to be paid to Bohemia 

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