Thirty Years War
1618 - 1648
The Thirty Years War began as a religious civil war between the Protestants and Roman Catholics in Germany
that engaged the Austrian Habsburgs and the German princes.
The war soon developed into a devastating struggle for the balance of power in Europe.
When the Catholic forces seemed likely to win, first the Danes, then the Swedes, and finally the French intervened against the Habsburg Imperial cause.
In the course of the war all Germany was ruined and half its people were killed. The German emperor was reduced to a shadow and for more than two hundred years, Germany remained divided among local rulers and France emerged as the dominant power in Europe.
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