the name given to a series of wars arising out of one another in Germany during 1618-48; was first a war of Catholics against Protestants, but in its later stages developed into a struggle for supremacy in Europe. On the Catholic side were Austria, various German Catholic princes, and Spain, to whom were opposed successively Bohemia, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, and France; originated in Bohemia, where the Protestants were goaded to revolt against the intolerance of the empire, Moravians and Hungarians came to their assistance, but the imperial forces were too powerful and the rising was suppressed, only to be renewed in 1624, when Denmark espoused the Protestant cause, but struggled vainly against Catholic armies under Wallenstein and Tilly. The tactless oppression of the Emperor Ferdinand again fanned into flame the fires of rebellion; Swedish armies now came to the assistance of the Protestants, and under Gustavus Adolphus waged successful war against the emperor, but the death of Gustavus at Lützen (1632) turned the tide in favour of the imperial forces; the German Protestant prince made a disadvantageous peace in 1635, but Sweden, now joined by France, continued the struggle against the Austrian empire. Turenne and Condé became the heroes of the war, and a series of decisive victories rolled back the imperial armies, and by 1848 were converging upon Austria, when diplomacy brought the war to an end by the Peace of Westphalia, the chief gains of which were the securing of religious tolerance and the recognition of the independence of Switzerland and the United Provinces.

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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