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22. Friedenskongresse

From the book Handbuch Frieden im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit / Handbook of Peace in Early Modern Europe

  • Johannes Burkhardt and Benjamin Durst


Peace Congresses Peacemaking in early modern Europe was fundamentally based on peace congresses. From the middle of the seventeenth century, they were commonly used to solve multilateral conflicts and to end or to prevent wars. In these diplomatic meetings representatives of the conflicting parties - and often also of other powers - came together in one place to make peace. In some cases, the negotiation of fundamental questions took place at the congress, in others, these questions had already been settled. Both the political decisions and the peace were formally enacted. The results of the negotiations were laid down in peace treaties, which were adopted in a ceremonial act. The Congress of Westphalia (1643-1649) was the first of its kind. It became a model for subsequent multilateral congresses. The chapter analyses the early modern peace congress, contextualises its development in the process of state formation, and, finally, evaluates the achievements of early modern peace-making by offering a typology of congresses.

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