chapter  8
6 Pages

The European context

What is now known as the ‘Thirty Years War’ was in fact a series of conflicts that raged through central and northern Europe between 1618 and 1648. Despite the fact that England played only a minimal role in the Thirty Years War, it had a significant impact on the English political scene, not least in its ability to maintain and increase the sense of an ongoing international Catholic threat. Religious, territorial and dynastic motivation all played their part in provoking and prolonging the fighting, whose main legacy, apart from an almost unparalleled level of destruction in Germany, was the emergence of France to replace Spain as Europe’s foremost power.