400th Anniversary of Europe's Biggest Disaster: The Thirty Years War (1618-48)

In terms of absolute casualty numbers the Thirty Years War can, of course, not be compared to the two World Wars of the 20th century. But in relation to the population of the times, it can arguably be classed as the biggest disaster the continent has ever seen, with far reaching political, economic and individual consequences impacting on several generations. Europe’s recovery certainly took much longer than after WWII.


  • Historical Background
  • The Bohemian Revolt
  • The Palatine Phase
  • Danish Intervention
  • Swedish Intervention
  • French Intervention
  • Role and Involvement of Other Powers
  • Peace of Westphalia – political & economic consequences

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the reasons and outcomes of the war
  2. Describe the main historical events characterising the war
  3. Identify the most important participants and events