Peace of Westphalia
The term Peace of Westphalia refers to the outcome of several peace treaties signed in 1648 that put an end to the Thirty Years' War that had ravaged the Holy Roman Empire (1618–1648) and then, later, the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Netherlands. The treaties, negotiated in Central Europe (Osnabrück and Münster) ushered in the idea of a sovereign state and formed a new nexus of constitutional law for the Holy Roman Empire.
The peace negotiations were actually amorphous and had no precise end date with at least one major war taking place even after the Treaties were signed. They were in fact the result of Europe's first international diplomatic congress. Delegations attended from 16 separate European states and 66 Imperial States. Nothing like it had ever been convened previously. There were four major points that emerged from the Treaties, as sourced from Wikipedia:
• Parties would recognize the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, in which each prince would have the right to determine the religion of his own state, the options being Catholicism, Lutheranism, and now Calvinism (the principle of cuius regio, eius religio).
• Christians living in principalities where their denomination was not the established Church were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in public during allotted hours and in private at their will.
• General recognition of the exclusive sovereignty of each party over its lands, people, and agents abroad, and each and several responsibility for the warlike acts of any of its citizens or agents.
• Issuance of unrestricted letters of marque and reprisal to privateers was forbidden.
It has been noted that the Peace of Westphalia actually came to an end when the UN approved R2P, the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine. This mandate is based on the idea that states have a primary role to play in shielding their populations from genocide. If the state abdicates this role, the "international community" should provide additional resources from mediation to political structures. Finally, if genocide is still threatened, the larger community must use diplomatic and even military action to ensure that civilians are safe.
With this doctrine in place no sovereign state can truly be said to exist anymore. In the place of sovereignty is the UN itself and its member states with amorphous responsibilities to police each other's sociopolitical activities with an eye to determining whether any state is committing actionable genocide.
In reality, since an Anglo-America power elite generally runs the UN, and seeks global governance, R2P gives the Anglosphere enormous, worldwide powers. Any nation-state that does not obey the Anglosphere's dictates can now find itself on the wrong side of a massed international "coalition of the willing" led by NATO and fulfilling the strategic desires of the City of London, Washington, DC and perhaps even Tel Aviv.
It is sadly certain that the Peace of Westphalia died in 2005. Surely a quote from WB Yeats's Second Coming (1920) is appropriate to commemorate this little-known but likely catastrophic international political event. The outcome must surely be nothing but war and more war as various nation-states jostle to point fingers at each other for a variety of selfish, strategic purposes.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
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