|Austria Table of Contents
The Thirty Years' War was finally ended in 1648 by the Peace of Westphalia. The treaty guaranteed the religious and political constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, giving the German princes the sovereign right to settle the religious question in their respective territories. France also achieved its main war aim because the costly war and the concessions to the princes effectively stopped the Habsburgs from transforming the Holy Roman Empire into an absolutist state under their direction. Nonetheless, in their own lands, the Habsburgs enjoyed greater political and religious control than before the war: they had gained loyal new followers from among the nobles by redistributing estates confiscated from rebels, and they were free to enforce religious conformity, which they did based on the model applied earlier in Bohemia.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress