Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
County of Ferrette
The County of Ferrette was a feudal jurisdiction in Alsace in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. It corresponds with the Sundgau and comprised the lordships of Ferrette, Thann, Belfort and others; these territories were not contiguous, but formed a patchwork of jurisdictions under the Holy Roman Empire. The County of Ferrette emerged in the twelfth century alongside the County of Montbéliard as a division of the pagus of Elsgau, traditionally regarded as the southernmost pagus of Alsace; this was a Francophone region. In the late Middle Ages, the County of Ferrette was the most westerly Habsburg possession and a part of Further Austria, it bordered the French Duchy of Burgundy and all four dukes of the House of Valois who ruled from 1363 until 1477 made efforts to acquire it. It was the object of a complicated series of marriage negotiations under the first duke, Philip the Bold. In 1387, Duke Leopold IV of Austria married Catherine, daughter of Philip the Bold, fulfilling an agreement first reached in 1378.
For her dower she received some rents in the county and in 1403 the entire county, whose officers paid homage to her on 6 February 1404. When Leopold died childless in 1411, he was succeeded by his brother, Frederick IV, who seized the county of Ferrette, leaving Catherine only two castles, one of, Belfort. Catherine, claimed the whole county belonged to her, her brother, Duke John the Fearless, garrisoned the castles on her behalf. These garrisons were small. To Belfort he sent only a castellan, nine squires, a cannoneer and some valets; the dispute over Ferrette continued into the reign of Philip the Good. In 1420, he made an agreement with Catherine whereby he gave her an annual pension of 3,000 francs and promised to help recover the county in return for being named as her heir. Philip opened negotiations with Frederick threatening war in 1422–23, but made no progress. There were hostilities between Catherine's men and the Habsburgs' in those same years, but Frederick managed to take back Belfort.
Catherine died childless in 1425, but the Burgundian claim was not or permanently dropped. In 1427, a conference was held at Montbéliard whereat Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy, mediated the dispute. A treaty between the Archduke of Austria and the Duke of Burgundy seems to have been signed in mid-1428. Ferrette, because it lay on the common border between the two houses, was as at the centre of the fighting in the brief Austro-Burgundian war of 1431. During the war, Philip's men captured Belfort in a night attack. A truce was signed in October 1431 and a peace treaty in May 1432. In 1434, Philip bought up the claim of Margaret, to the county of Ferrette. On 9 May 1469, by the Treaty of Saint-Omer, Archduke Sigismund of Austria mortgaged the County of Ferrette along with the Landgraviate of Upper Alsace to Duke Charles of Burgundy to secure a loan of 50,000 florins. By the terms of the loan, the principal as well as Charles's administrative expenses had to be repaid in a single lump sum, making it unlikely that the Habsburgs would discharge it.
Charles's own power, was limited by the fact that many of the rights of the counts had been pawned by the Habsburgs. Ferrette itself, for example, was in pawn for 7,000 florins. 1105–1160 Frederick I 1160–1191 Louis 1191–1233 Frederick II 1233–1275 Ulrich II 1275–1311/16 Theobald 1311/16–1324 Ulrich III 1324–1351/52 Joanna The numbering of the Habsburgs is their family numbering. 1324–1358 Albert II 1358–1365 Rudolf IV 1365–1386 Leopold III 1386–1395 Albrecht III 1395–1406 Leopold IV 1406–1439 Frederick IV 1439–1469 Sigismund 1469–1477 Charles 1477–1482 Mary 1477–1519 Maximilian I 1519–1558 Charles V 1558–1564 Ferdinand I 1564–1595 Ferdinand II 1595–1619 Matthias 1619–1623 Ferdinand II 1623–1632 Leopold V 1632–1648 Ferdinand Charles Goutzwiller, Charles. Le comté de Ferrette: esquisses historiques. Altkirch: J. Boehrer, 1868. Heider, Christine. "Thann, ville domaniale et chef-lieu de bailliage sous les Ferrette et les Habsbourg". Revue d'Alsace, 128, pp. 101–122. Köbler, Gerhard. Historisches Lexikon der Deutschen Länder: die deutschen Territorien vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart.
Munich: C. H. Beck, 2007. Quiquerez, Auguste. Histoire des comtes de Ferrette. Montbéliard: Henri Barbier,1863. Wilsdorf, Christian. Histoire des comtes de Ferrette. Altkirch: Société d'histoire Sundgauvienne, 1991
Fugger is a German family, a prominent group of European bankers, members of the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century mercantile patriciate of Augsburg, international mercantile bankers, venture capitalists. Alongside the Welser family, the Fugger family controlled much of the European economy in the sixteenth century and accumulated enormous wealth; the Fuggers held a near monopoly on the European copper market. This banking family replaced the de' Medici family, who influenced all of Europe during the Renaissance; the Fuggers took over their political power and influence. They were affiliated with the House of Habsburg whose rise to world power they financed. Unlike the citizenry of their hometown, they never converted to Lutheranism as presented in the Augsburg Confession but rather remained with the Roman Catholic Church. Jakob Fugger "the Rich" was elevated to the nobility of the Holy Roman Empire in May 1511 and assumed the title Imperial Count of Kirchberg and Weissenhorn in 1514. Today he is considered to be one of the wealthiest people to have lived.
The company was dissolved in 1657, however the Fuggers remained wealthy landowners and ruled the County of Kirchberg and Weissenhorn. The Babenhausen branch became Princes of the Holy Roman Empire in 1803, the Glött branch princes in the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1914; the founder of the family was Johann Fugger, a weaver at Graben, near the Swabian Free City of Augsburg. His son called Johann, settled in Augsburg, the first reference to the Fugger family there is his arrival, recorded in the tax register of 1367, he became an Augsburg citizen. After Klara's death, he married Elizabeth Gattermann, he joined the weaver's guild, by 1396 he was ranked high in the list of taxpayers. He added the business of a merchant to that of a weaver, his eldest son, Andreas Fugger, was a merchant in the weaving trade, was nicknamed "Fugger the Rich" after buying land and other properties. The Fugger family itemized and inventoried a large number of Asian rugs, an unusual undertaking at the time. Andreas's son, Lukas Fugger, was granted arms by the Emperor Frederick III, a golden deer on a blue background, he was soon nicknamed "the Fugger of the Deer".
He was too ambitious and went bankrupt. His descendants served their cousins of the famous younger branch and went to Silesia. Contemporary members of the Fugger of the Deer are descendants of Matthäus Fugger; the current patriarch is Markus Fugger von dem Rech. Hans Fugger's younger son, Jakob the Elder, founded another branch of the family; this branch progressed more and they became known as the "Fuggers of the Lily" after their chosen arms of a flowering lily on a gold and blue background. Jakob was a master weaver, a merchant, an alderman, he married the daughter of a goldsmith. His fortune progressed, by 1461, he was the twelfth richest man in Augsburg, he died in 1469. Jakob's eldest son, took over the business on his father's death, in 1473 he provided new suits of clothes to Frederick, his son Maximilian I, his suite on their journey to Trier to meet Charles the Bold of Burgundy and the betrothal of the young prince to Charles's daughter Maria, thus began a profitable relationship between the Fugger family and the Habsburgs.
With the help of their brother in Rome, Markus and his brother George handled remittances to the papal court of monies for the sale of indulgences and the procuring of church benefices. From 1508 to 1515 they leased the Roman mint. Ulrich died in 1510; when the Fuggers made their first loan to the Archduke Sigismund in 1487, they took as security an interest in silver and copper mines in the Tirol. This was the beginning of an extensive family involvement in mining and precious metals; the Fuggers participated in mining operations in Silesia, owned copper mines in Hungary. Their trade in spices and silk extended to all parts of Europe. Ulrich's youngest brother Jakob Fugger, born in 1459, was to become the most famous member of the dynasty. In 1498 he married Sibylla Artzt, Grand Burgheress to Augsburg, the daughter of an eminent Grand Burgher of Augsburg, they had no children, but this marriage gave Jakob the opportunity to elevate to Grand Burgher of Augsburg and allowed him to pursue a seat on the city council of Augsburg.
He was elevated to the nobility of the Holy Roman Empire in May 1511, made Imperial Count in 1514, in 1519 led a consortium of German and Italian businessmen that loaned Charles V 850,000 florins to procure his election as Holy Roman Emperor over Francis I of France. The Fuggers' contribution was 543,000 florins. In 1494, the Fuggers established their first public company. Jakob's aim was to establish a copper monopoly by opening foundries in Hohenkirchen and Fuggerau and by expanding the sales organization in Europe the Antwerp agency. Jakob leased the copper mines in Neusohl in 1495 making them the greatest mining centre of the time. At the height of his power Jakob Fugger was criticized by his contemporaries by Ulrich von Hutten and Martin Luther, for selling indulgences and benefices and urging the Pope to rescind or amend the prohibition on the levying of interest; the imperial fiscal and governmental authorities in Nuremberg brought action against him and other merchants in an attempt to halt their monopolistic practices.
In 1511, Jakob deposited 15,000 florins as an endowment for some almshouses. In 1514, he bought up par
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was a war fought in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the most destructive conflicts in human history, it resulted in eight million fatalities not only from military engagements but from violence and plague. Casualties were overwhelmingly and disproportionately inhabitants of the Holy Roman Empire, most of the rest being battle deaths from various foreign armies. In terms of proportional German casualties and destruction, it was surpassed only by the period January to May 1945. A war between various Protestant and Catholic states in the fragmented Holy Roman Empire, it developed into a more general conflict involving most of the European great powers; these states employed large mercenary armies, the war became less about religion and more of a continuation of the France–Habsburg rivalry for European political pre-eminence. The war was preceded by the election of the new Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, who tried to impose religious uniformity on his domains, forcing Roman Catholicism on its peoples.
The northern Protestant states, angered by the violation of their rights to choose, granted in the Peace of Augsburg, banded together to form the Protestant Union. Ferdinand II was a devout Roman Catholic and much more intolerant than his predecessor, Rudolf II, who ruled from the Protestant city of Prague. Ferdinand's policies were considered pro-Catholic and anti-Protestant; these events caused widespread fears throughout northern and central Europe, triggered the Protestant Bohemians living in the relatively loose dominion of Habsburg Austria to revolt against their nominal ruler, Ferdinand II. After the so-called Defenestration of Prague deposed the Emperor's representatives in Prague, the Protestant estates and Catholic Habsburgs started gathering allies for war; the Protestant Bohemians ousted the Habsburgs and elected the Calvinist Frederick V, Elector of the Rhenish Palatinate as the new king of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Frederick took the offer without the support of the Protestant Union.
The southern states Roman Catholic, were angered by this. Led by Bavaria, these states formed the Catholic League to expel Frederick in support of the Emperor; the Empire soon crushed the perceived Protestant rebellion in the Battle of White Mountain, executing leading Bohemian aristocrats shortly after. Protestant rulers across Europe unanimously condemned the Emperor's action. After the atrocities committed in Bohemia, Saxony gave its support to the Protestant Union and decided to fight back. Sweden, at the time a rising military power, soon intervened in 1630 under its king Gustavus Adolphus, transforming what had been the Emperor's attempt to curb the Protestant states into a full-scale war in Europe. Habsburg Spain, wishing to crush the Dutch rebels in the Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, intervened under the pretext of helping its dynastic Habsburg ally, Austria. No longer able to tolerate the encirclement of two major Habsburg powers on its borders, Catholic France entered the coalition on the side of the Protestants in order to counter the Habsburgs.
The Thirty Years' War devastated entire regions, resulting in high mortality among the populations of the German and Italian states, the Crown of Bohemia, the Southern Netherlands. Both mercenaries and soldiers in fighting armies traditionally looted or extorted tribute to get operating funds, which imposed severe hardships on the inhabitants of occupied territories; the war bankrupted most of the combatant powers. The Dutch Republic enjoyed contrasting fortune; the Thirty Years' War ended with the Treaty of Osnabrück and the Treaties of Münster, part of the wider Peace of Westphalia. The war altered the previous political order of European powers; the rise of Bourbon France, the curtailing of Habsburg ambition, the ascendancy of Sweden as a great power created a new balance of power on the continent, with France emerging from the war strengthened and dominant in the latter part of the 17th century. The Peace of Augsburg, signed by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, confirmed the result of the Diet of Speyer, ending the war between German Lutherans and Catholics, establishing that: Rulers of the 224 German states could choose the religion of their realms.
Subjects had to follow that emigrate. Prince-bishoprics and other states ruled by Catholic clergy were excluded and should remain Catholic. Prince-bishops who converted to Lutheranism were required to give up their territories. Lutherans could keep the territory they had taken from the Catholic Church since the Peace of Passau in 1552. Although the Peace of Augsburg created a temporary end to hostilities, it did not resolve the underlying religious conflict, made yet more complex by the spread of Calvinism throughout Germany in the years that followed; this added a third major faith to the region, but its position was not recognized in any way by the Augsburg terms, to which only Catholicism and Lutheranism were parties. The rulers of the nations neighboring the Holy Roman Empir
A bailiff is a manager, overseer or custodian. Bailiffs are of various kinds and their offices and duties vary greatly. Another official sometimes referred to. In the Holy Roman Empire a similar function was performed by the Amtmann. Bailiff was the term used by the Normans for what the Saxons had called a reeve: the officer responsible for executing the decisions of a court; the duty of the bailiff would thus include serving summonses and orders, executing all warrants issued out of the corresponding court. The district within which the bailiff operated was called his bailiwick to the present day. Bailiffs were outsiders and free men, that is, they were not from the bailiwick for which they were responsible. Throughout Norman England, the Saxon and Norman populations mixed, reeve came to be limited to shire-level courts, while bailiff was used in relation to the lower courts. Bailiff referred to the officer executing the decisions of manorial courts, the hundred courts. In Scotland a bailie was the chief officer of a barony, in the Channel Islands they were the principal civil officers.
With the introduction of justices of the peace, magistrates' courts acquired their own bailiffs. Courts were not only concerned with legal matters, decided administrative matters for the area within their jurisdiction. A bailiff of a manor, would oversee the manor's lands and buildings, collect its rents, manage its accounts, run its farms. In the 19th century, the administrative functions of courts were replaced by the creation of elected local authorities; the term bailiff is retained as a title by the chief officers of various towns and the keepers of royal castles, such as the High Bailiff of Westminster and the Bailiff of Dover Castle. In Scotland, bailie now refers to a municipal officer corresponding to an English alderman. In the 20th century, the court system in England was drastically re-organised, with the assize courts taking some of the powers of the shire courts, becoming the High Court of Justice; the High Court acquired the sheriffs, the county courts the bailiffs. Bailiffs were removable by the Lord Chancellor.
A bailiff could, for practical reasons, delegate his responsibilities, in regard to some particular court instruction, to other individuals. As the population expanded, the need for the services of a bailiff arose from financial disputes. By Shakespeare's time, they had acquired the nickname bum-bailiffs because they followed debtors closely behind them. To avoid confusion with their underlings, the County Courts Act 1888 renamed bailifs as high bailiffs; this act formally acknowledged right of the high bailiffs to appoint under-bailiffs as they wished, establishing that the high bailiffs retain ultimate responsibility for their actions. The High Bailiff became a purely ceremonial role, the court's clerk liaising with under-bailiffs directly; the Law of Distress Amendment Act 1888 enacts that no person may act as an under-bailiff to levy any distress for rent unless he is authorized by a county court judge to act as an under-bailiff. The County Courts Act 1888 restricted the hours an under-bailiff could execute a possession warrant, to only be between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m..
It limited the ability to bring a legal complaint against a bailiff. In the Channel Islands the bailiff is the first civil officer in each of the two bailiwicks, he is appointed by the Crown, holds office until retirement. He presides as a judge in the royal court, takes the opinions of the jurats; the bailiff in each island must, be a qualified lawyer. In England and Wales, there are a number of offices either formally titled, or referred to, as "bailiffs"; some of these bailiffs are concerned with executing the orders of the courts around the collection of debts, some exercise semi-official supervisory powers over certain activities. Those concerned with the execution of court orders are referred to as bailiffs, although reforms to the law in 2014 have renamed all these positions to alternative titles. With the 19th century renaming of bailiffs to high bailiff, their under-bailiffs came to be referred to as bailiffs themselves; the powers and responsibilities of these bailiffs depend on which type of court they take orders from.
In emulation of these responsibilities, a number of roles established by 19th century statute laws have been named bailiffs, despite not having a connection to a court. Civilian enforcement officers are employees of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, can seize and sell goods to recover money owed under a fine and community penalty notice, execute warrants of arrest, committal and control; these functions can be carried out by employees of private companies a
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster ending the European wars of religion, including the Thirty Years' War. The treaties of Westphalia brought to an end a calamitous period of European history which caused the deaths of eight million people. Scholars have identified Westphalia as the beginning of the modern international system, based on the concept of Westphalian sovereignty, though this interpretation has been challenged; the negotiation process was complex. Talks took place in two different cities, as each side wanted to meet on territory under its own control. A total of 109 delegations arrived to represent the belligerent states, but not all delegations were present at the same time. Three treaties were signed to end each of the overlapping wars: the Peace of Münster, the Treaty of Münster, the Treaty of Osnabrück; these treaties ended the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, with the Habsburgs and their Catholic allies on one side, battling the Protestant powers allied with France.
The treaties ended the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognising the independence of the Dutch. The Peace of Westphalia established the precedent of peace established by diplomatic congress. A new system of political order arose in central Europe, based upon peaceful coexistence among sovereign states. Inter-state aggression was to be held in check by a balance of power, a norm was established against interference in another state's domestic affairs; as European influence spread across the globe, these Westphalian principles the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and to the prevailing world order. Peace negotiations between France and the Habsburgs began in Cologne in 1641; these negotiations were blocked by Cardinal Richelieu of France, who insisted on the inclusion of all his allies, whether sovereign countries or states within the Holy Roman Empire. In Hamburg and Lübeck and the Holy Roman Empire negotiated the Treaty of Hamburg with the intervention of Richelieu.
The Holy Roman Empire and Sweden declared the preparations of Cologne and the Treaty of Hamburg to be preliminaries of an overall peace agreement. The main peace negotiations took place in Westphalia, in the neighboring cities of Münster and Osnabrück. Both cities were maintained as demilitarized zones for the negotiations. In Münster, negotiations took place between the Holy Roman Empire and France, as well as between the Dutch Republic and Spain. Münster had been, since its re-Catholicisation in 1535, a mono-denominational community, it housed the Chapter of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster. Only Roman Catholic worship was permitted, while Lutheranism were prohibited. Sweden preferred to negotiate with the Holy Roman Empire in Osnabrück, controlled by the Protestant forces. Osnabrück was a bidenominational Lutheran and Catholic city, with two Lutheran churches and two Catholic churches; the city council was Lutheran, the burghers so, but the city housed the Catholic Chapter of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück and had many other Catholic inhabitants.
Osnabrück had been subjugated by troops of the Catholic League from 1628 to 1633 and taken by Lutheran Sweden. The peace negotiations had no exact beginning and ending, because the 109 delegations never met in a plenary session. Instead, various delegations arrived between 1643 and 1646 and left between 1647 and 1649; the largest number of diplomats were present between January 1646 and July 1647. Delegations had been sent by 16 European states, 66 Imperial States representing the interests of 140 Imperial States, 27 interest groups representing 38 groups; the French delegation was headed by Henri II d'Orléans, Duke of Longueville and further comprised the diplomats Claude d'Avaux and Abel Servien. The Swedish delegation was headed by Count Johan Oxenstierna and was assisted by Baron Johan Adler Salvius; the Imperial delegation was headed by Count Maximilian von Trautmansdorff. His aides were: In Münster, Johann Ludwig von Nassau-Hadamar and Isaak Volmar. In Osnabrück, Johann Maximilian von Lamberg and Reichshofrat Johann Krane.
Philip IV of Spain was represented by two delegations: The Spanish delegation was headed by Gaspar de Bracamonte y Guzmán, notably included the diplomats and writers Diego de Saavedra Fajardo, Bernardino de Rebolledo. The Franche Comté and the Spanish Netherlands were represented by Antoine Brun; the papal nuncio in Cologne, Fabio Chigi, the Venetian envoy Alvise Contarini acted as mediators. Various Imperial States of the Holy Roman Empire sent delegations. Brandenburg sent several representatives, including Vollmar; the Dutch Republic sent a delegation of six, including two delegates from the province of Holland and Willem Ripperda from one of the other provinces. The Swiss Confederacy was represented by Johann Rudolf Wettstein. Three separate treaties constituted the peace settlement; the Peace of Münster was signed by the Dutch Republic and the Kingdom of Spain on 30 January 1648, was ratified in Münster on 15 May 1648. Two complementary treaties were signed on 24 October 1648: The Treaty of Münster, between the Holy Roman Emperor and France, along with their respective allies The Treaty of Osnabrück, between the Holy Roman Empire and Sweden, along with their respective allies.
The power asserted by Ferdinand III was stripped from him and re