The Thirty Years’ War was the first pan-European military conflict. The major players were on the one hand the camp of the Austrian and Spanish Habsburgs, and on the other the coalition of the Netherlands and Denmark, later joined by Spain and France. The main phases of the war were:
1618 – 1620 – the Bohemian Estates’ Uprising
1621 – 1623 – the war for the Palatinate
1625 – 1629 – the Danish phase
1630 – 1648 – The Swedish and French phases
In the summer of 1648 Swedish forces invaded Bohemia, capturing Prague Castle and the Lesser Quarter in Prague. The Praguers withstood an autumn assault, and on November 1st the Swedes decamped.
By this time, however, the Thirty Years’ War was moving towards its close. On October 24th 1648 the compromise that was the Peace of Westphalia was signed in Münster and Osnabrück, affirming the sovereignty of the Netherlands and strengthening the positions of France and Sweden. Political and religious relations in the Central European states were adjusted to their condition in 1624. The lands of the Bohemian Crown became part of the Austrian monarchy (the Habsburgs). The closing of the Peace of Westphalia dashed the hopes of the Czech immigrants for a return to their homeland. Comenius then gave vent to his despair in the autumn, in a reproachful letter to Chancellor Oxenstierna.
The Peace of Westphalia was a result of French diplomacy in the main, which could not tolerate a weakening of the Central European position of the Austrian Habsburgs to the advantage of Sweden.