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German History in Documents and Images
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Peace of Westphalia: The Swearing of the Oath of Ratification of the Treaty of Münster (1648)
The Peace of Westphalia, which was signed in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster after several years of negotiations, actually consists of two peace treaties named after the two cities. This painting shows the swearing of the oath of ratification of the Treaty of Münster, which ended the hostilities between Spain and the Netherlands. The treaty also stipulated that the seven provinces of the Netherlands no longer belonged to the Holy Roman Empire. The Peace of Westphalia not only ended the Thirty Years War, it also provided Germany with the basis for its future constitution and religious policy. Oil painting by Gerard ter Borch (c. 1617-1681), 1648.