Westphalia, Peace of, the name given to two treaties that ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648 and formed the basis of political and religious conditions in central Europe until the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806. They resulted in large territorial changes, greater religious toleration, and the almost complete independence of the princes of the Empire.
Spain and Austria recognized the independence of Switzerland and the Netherlands. Sweden received territory in northern Germany, gaining control of the Baltic Sea. France received a large part of Alsace and parts of Lorraine. Calvinist princes won recognition of their religion (the Peace of Augsburg of 1555 had recognized Lutheranism), and freedom of individual worship, at least in private, was granted in all areas of the Holy Roman Empire except in the Hapsburg family domains.