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Mahendra Danny Setyoko

Law and Human Rights

Assignment: Analysis on Westphalia Treaty (1648)

State sovereignty and human rights are very much related, this is due to the reason that if a
state have their own sovereignty, then that state can provide human right protection to its citizen
within its territory. One event that is historically significant to the development of state sovereignty
was the Westphalia Treaty. Westphalia Treaty was known for the emergence of state sovereignty, but
in order to understand this treaty first, The Thirty- Years War needed to be understood.

The Peace of Westphalia or the Westphalia Treaty was a peace treaty made to end the Thirty- Years
War fought by a number of nations in the Holy Roman Empire. It is said that the Thirty- Years War was
one of the greatest and longest armed contests of he early modern period. The war began when Holy
Roman Emperor Ferdinand II of Bohemia started a Catholic war campaign against its citizens and the
neighboring territory in order to suppress the Protestant activities in The Holy Roman Empire, this
action sparks rebellion among the Protestants. This war war such a bloodbath to the nations involved
that at one point the nations involved in the war was then meet in German soil to make a peace treaty
to end the exhaustive war. In that event, the nations in conflict has then made a peace treaty called

The Westphalia Treaty resulted in the creation of Nation-State sovereignty, where it includes the
creation of nation-state borders, meaning also it marked the end of feudal empire. The treaty has
granted the nation-state within the Holy Roman Empire to have its own sovereignty towards its own
territorry and citizens. Sovereignty meaning that the nation-state has the right to govern and rule the
citizens within their own territory without intervention of other nation. This might have been a double
edged sword situation, the reaason is that the human rights inside the territory is controlled by the
overnment of that nation state without intervention of other nation. If the government enforces
human right within its territory then it is a win for human right, but then if the government ignores
human right within the territory, then it might lead to worse situation to the human right issue.

It is known that The Thirty – Years War had been fought primarily over religion, when Chatolic ruler
wanted to expand the religion to its citizen and neighboring territory, by that, the people with different
religion, in this case Protestant doesnt want to submit to the Catholic religion. This is one of the
example of the suppression of the freedom of religion, which is one of the human rights. It wasn’t
there as a law in the 1600s, but even then when the right for freedom of religion is suppressed, the
people act violent, resulting in the Thirty- Years War.
Mahendra Danny Setyoko