Your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the Peace of Westphalia

Maximilian, Count von Trauttmansdorff

Trauttmansdorff was an experienced diplomat, having negotiationed the Peace of Nikolsburg (1622) with Transylvania, the Treaty of Regensburg (1630) with France, and was the main architect of the Peace of Prague (1635), the Emperor’s attempt to unite with Imperial estates against Sweden. He became Ferdinand III’s chief advisor and even drafted his own instructions for the Congress of Westphalia. Trauttmansdorff was the last major representative to arrive, in November, 1645, at which point the Emperor had given up on achieving a separate peace with one of his opponents and recognized that a general peace was inevitable.

Trauttmansdorff attempted to continue the general line of his policy, making concessions to German estates, including Protestants, in order to strengthen their relationship with the Emperor; meanwhile, he took a hard line in negotiations with France and Sweden. This approach made him distrusted among Catholics but not really accepted by Protestants, for whom his concessions were always too little. He was forced to give way on almost every major point. Nevertheless, Trauttmansdorff’s contribution to the peace should not be underestimated; he concluded the settlements with France and Sweden, and his draft religious settlement for the Empire became the basis for the final treaty.

Trauttmansdorff left the congress in July 1647, well before peace was concluded, in disgust at the slow pace of negotiations. He was undoubtedly shrewd, generally well-liked, and did not have the hangup over ceremonial evinced by many of his fellow diplomats.

Books

There is remarkably little written about Trauttmansdorff considering his importance throughout the Thirty Years’ War.

“Die kaiserlichen Diplomaten auf dem Westfälischen Friedenskongreß” (1977) by Hans Wagner, in Diplomatie und Außenpolitik Österreichs: 11 Beiträge zu ihrer Geschichte, ed. by Erich Zöllner, 59–73.

External Sites

As with many nobles present at the negotiations, Trauttmansdorff came from an old family that occasionally appears at other points in history. They possessed during our diplomat’s day a castle in southern Tyrol (now in Italy) which became famous in the 19th century and is today the location of a tourist museum and notable botanical gardens.

Botanical Gardens

Castle and tourist museum