Amnestie und Normaljahre

This chapter examines the role of amnesties and base years in the resolution of early modern conflicts. It considers how amnesties were managed and how base years were determined for the purposes of defining the rights to property and worship of confessional groups. Granting immunity from prosecution (amnestia; amnistia) to all belligerents was a precondition for early modern peace making and negotiations about the start dates and duration of amnesties were thus crucial. Negotiations about a base year to determine property rights and rights of worship were also essential in the peace process. The best example is the agreement enshrined in the Peace of Westphalia on the normative year 1624 to determine the rights of the three recognised confessions in the Holy Roman Empire. The chapter focuses on the 1648 peace settlement but other agreements such as the Edict of Nantes and the Pacification of Ghent are also examined.


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