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A war waged in the early seventeenth century that involved France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and numerous states of Germany. The causes of the war were rooted in national rivalries and in conflict between Roman Catholics and Protestants. For all the bloodshed, there was no decisive winner or loser. The Peace of Westphalia, which ended the war in 1648, did affirm, however, that the German states could be Catholic or Protestant at the choice of their rulers.