International conference “Winning the peace?”

A comparison of cities after 1648

© IStG

The international conference “Winning the peace? A comparison of cities after 1648” focused on events in cities such as Münster, Trier and Utrecht after the peace treaty 375 years ago, with scholars shedding light on what little research has been done to date: How did the war-torn cities manage to live together after the war ended? What effects did the war have on the spatial reorganization of cities between reconstruction and the post-war economy?

The Cluster of Excellence organized the conference together with the Münster City Archives and the Institute for Comparative Urban History at the University of Münster. The conference saw the presentation of the City of Münster’s Historians’ Prize, which was awarded to German historian Prof. Ute Daniel on 27 September 2023.

The background to the conference was the observation that historical peace research (and this applies in particular to research on the Peace of Westphalia) has so far focused primarily on the processes and factors that led to the conclusion of peace agreements or treaties, with far less attention being given to what happened following the conclusion of peace: how were peace agreements perceived, and to what extent and how were they implemented? What problems arose from this and from the consequences of the war, particularly at a local level, and how were attempts made to deal with these problems? More on this in the conference report (in German).