The geography of early modern Christendom

Towards the middle of the seventeenth century, Europe was just emerging from a long series of brutal inter-Christian wars of religion. The basic confessional geography that crystallized by the end of the Thirty Years' War and the civil wars fought in the British Isles persisted with only minor modifications into the twentieth century. The Roman Catholic faith was now i

] Catholic | | Eastern Orthodox

] Lutheran | | Complex mixture

1 Calvinist of relig?ous g^oups

Predominance

] Catholic | | Eastern Orthodox

] Lutheran | | Complex mixture

1 Calvinist of relig?ous g^oups

Map 1 Confessional map of Europe c. 1700

overwhelmingly dominant across much of southern Europe and the western Mediterranean - including Portugal, Spain, France, and the Italian peninsula -but also in most of Ireland, the Austrian Lowlands, Bavaria, Poland, and Lithuania. The various Protestant denominations, for their part, were deeply entrenched throughout north and north-central Europe, from Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the 'Lutheran sea' of the Baltic - including most of the north German states, Prussia, Scandinavia, Finland, Estonia, and Latvia. Somewhat further south, strong Protestant bridgeheads were also to be found in Silesia, south-west Germany and across the Swiss plateau.

Almost everywhere, of course, there were dissident minorities, clinging to existence within seas of state-supported orthodoxies. But the confessional

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