Central Europe at the turn of the sixteenth century may best be understood as a collection of three supra-national polities: the Hungarian Kingdom, the Polish-Lithuanian Confederation and the Empire of the German Nation.1 None of these Empires survived the early modern period. The kingdom of Hungary was shattered by the Turkish victory at Mohács in 1526. Poland saw troops from Sweden and Brandenburg in Warsaw as early as 1656. Though Poland recovered afterwards, the Polish sejm came under the influence of noble factions paid from Moscow, Vienna and Berlin in the 1730s if not earlier. Movements to restore independence led to the first (1772) and second (1793) partitions of Poland and ultimately to the complete dissolution of a sovereign Polish state. The invasion and conquest of areas of the Empire of the German Nation by armies of the French Republic after 1793 led to the redistribution of the lands of the imperial Catholic church among more powerful dynasties, primarily in Prussia, Austria, Württemberg, Bavaria and Baden (in the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss of 1803), to alliances of most of them with Napoleon and to the dissolution of the empire in 1804-1806.

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von Friedeburg, R. (2011). Cuius regio, eius religio: The ambivalent meanings of state-building in Protestant Germany, 1555-1655. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/23771