Europe in the second half of the sixteenth century was a continent divided along confessional lines. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. While other countries, in particular France and the Netherlands, drifted toward religious war, the Empire seemed to have settled its religious problems with the Treaty of Augsburg in 1555. The treaty, which Emperor Ferdinand I had negotiated with the German princes, permitted Catholic rulers to impose Catholicism upon all their subjects and Lutheran princes to impose Lutheranism. This was a religiopolitical compromise that worked temporarily but became increasingly difficult to preserve as Germany's confessional picture continued to change in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.