The Peasants Revolt 1525

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The Peasants War. Who were the peasants?Why did they Revolt?Why did Luther denounce them?What was the effect of the revolt?Was the Reformation in Germany Religious of Secular?. The Peasants War. While the war is defined as a Peasants War in reality they were farmers and Town Artisans. For the previous century they had been burdened with increasing amounts of Church and Landlord taxes. Tetzel's Indulgence drive further alienated theses farmers from Roman taxation and interference in Germa31091

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The Peasants Revolt 1525

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1. The Peasants Revolt 1525 The Causes and Effects

2. The Peasants War Who were the peasants? Why did they Revolt? Why did Luther denounce them? What was the effect of the revolt? Was the Reformation in Germany Religious of Secular?

3. The Peasants War While the war is defined as a Peasants War in reality they were farmers and Town Artisans. For the previous century they had been burdened with increasing amounts of Church and Landlord taxes. Tetzel’s Indulgence drive further alienated theses farmers from Roman taxation and interference in Germany.

4. The Peasants War In keeping with the time peasants were conservative and it was change rather than hardship which stimulated violence. The increased financial demands coincided with the spread of the new ideas in 1520. Peasantry deeply religious. Luther’s stress upon the Bible rather than dogma pleased the peasants, but also taught dues payable to the church unjustified and should be withheld Naďve belief that emperor would redress their grievances and Luther would lead them.

5. The Peasants War The rebellion lacked co-ordination, despite the common symbol the Bundschuh (peoples’ shoe) Hundreds of castles and religious houses ransacked and towns plundered. Rarely anything approaching implementation of a new social order outside mob rule. Hence easy for princes to rally and overthrow the revolt. About 100,000 peasants were executed.

6. The Peasants War Hundreds of priest joined the rebels and declared their faith in Luther. Catholic historians have used this to argue Luther encouraged the uprising. No evidence, more likely he was sympathetic towards peasant plight but horrified by the mob rule and hence wrote his tract ‘Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants.’

7. The Peasants War This tract clearly presented Luther’s views on political issues. He went on to advice the princes how they should act. The slaughter had already begun when this tract appeared, but its timing made Luther appear cold and cruel. This tract lost Luther considerable support among the peasantry, but firmed gained support from rulers inclined to reform the Church.

8. The Peasants War Luther’s stance was important for the success of Lutheranism. It meant that reformed Church’s were going to support the princes and not become rival authorities. This resulted in many princes choosing reform. By doing so would relieve the prince of political and financial intervention, whist gaining effective control of the Church within his territory. Luther saw uniformity as an essential element in preventing communal violence.

9. The Peasants War The Family: Luther’s ideas about duty and social order applied to the family. The prince was the head of State, so the father the head of the family. It was the duty of other family members to obey. This did not preclude love as his letters and treatment of his wife shows

10. The Knights War The Heyday of the Imperial Knights had gone. Their role of the Empire’s policemen had been taken over by the local princes. The princes resented the Knights presence in their territories because they owned large armies, & castles, but independent of the princes authority. The knights saw the fragmentation of the Empire as a cause of their troubles. They sought a united Germany and ending of foreign domination -papacy. They viewed Luther as an ally.

11. The Knights War The knights were not coordinated, they came together as needs arose. Their leaders were Ulrich von Hutten & Franz Sickingen. Hutten was well known for his violent attacks on the Pope. Upon learning of Luther, it was decided to provide Luther and other reformers with armed protection. After 1521 they thought the time ripe for an armed uprising against the Pope. They launch an attack upon the Archbishop of Trier 1522.

12. The Knights War The Knights misjudged the situation. The Archbishop successfully resisted the knights and gained support from local princes who wished to end the Knights powers. Sickingen defeated (1523) and fled to Switzerland. Hutten died of illness. The Knights were broken as a power, but just like the Peasants after them, they attacked in Luther’s name. For many afterwards Luther’s ideas were synonymous with anarchy.

13. Questions The publications of 1520 On the Babylonish Captivity of the Church Address to the German Nobility Of the Liberty of the Christian Man i) note the areas of belief each covered, and main changes recommended ii) What changes to Religious practices did Luther support and why? What were the motives of the Imperial Knights in supporting Luther? What were Luther’s views about the Peasants War? Why did he hold them? What were the effects of the war on the development of Lutheranism

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