Background[ edit ] In the sixteenth century, many parts of Europe had common political links within the Holy Roman Empirea decentralized entity in which the Holy Roman Emperor himself had little authority outside of his own dynastic lands, which covered only a small fraction of the whole. Aristocratic dynasties ruled hundreds of largely independent territories both secular and ecclesiastical within the framework of the empire, and several dozen others operated as semi-independent city-states. The princes of these dynasties were taxed by the Roman Catholic church.
Background[ edit ] In the sixteenth century, many parts of Europe had common political links within the Holy Roman Empirea decentralized entity in which the Holy Roman Emperor himself had little authority outside of his own dynastic lands, which covered only a small fraction of the whole.
Aristocratic dynasties ruled hundreds of largely independent territories both secular and ecclesiastical within the framework of the empire, and several dozen others operated as semi-independent city-states. The princes of these dynasties were taxed by the Roman Catholic church.
The princes could only gain, economically, by breaking away from the Roman church and establishing a German church under their own control, which would then not be able to tax them as the Roman church did.
Most German princes broke with Rome using the nationalistic slogan of "German money for a German church". Roman civil law advantaged princes who sought to consolidate their power because it brought all land into their personal ownership and eliminated the feudal concept of the land as a trust between lord and peasant that conferred rights as well as obligations on the latter.
By maintaining the remnants of the ancient law which legitimized their own rule, they not only elevated their wealth and position in the empire through the confiscation of all property and revenues, but increased their power over their peasant subjects. During the Knights' Revolt the "knights", the lesser landholders of the Rhineland in western Germany, rose up in rebellion in — Their rhetoric was religious, and several leaders expressed Luther's ideas on the split with Rome and the new German church.
However, the Knights' Revolt was not fundamentally religious. It was conservative in nature and sought to preserve the feudal order. The knights revolted against the new money order, which was squeezing them out of existence.
He criticized both the injustices imposed on the peasants, and the rashness of the peasants in fighting back. He also tended to support the centralization and urbanization of the economy.
This position alienated the lesser nobles, but shored up his position with the burghers. Luther argued that work was the chief duty on earth; the duty of the peasants was farm labor and the duty of the ruling classes was upholding the peace. He could not support the Peasant War because it broke the peace, an evil he thought greater than the evils the peasants were rebelling against.
Therefore, he encouraged the nobility to swiftly and violently eliminate the rebelling peasants. Later, Luther also criticized the ruling classes for their merciless suppression of the insurrection. Luther has often been sharply criticized for his position.
He spent several weeks in the Klettgau area, and there is some evidence to suggest that he helped the peasants to formulate their grievances. Luther himself declared against the moderate demands of the peasantry embodied in the twelve articles.
His article Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants appeared in May just as the rebels were being defeated on the fields of battle. Social classes in the 16th century Holy Roman Empire[ edit ] This section needs additional citations for verification.
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May Learn how and when to remove this template message Flyer from the time of the Peasants' War In this era of rapid change, modernizing princes tended to align with clergy burghers against the lesser nobility and peasants.
Princes[ edit ] Many rulers of Germany's various principalities functioned as autocratic rulers who recognized no other authority within their territories. Princes had the right to levy taxes and borrow money as they saw fit.
The growing costs of administration and military upkeep impelled them to keep raising demands on their subjects. This ignited the Knights' Revolt that occurred from through in the Rhineland.
The revolt was "suppressed by both Catholic and Lutheran princes who were satisfied to cooperate against a common danger". Their luxurious lifestyle drained what little income they had as prices kept rising.
They exercised their ancient rights in order to wring income from their territories. However, in the south of Germany their powers were more intact.
Accordingly, the harshness of the lesser nobles' treatment of the peasantry provided the immediate cause of the uprising. The fact that this treatment was worse in the south than in the north was the reason that the war began in the south. The knights also regarded the clergy as arrogant and superfluous, while envying their privileges and wealth.
In addition, the knights' relationships with the patricians in the towns was strained by the debts owed by the knights. Not only were they literate, but in the Middle Ages they had produced most books.In , in what is now Germany, hundreds of thousands of peasants revolted against the harsh treatment they suffered at the hands of their aristocratic overlords.
Increasing resentment against the heavy exaction of the feudal system, crop failure in Stühlingen, Germany, the writings of Luther and new Bible-derived notions of the equality of man precipitated the tragic Peasant's Revolt of Nov 17, · leslutinsduphoenix.com Thanks to Xios, Alan Haskayne, Lachlan Lindenmayer, Victor Yau, William Crabb, Derpvic, Seth Reeves and all my other Patrons.
The War of Snails – 10 Curious Facts About the German Peasants’ Revolt by leslutinsduphoenix.com • 15 February, • 0 Comments Germany’s Peasant Revolt of to was the largest and bloodiest popular uprising in Europe until the French Revolution of Peasants’ War, (–25) peasant uprising in Germany.
Inspired by changes brought by the Reformation, peasants in western and southern Germany invoked divine law to demand agrarian rights and freedom from oppression by nobles and landlords. As the uprising spread, some peasant groups organized armies. Peasants' War (–25) Rebellion of German peasants, probably the largest popular uprising in European history.
Sparked by anger against ever-increasing dues demanded by the princes, there was widespread pillaging in the countryside of s Germany.