GR, Part B History Revision
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Luther's problems with the indulgences and the papal abuses developed. How?
- Developed into a more radical programme.
- Papal abuses and clerical misconduct reflected one of the fundamental problems with the Church - Luther quickly realised that papal authority would have to be rejected.
- Frustration with clerical corruption similarly also developed into an attack on the sacramental system and priestly power that it represented.
- Only source of authority, with which Luther defended himself against Eck and Cajetan, was the Bible.
Pope Leo X wanted Luther to be questioned in Rome, but this did not happen due to what?
- Frederick the Wise's intervention
- Good example of how Frederick protected/cared for Luther.
What did Johannes Eck manage to do in the Leipzig Disputation of 1519?
- Eck managed to force Luther to admit that he shared similar views to Jan Hus, who had been condemned for his view and burnt in 1415 at Council of Constance.
- This associated Luther with herecy.
- Thus it was a technical victory for Eck, but Luther developed a reputation of an inspirational revolutionary.
Luther was condemned a heretic in the Leipzig Disputation, but what did the Papacy fail to do?
Could not arrest him as a heretic, as this relied on the cooporation of the secular authorities - failure of Church to secure Luther's arrest highlighted their powerlessness.
How did the religious authorities try to deal with Luther at the very beginning?
- Luther was called in front of the leading figures of the Augustinian Order at meeting in Heidelberg - Luther did not give way on his opinions about indulgences.
- Religious authorities sought to deal with Luther "internally".
How did the debates contribute to the development of Luther's challenge?
- The fact that Luther was given a platform in the first place (at Heidelberg, Augsburg, Leipzig) provided him with the crucial opportunity.
- His performances in these debates illustrated his resilience and talent as an orator and a theologian.
- Particularly impressive given the standing of his formidable opponents (eg. Cardinal Cajetan - leading clerics in Church; Eck - one of the foremost theologians in German lands).
- Debates highlighted failure of Catholic authorities to deal effectively with Luther.
Why was it hard in practice for Rome to deal with Luther?
- Because there was a considerable distance between Rome and German lands.
- Exacerbated by the fact that there were growing "national" anti-Roman sentiments partly because of their financial exploitation.
What was the papal bull that was published called? When was it published and what did it say?
- Exsurge Domine - June 1520.
- Gave Luther the choice of either recanting his views or being excommunicated.
What did Luther do in response to receiving the papal bull?
- Publicly burned the bull, emphatically rejecting it.
- Called Pope the anti-Christ.
What were central to Luther's survival at this early stage after Luther was excommunicated?
- The excommunication was not given proper political backing.
- Largely due to Frederick the Wise's support.
- + powerlessness of the Habsburg Emperors to enforce any imperial ban on Luther.
When Luther realised that the Church was not going to address the problems within the Church with sincerity, what was he encouraged to do?
Encouraged him to develop a more radical and mature theological programme.
The _______ ______ of the Holy Roman Empire _____ that Charles V's political relations with his German _____ were _____ ____ from the outset.
- fragmented nature of the HRE ensured
- German subjects were hardly secure from the outset.
Why did many German princes want to undermine the Emperor's power and influence? What did they see in Luther's revolt?
- Because they feared that an increase in the Emperor's power may undermine their political autonomy in their states.
- They saw in Luther's revolt an opportunity to undermine and weaken the Emperor's power and influence.
How did German "nationalism" contribute to the survival of Luther's ideas?
- The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were characterised by a developing sense of German identity.
- Tended to be aggressively xenophobic to the Italians, French, and especially the Papacy.
- Many scholars (eg. Celtis) of the time produced work that were nationalist.
- Nationalism directed against Emperors, especially given that the Habsburgs considered the interests and integrity of the German lands to be secondary to the idea of Empire.
What was the Imperial Diet?
- An assembly from which the Emperor needed consent form, in order to rule.
- Divided up between seven electors, spiritual and secular rulers, and free imperial cities.
Despite the prestige attached to the position of Holy Roman Emperor, why were their powers quite limited?
- Because of the fragmented nature of the HRE.
- Was composed of disparate powers (ranging from princely territories, small duchies and imperial cities) with contrasting interests with the Emperor - political framework with tensions underlying it.
Why were the nobility the most powerful group within the Empire?
- Because the Emperor traditionally granted away territory and independent rights to rule to princes.
- This power accumulated - giving rise to powerful lords/nobles.
Why did Frederick the Wise become even more influential after the death of Maximilian I (1519)? Why was this important?
- As one of the most powerful of the 7 electors, much depended on Frederick's vote for deciding the next Emperor.
- This made Charles less determined in his actions against Luther, especially in the initial stages of Luther's revolt.
- Made Pope Leo X also less determined during the vote, as he wanted Frederick to not vote for Charles.
Give examples of how Frederick saved Luther and ensured the survival of the Reformation.
- Blocked Luther's extradition to Rome in 1518 and insisted he gain a fair hearing in Germany (Augsburg & Leipzig)
- Frederick's protection was arguably the reason why Luther was not dispatched to Rome after being excommunicated by the Pope in 1520.
- Frederick secured effective safe-conduct for Luther when attending the Diet of Worms. (Unlike Jan Hus).
- Immediately after the Diet of Worms, Luther was "kidnapped" on Frederick's orders and taken to Wartburg castle for his safety. - Arguably saving the progress of the Reformation.
List some of the hereditary lands Charles/Habsburgs possessed?
- Austrian hereditary lands
- Castile and Aragon (Spain) + New World + Sardina, Sicily and Naples.
- Burgundian lands
- Bohemian and Hungarian lands (under threat by the Turks)
- Largest empire in Europe by far - made it very difficult for them to control their possessions.
Why did Charles find it hard to rule his lands effectively? (and for Maximilian)
- Because the sheer size of his possessions meant that his resources were easily overstretched and forced the Emperor to prioritise.
- Even though as HRE, he was supposed to be the main defenders of the unity of Christendom, he often had to compromise over the Luther affair, because of threats to his dynasty posed by the French and the Turks.
What word can we use to describe Maximilian's unwillingness to change/tamper with the Luther situation prior to the imperial election?
- (Maximilan's inertia towards Luther affair)
Why was it fortunate for Luther that Maximilian was unwilling to dictate to Frederick prior to the imperial election?
Because during these crucial years (1517-1519) Luther's academic theses were allowed to develop into a very public and widely known manifesto.
What other reason is there for Maxilian's inertia towards the Luther affair?
- He underestimated the threat posed by Luther. Luther seemed to be just another heretic (like Jan Hus in the 15th century) who would eventually be condemned by the religious authorities.
- His predominant concern was dynastic - eg. securing imperial succession for the Habsburg family.
Why was Charles particularly unwilling to pressurize Frederick into handing over Luther?
- He was indebted to Frederick for his imperial vote.
- He did not have full political control of the HRE. - Without proper standing army, he was dependent on the princes for financial and military support (don't forget Habsburgs owed a lot of money to the Fuggers - German banking family). Not only for the administration of the Empire, but also its protection against foreign invadors (eg. Turks). - He needed the support of princes like Frederick.
Give one example of how Charles did not take advantage of situations to capture Luther.
- During imperial Diet of Worms, Charles refused to permit immediate arrest of Luther.
- Charles failed to take advantage of (arguably) the only and final opportunity he ever had to seize Luther.
Charles' lack of control of the Empire meant...
- that he was unable to enforce the Edict of Worms.
- A factor constantly revisited by his personal absence in Germany during critical decades of the 1520's and parts of the 30's.
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