GR, Part C, History Revision
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What are the two types of cities?
- Territorial cities - community was subject to manipulation of local lord.
- Free imperial cities - no intermediate overlord, derived rights directly from Emperor, and city councils/government had great authority.
Why did/was urban Reformation succeed/ significant?
- Idea of a sacral community - flexible to change and open to reformation - was an important precondition for success of urban Reformation.
- Urban culture unique because it represented such a variety of different social groups.
- Collective action of urban laity and strength of group dynamics.
Why were cities more receptive to the Reformation message?
Because they contained a more literate population (10-30%) well above "national" average of 5%.
Why was the Reformation message transmitted/distributed so effectively in cities?
- Possessed schools and universities which facilitated transmission of more intricate ideas.
- Contained a denser population - accelerated distribution of ideas.
- Emergence of numerous printing centres (by 1500, 60 cities had printing centres in HRE)
- Movements of German & Christian humanism, which existed in the cities, nurtured an educated and stern resistance to Rome. + anticlerical feeling was well established in cities, which Luther's movement easily harnessed.
- Preaching was a crucial medium for communication of Lutheran ideas in cities - there were established preacherships, and leading preachers.
- Cities lying on trade routes would receive Lutheran message via the merchant classes.
- Large and small catechisms produced by Luther in 1529 & hymns.
Luther and his ideas appealed to German "nationalism" of the time. How?
- Luther's use/adoption of German language as main instrument for his revolt against Church. Reformation came to be seen increasing in cultural/nationalist terms. (highlighted by campaign against indulgences which were funding for the building of St. Peter's in Rome)
- Message especially well-received by Ulrich von Hutten and imperial knights.
- Important because minority of Germans could fully understand the intricacies of Luther's agenda. Opposition to Rome was more appealing and accessible when placed within a "nationalist" context than as part of a complicated theological controversy.
Give some examples of how trading interests played a large part in cities' decisions for adopting reform or not.
Augsburg - reformation not suppressed because that would have endangered city's economic interests.
Give one example of a religious decision in a city which was heavily influenced by trade guilds/artisans.
Basel - where over 12 guilds pressurized the town council into adopting the Reformation.
What dilemma did cities face when deciding whether to adopt Lutheranism or not.
- Approval of the Reformation movement was in essence, a form of rebellion against the Emperor, yet refusing to compromise with the commune could be political suicide.
- The power of the commune on religious decisions of the towns, therefore, where significant.
That said, the fate of the Reformation often came down to broader political relations. Give example.
Rottweil was an imperial city which decided in favour of Catholicism - town's neighbours were strong Catholics (eg. Ferdinand).
Why was urban reformation also a magisterial reformation?
- Because every religious settlement was brought about and secured by intervention of secular authorities in the name of order.
- It came down to which decision was the best for supporting a well-ordered oligarchical rule (rule by few).
Cities embracing reform depended on princely reformation. Why?
Only place of safety for evangelical cities was the Schmalkaldic League.
What were the socio-economic grievances of the peasantry in the rural areas? Why?
- Due to pressures of population growth and price inflation - rural economy greatly undermined in early 16th C.
- Landowners placed economic pressures such as devising new taxes and restricting inheritance. - agrarian crisis
- As a result, localised peasant rebellions became increasingly common in 15thC.
Socio-economic grievances provoked by this agrarian crisis only required a spark/impetus to cause a major rebellion. What did Luther's Reformation provide?
- Luther's Reformation became a vehicle for this rebellion - which provided the "common man" with a basis of action.
- Allowed long-held grievances against clerical levies/abuses to achieve much greater focus and cohesion.
Why did the Reformation become a vehicle for the peasants to show their grievances/ start a rebellion?
- Many wrongly believed that the evangelical message provided a justification for trasforming the social and economic norms of rural society.
- 12 Articles of Memmingen show how Scripture was used as political ideology, and that peasant manifestos were characterised by mixture of socio-economic and religious grievances.
- Lutheranism enjoyed success in rural areas because it was exploited to meet socio-economic grievances.
What evidence is there to suggest that there was already pre-Reformation developments in princely states before 1517?
- In some secular territories, it is possible to speak of a princely Reformation before the sixteenth century. eg. Duke Eberhard the Bearded oversaw religious reform in Wurttemberg well before 1517.
- Well before the advent of the Reformation, many princes had great autonomy and were behaving like popes in their lands.
- Princes were drawing together lands, making alliances with bishops (they were eclipsed as weaker partners) and thus long term process of state formation had weakened the autonomy and strength of Catholic Church.
Luther called on the princes to direct the reform of the Church in which pamphlet? What did he believe the roles of the princes were?
- Address to the Christian nobility of the German nation.
- Luther's idea of Two Kingdoms suggested that secular rule was ordained by God - princes had a God-given duty to reform and protect the Church.
Why was securing the support of the princes crucial for the survival of the Reformation?
Because the Reformation would not have survived without the security of an institutional framework, in the face of the Papacy and the HRE.
What were the main 3 reactions of authorities to Luther's early revolt?
- A strong, conservative, anti-Lutheran response (most determined and active during this stage)
- Pro-evangelical response
- Majority were neutral and non-committed.
With the exception of ______ ___ _____, princely support for the Reformation was ______ to develop,
Give an example of an anti-Lutheran prince who was determined and active from the early stages of Luther's revolt?
Duke George of Saxony - outlawed evangelical publications.
Why were a lot of princes hesitant and neutral during this early stage of Luther's revolt?
- Because as a group stood to lose more from a reform of the Church than any other social class - since church offices provided one of their major forms of family income.
- Very few offered active public support for the movement before 1526 partly because supporting Lutheranism represented a dangerous political prospect.
Why was there a lack of solution to the religious question on behalf of the imperial/papal authorities?
- Imperial Diets failed to secure solution
- Many princes demanded for a national Church council to resolve this issue, but the Emperor and the Pope did not support this.
- Lutherans refused councils arbitrated by the Pope.
And why was this lack of solution important for Lutheranism?
- Because a pending Church council meant Lutheranism was given valuable time to develop and take root in the German cities.
- While waiting for a decision by the imperial authority, princes were pressed from below by the strength of popular interest, and thus neutral princes gave in to certain basic demands of the movement.
The key princes who showed support for the Reformation in the early years were:
- John of Saxony
- Philip of Hesse
- Albrecht of Hohenzollern
- Princes of Mansfeld and Anhalt
In which pamphlet did Luther especially and deliberately target the princes for initiating Reform in Germany?
Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation.
Outline the political reasons why German princes supported Lutheranism?
- Anti-Roman stance was appealing to many nobles and their subjects - since Papacy was representative of a foreign (even interfering) influence in German lands.
- Many princes saw Luther's movement as a means of weakening the Emperor and asserting their independence (power struggle between princes and Emperor - fragmented nature of Empire).
- Charles V's success against Luther would only serve to strengthen his control and authority, thereby potentially threatening their territorial supremacy. - They sought greater freedom from Habsburg authority.
Give one example of a prince who turned Lutheran, and one Catholic prince who had Lutheran sympathies because of these political reasons.
- Philip of Hesse - was in conflict with Charles V over inheritance dispute involving lucrative Rhineland counties. This enmity fuelled religious disputes between them.
- Catholic princes like the Bavarian Wittelsbachs were willing to make alliances with Lutheran princes.
Outline the economic reasons why princes supported Lutheranism.
- Princes saw the material benefits of joining Reformation, which presented opportunity to increase their wealth.
- Primarily due to secularisation of Church property
- and receipt of Church taxes.
Give an example of a prince who supported Lutheranism because of these economic benefits.
Albrecht of Hehenzollern
Outline the social reasons why princes turned Lutheran and give one example of a prince who did.
- Some had no alternative and were forced to adopt Lutheranism due to popular pressure.
- eg. Archbishop of Mainz
Finally, there were princes who supported Lutheranism because of religious reasons. Outline and example.
- Some converted out of a sincere religious conviction.
- eg. John Frederick, and Philip of Hesse
- (Important to note that princes supported Lutheranism for a variety/combination of reasons).
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