Germany History – The Reform Part III

Germany History – The Reform Part III

Luther can preach undisturbed in Leipzig, Butzer in Bonn, under the indulgent eyes of the archbishop of Cologne. The needs of the international situation forced the emperor and pope to be compliant: conferences of theologians of the two sides were allowed, in Worms, in Regensburg (1540-41) who reached an agreement on half a dozen articles: Charles V showed himself to be very conciliatory, who in Regensburg (1541) gave the representatives of the Protestant states the secret promise not to demand the restoration of the ancient state of affairs. But the promise did not fully reassure: it was a solution that the emperor must necessarily consider provisional. However, many of the Lutherans lulled themselves into the illusion that the provisional could certainly become definitive. It was fate that, at this moment, the Protestant states could not count on man, who alone had the aptitudes of a leader: Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, enveloped in an absurd family affair, accused of bigamy by his own co-religions, left attract the elector of Brandenburg into the orbit of Charles V, and with him aspired to imperial favor, and the young Maurice of Saxony, a Protestant, but heir to the ancestral hatred of his home against the consanguineous branch of electoral Saxony. At the suggestion of Granvelle, Charles V gave him the hope of hereditary electoral dignity, to be taken away from the rival Ernestine line. Meanwhile, the smalcaldic league remained inert, or was weakening in internal guerrillas: the two Saxons in dispute over certain bishoprics, Hesse and Saxony electoral against Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. The emperor was now well determined to resolve the German religious question with a clear cut, where the theologians’ discussions ended in nothing. Covered preparations and tastings: in Speyer (1544) he had means and troops guaranteed against France and was amassed by Spanish and Italian militias; defeats the Lutheran Duke of Cleve and restores Catholicism; allies himself with the Duke of Bavaria (1546). The smalcaldic league does not move or moves timidly: it occupies and then clears the locks of Ehrenberg, towards the Tyrol, skirmish on the upper Danube. Luther dies. Maurice of Saxony, sure of the promised electoral dignity, breaks the hesitation, enters electoral Saxony, towards which the emperor comes from the south. The day of Mühlberg (April 24, 1547), rather than battle, extermination of a fleeing army, decided on the war: the hernestine elector of Saxony, Giovanni Federico, fell and remained a prisoner for years, he lost the electorate and his children, with the title of dukes, he was able to give only little land, between Coburg and Weimar. All states bowed to imperial power: the cities paid heavy taxes, the Duke of Württemberg humbled himself to ask for forgiveness, the Archbishop of Cologne, now openly Lutheran, was deposed and replaced, the Landgrave of Hesse, compromised in the eyes of all, found no forgiveness, although Maurice of Saxony interceded for him: he was dismissed and held prisoner. Alone, the city of Magdeburg, closed in its proud evangelical faith, did not bend or open its doors to the victorious Caesar. Who then, spoiled with Pope Paul III for the question of the council, delayed in the Augusta diet (1548) and granted the so-called interim, up to the decision of the council (see augusta). But the interim was not lucky either among Catholics or Protestants; the popular conscience, exacerbated by a furious agitation based on pamphlets, satires, poems, to which some hint of national pride was not foreign, as in the beautiful Klag und Bitt eines sächsischen Mägdeleins, was hostile to the interim ; the group of learned “Centuriators of Magdeburg” was very hostile.

According to YOUREMAILVERIFIER, the Protestant princes did not remain insensitive to this wave of popular sentiment and tried to channel it, for their own benefit, reaffirming the need for a definitive solution to the religious question, to which the princes were called in the fullness of their “liberties”, apart from the deliberations of the Council of Trent which they, absent, could not accept. And the “freedom of princes” was, in fact, the watchword, in which the Protestant princes united in Torgau (1551): promoter Maurice of Saxony, who had to be forgiven much by his co-religionists; adherents, among others, the Duke of Prussia and William Landgrave of Hesse, son of the prisoner Philip, and Alberto Alcibiades, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, who soon, however, became, due to his robberies at the expense of bishops and abbots, I suspect the Confederates themselves of being an agent provocateur. The king of France, who promised financial aid, also posed as a defender libertatis germanicaeand in the meantime occupied, as vicar of the Empire, Metz, Toul and Verdun, imperial cities.

Charles V, too sure of his first success, found himself helpless, with few troops, distant and dispersed, in the face of the insurrection of the princes: after the hasty flight to Carinthia, negotiations began in Linz and Passau (1552). The captive princes are released: the decision postponed to a diet, no longer to the council. It is the victory of the states; the emperor, persuaded of the vanity of his efforts, but resolved not to declare himself formally defeated, let his brother continue the negotiations: not in the name of the imperial majesty, because Charles V, like the papacy, now in vacant seat, he will not put his signature at the bottom of the peace of Augusta (25 September 1555; see augusta). This was, despite the seeds of future struggles it contained, the solution that the states desired and which, at that moment, corresponded to the real situation. By now, there were few states of dubious religious color: the two confessions were equal in number of adherents. Only the voting system in diets and in the constituency of electors allowed Catholics to have a slight majority. These were the king and (the year after) emperor Ferdinand, the dukes of Bavaria, Cleve, Wolfenbüttel, the bishops (minus the secularized); the Protestants included the three secular electoral princes, the Ernestini of Saxony, Hesse, the cadet lines of the Palatinate and Brandenburg, Württemberg, the main imperial cities. The latter, alone, had true religious freedom, whereas in other states, this freedom was limited to the territorial lord although a declaration, in addition to peace, guaranteed the protection of the empire to knights and Protestant cities dependent on bishops. The Calvinists were excluded from the peace.

Germany History - The Reform 3

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