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Thread: 1555 Peace treaty

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default 1555 Peace treaty

    What do you know about the "Augsburger Religionsfriede" (Augsburg Peace of Religions?) from 1555?

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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    The effect of the treaty was to establish official toleration for Lutherans in the Holy Roman Empire. According to the policy of cuius regio, eius religio ("he who rules, his religion", or "in the Princes land, the Princes religion"), the religion (Catholic or Lutheran) of a region's ruler determined the religion of its people. During a grace period, families could choose to move to a region where their faith was practiced.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_of_Augsburg
    The Religious Peace of Augsburg, 1555
    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Spar...ofAugsburg.htm
    Last edited by Templar Knight; 06-10-2005 at 15:57.

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    Member Member Petrus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus
    What do you know about the "Augsburger Religionsfriede" (Augsburg Peace of Religions?) from 1555?
    I don't remember very well, but in short, this treaty permited to lutherianism and some other non catholic christians sects from central europe to have a legal form of existence.

    It was issued from a negociation between the emperor, the german princes and the different religious hierarchies.

    It allowed the princes to choose between lutherianism and catholicism and to change religion as they wished it, but also to impose to their subjects the religion chosen by the prince.

    The free cityes had something that was much closer to the religious tolerance we know, as they did not have to be homogenous in their religion.

    Something very important is the part of the treaty that concerned monks and bishops.

    Beeing noble and land lords, those ones could chose to change religion but could not impose this to their subjects or to the other monks of their community.

    This was suppose to stabilize the situation and to prevent the land ownership movements and conflicts that occured when religious lords changed their minds.


    The lutherians gained a legal status with this peace, but remained unsatisfied because it caused a blockade for their futur expansion.

    For other protestant categories such as calvinists it did not bring anything, wich proved very problematic when this sect grew in size in central europe some times later.

    The catholics gained a protection for their share of market, but had to conceed much to the lutherians for this and found themselves blocked when counter-reform became effective.

    The princes gained a religious autonomy from the emperor, wich in return had a peaceful but potentialy very instable empire.

    The citizen gained the right to shut their mouth, obey and be alternatively heretic or torturer.

    All in one, it was an attempt to coexistence between different christian categories, but it proved to be inadapted and led to the thirty years war, the most terrible blood bath europe has ever known.


    Maybe there are incorrections in the preceding text but globaly i think it reflects the reality of this peace.

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    Robber Baron Member Brutus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrus
    I don't remember very well, but in short, this treaty permited to lutherianism and some other non catholic christians sects from central europe to have a legal form of existence.
    As far as I know, it only permitted Lutheranism alongside Catholicism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrus
    It allowed the princes to choose between lutherianism and catholicism and to change religion as they wished it,
    I'm not sure about this, but I believe this is not true. I thought that religious boundaries were meant to remain stable after 1555, so they wouldn't want princes (and consequently religions) changing religion again.

    Well, it's all in Templar Knight's link, so I've got nothing more to say on the peace itself, suffice to say it didn't last...

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    Member Member Petrus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus
    As far as I know, it only permitted Lutheranism alongside Catholicism.


    I'm not sure about this, but I believe this is not true. I thought that religious boundaries were meant to remain stable after 1555, so they wouldn't want princes (and consequently religions) changing religion again.

    Well, it's all in Templar Knight's link, so I've got nothing more to say on the peace itself, suffice to say it didn't last...
    There was another religion, something very specific to some central europe regions that were concerned i think.

    Or maybe those other sects were only concerned by the treaty that closed the thirty years war?

    I do not remember for the prince's status, but you are probably right, this correspond better to the objectives of the treaty, that were to gain a religious stability in the empire.

    Concerning the links, as long as they are not wikipedia, i think it is the best way to get reliable informations.

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default 1555 Peace treaty

    Thank you very much.

    Here is my interpretation (please feel free to correct)

    This peace tried to give the people the free choice at least between being Lutheran or Roman Catholic. And in tried to keep the counties homogeneous and make a balance in the empire. However the treaty could not prevent the 30years war, which was a desaster for Germany (Maybe even worse than WW2). In the end, however, the treaty was the fundament for the peace treaty after this war.

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    Member Member Petrus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus
    Thank you very much.

    Here is my interpretation (please feel free to correct)

    This peace tried to give the people the free choice at least between being Lutheran or Roman Catholic. And in tried to keep the counties homogeneous and make a balance in the empire. However the treaty could not prevent the 30years war, which was a desaster for Germany (Maybe even worse than WW2). In the end, however, the treaty was the fundament for the peace treaty after this war.
    Well, i'm not a specialist on this subject, but you can correct this, i think :

    The PRINCES were free to choose between catholicism and lutherianism.

    The people had to follow their prince's faith or to emmigrate.

    Maybe you shall add that the religious congregations that were very important land owners in the empire and whose leaders were noblesmen were also concerned, and that this had a great importance in the keeping of balance, even if this proved later to be one of the main reasons for the thirty years war.

    And the thirty years war was effectively the worse disaster in history for germany but also for the whole central europe.

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrus
    Well, i'm not a specialist on this subject, but you can correct this, i think :

    The PRINCES were free to choose between catholicism and lutherianism.

    The people had to follow their prince's faith or to emmigrate.

    Maybe you shall add that the religious congregations that were very important land owners in the empire and whose leaders were noblesmen were also concerned, and that this had a great importance in the keeping of balance, even if this proved later to be one of the main reasons for the thirty years war.

    And the thirty years war was effectively the worse disaster in history for germany but also for the whole central europe.
    Well in fact everyone had to right to go to a county where his confession was allowed. So it was somekind of free choice for everyone (=no one could be forced to believe the way he did not want to).

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    Robber Baron Member Brutus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus
    Well in fact everyone had to right to go to a county where his confession was allowed. So it was somekind of free choice for everyone (=no one could be forced to believe the way he did not want to).
    I'm afraid that is incorrect, of course, all free people were allowed to move (but how to take your house etc. with you), all others, mainly serfs, wouldn't have been allowed to move anyway and could therefore only choose the princes' religion. Also, how much freedom of choise do you have when only two possibilities are valid? Nothing was said about calvinism, anabaptism or any other sect. Many still died on the stake after 1555. The peace certainly wasn't intended as a "Free choice for all men". The idea would have horrified both Catholic and Lutheran rulers!
    Last edited by Brutus; 06-13-2005 at 13:48.

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    Member Member Petrus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    I agree with you Brutus, exept maybe for serfs, as i don't think this category of person still existed in europe at that date - but i may be wrong.

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    Robber Baron Member Brutus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrus
    I agree with you Brutus, exept maybe for serfs, as i don't think this category of person still existed in europe at that date - but i may be wrong.
    Actually the number of serfs had indeed very much declined after the catastrophies of the Black Death in the 14th century. However, in some regions of Europe, mainly east of the Elbe, from the 16th century onward many people were reduced to serfdom once again. This for example explains the great power of the Prussian 'Junkers' during later ages.

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    Member Member Petrus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus
    Actually the number of serfs had indeed very much declined after the catastrophies of the Black Death in the 14th century. However, in some regions of Europe, mainly east of the Elbe, from the 16th century onward many people were reduced to serfdom once again. This for example explains the great power of the Prussian 'Junkers' during later ages.
    Thank you for this information Brutus.

    By the way i found the name i was looking for, although i am not sure of it's spelling in english or german : the sect i was speaking about was the hussits, or unity of brothers, it was mainly present in bohemia i think.

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus
    I'm afraid that is incorrect, of course, all free people were allowed to move (but how to take your house etc. with you), all others, mainly serfs, wouldn't have been allowed to move anyway and could therefore only choose the princes' religion. Also, how much freedom of choise do you have when only two possibilities are valid? Nothing was said about calvinism, anabaptism or any other sect. Many still died on the stake after 1555. The peace certainly wasn't intended as a "Free choice for all men". The idea would have horrified both Catholic and Lutheran rulers!
    I do not agree. You should not measure with a modern scale. Allowing people to move and leave the county without the permission of their master was extraordinaire. And the freedom to select between two religions is something else than being tortured until you are proselytised or dead.
    And by the way most people did not know more then the two religions!

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    Robber Baron Member Brutus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus
    I do not agree. You should not measure with a modern scale. Allowing people to move and leave the county without the permission of their master was extraordinaire. And the freedom to select between two religions is something else than being tortured until you are proselytised or dead.
    And by the way most people did not know more then the two religions!
    Personally I still think many couldn't leave their county without permission. For the others, already in the Middle Ages there was a long tradition of people leaving their count(r)ies and going somewhere else if it was good for trade, for example. Of course these would mostly have been people from cities.
    However I do agree that a choice between two things is probably better then no choice at all, I do think many of them knew other religions. (Of course, many of the peasants wouldn't have been aware of most of the finer differences between Catholicism, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Zwinglianism, Anabaptism, etc.) During most of the 16th century, the German towns and countryside was rampant with preachers of all kinds of religions (a tradition dating back to the later Middle Ages, when preaching and personal devotion became more and more important). For example, the Peasants' War of 1524-'25 was instigated by religiously and socially dissatisfied peasants who had some idea of their different religion (even though even Luther denounced the movement), and many regions, especially Ost-Friesland and the Tirol, were rampant with Anabaptists who were hated by all others. Some princes changed their religion several times before the Peace of 1555, whilst others, having a nominal religion, let in preachers of all denominations. So it seems unlikely to me the people didn't know more then two religions. They weren't as ignorant as we nowadays like to think.

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    You can call me ignorant but I do not know more than two religions in detail. Do you really think that normal people knew the differences between Lutherans, Calvinism and Huguenots, for example.

    I think there were a lot of charismatic preachers in the land. And each one of them had his area to convert to his religion. I know that Martin Luther preached at Augsburg and the big part of the population converted. The hinterland kept cathlic.

    I still think that the treaty was a big step because it was the first arrangement between different religions. Not perfect and only between 2 factions and only for a few years. But it was a start.

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    Crusading historian Member cegorach's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    I still think that the treaty was a big step because it was the first arrangement between different religions. Not perfect and only between 2 factions and only for a few years. But it was a start. [/QUOTE]


    NOPE. IN Poland it was achieved quicker and bloodlessly - there were two major events:

    Ugoda Sandomierska ( Sandomierz agreement) which was signed in the 50s between all major protestant religions of the country and finally

    Warsaw Confederation of 1573 - which was the first real act of religious tolerance in post-Reformation Europe.

    IN fact it was signed because a large part of the citizens were worried that a newly elected king could try to impose intolerance in the country where tolerance existed for many years before.

    There was even a more extreme example of this attitiude. When Henri de Valois ( the one who was killing Hugenots during this famous Paris massacre )was elected the king of Poland he tried to avoid promising that he will accept the tolerance of religions in Poland-Lithuania. When he tried to do this one of the members of the polish delegation came to him and said loudly 'if you won't promise you will NEVER be the king' - imagine it was in PARIS anly few months after the carnage and in the middle of religious wars !

    THe Warsaw Confederation was an incredible success and it was used to the end of the 1st Polish Republic so provided the religious freedom to the largest territory in Europe at that time.

    The treaty of 1555 was a very modest agreement when you compare it to the event in Poland.

    Regards Cegorach

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    Did not know that. Very interesting!

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    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1555 Peace treaty

    I think better word to suscribe those two religious "camps",would be Catholics and Protestants.
    Ja Mata Tosainu Sama.

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