The German Peasants’ Revolts were a series of

The German Peasants’ Revolts were a series of revolts lasting from 1524-1526. Peasants began revolting throughout German states, and many factions were formed. Some groups met in the town of Memmingen, Swabia, and they formed a Peasant Parliament in order to voice their concerns with the things they disagreed with. They did this through the creation of the Twelve Articles of the Swabian Peasants. The revolts were caused by religious teachings which had been spread through Lutheranism and the abuse of peasants by the nobility. Ultimately, this resulted in many people either choosing to support or condemn the peasants for their actions.The ideas spread by the Martin Luther after he published his 95 Theses were strongly connected to the rise in revolts among peasants. The Protestant Reformation had just begun, and the rise of Lutheranism was particularly noticeable. Leonhard von Eck, the Chancellor of Bavaria, in his report to the Duke Ludwig of Bavaria (Document 3) states that the largest cause of the revolts was Luther’s teachings. However, the reliability of this document can be questionable considering his status as Chancellor of Bavaria, a primarily Catholic region of Germany. From this viewpoint, one would likely assume that the Chancellor is a Catholic, and he would be more likely to link two events which he considered negative. However, while von Eck could be considered partial and biased, there is even further evidence to support the claim that Luther’s teachings and the rise of revolts are connected. Martin Luther spoke of the priesthood of all believers. This is the same as saying that all people have some level of equality in all aspects of life, as indicated by Document 5. Further radical thinkers and theologians such as Thomas Munzer also played a significant role in the revolts. Document 7 show the ideas of Munzer as it relates to reformation. In this document, he actively calls on the peasants to destroy the towers of the princes and lords. This would clearly incite violence and lead to many revolts against nobles, especially considering that he claimed it was God’s will.Additionally, abuse and oppression inflicted by the nobility on the peasantry was another significant reason for the revolt. Abuse of the serfs was a characteristic of the feudal system, and it was clear that lords were forcing services upon serfs without just compensation for their labor (Document 6). This infraction was highly likely to bring more revolts due to their being no pay for their work.Next, revolts were sometimes met with support from the citizens of various towns. Many times, the townspeople were supportive of the rebelling peasants, as they would also have been impoverished themselves. The nobility’s response to these peasant revolts is best represented, in the positive sense, by Henneberg’s letter to Duke Albert of Prussia (Document 4). This document is based upon the fact that some members originally did not support or oppose the revolution. The peasantry had originally been attacking priests and monks, looting and destroying monasteries. Following this, indifference became fear as the nobility became worried the revolts would spread to affect them, their wealth, and their possessions. Further,

BACK TO TOP
x

Hi!
I'm Nicholas!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out