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Mārtuža, Eva Luters un Vācijas Zemnieku karš. [Preprint] (Submitted)

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Abstract

MARTIN LUTHER AND GERMAN PEASANT’S WAR (1524.–1526.)
Lutheran biographers treated the events of the German peasant’s war (der Deutsche Bauernkrieg) quite briefly, affirming Luther’s rejection of the disorder incited by peasant leaders, particularly by Thomas Müntzer. Peter Blicle offered extensive description of peasant rebellions and the sedition of common people in the towns in several areas and criticized Luther both for stirring up the revolt and for his harsh words against the peasantry. Other Roman Catholic foes quickly joined Cochlaeus in blaming Luther for the German peasant’s war, charging that his treatise, The Freedom of the Christian, and others of his writings, had aroused the peasants to fight for their freedom, and at the same time they claimed that the Revolt spelled the end of the popular support which Luther’s Reformation had initially won.
League forces it was a war to defend property, the greater social order & culture, and also a secondary rebellion, between disaffected lower nobles and knights, many of whom were or who were at one time employed as landsknecht mercenaries, professional, well armed and trained soldiers from within and outside Austro-German provinces. Rather ironically the title of the Peasants War or Peasants Rebellion is somewhat misleading because many of the enemy rebel forces were laborers, artisans, or lower gentry. Many of the fighting men on both were outlaw knights, mercenaries and former soldiers from Switzerland and the other German kingdoms. The infrequent regional or national makeup of the rebels was most evident especially in the ever-lacking leadership of the Peasants movement itself.
One of the early participants in the rebellion which opened up the conflict into a larger war was the disinherited Duke Ulrich of Württemberg, fighting with the help of peasant levies and with distraction of the Swabian League reeling from peasant risings throughout the kingdom. Many of these men certainly had no affiliation with the Peasants movement and though they tolerated, though most certainly disagreed and personally despised those of lower social class. Of the most important leaders was a man essentially thrust into a military role without any previous experience, the radical theologian and reformer Thomas Müntzer (b.1488-1525).
However the influence of the peasantry and the oppressed serf classes on the overall conflict cannot be overlooked, as highlighted by the many 1930's-1980’s contemporary, and more recent histories & narratives, from Frederick Engels 1850, The Peasant War in Germany, to modern socio-religious and military studies of the conflict, which examine the conflict through alternative viewpoints.
The Peasants War is notable and perhaps today infamous because of religious implications behind much of the conflict. Indeed much of religious teachings bordered on the occult, touting apocalyptic visions in the name of the Protestant reformation. These were essentially radicalist ideologies which in-turn spawned a massive militia and peasants upheaval in Renaissance Germany and Austria during the period. Besides the important religious reformation and societal radicalism of the individual religious leaders during the rebellion, the peasant combatants of this period also tried to enforce idealized Laws of War predating modern codes enforced by the United Nations and other institutions today by centuries.

Item Type:Preprint
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions:University of Latvia > F5 Faculty of Theology
ID Code:385
Deposited By:Eva Mārtuža
Deposited On:05 May 2019 11:16
Last Modified:05 May 2019 11:16

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