The Italian Wars referred to as the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of Renaissance conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved most of the Italian states as well as France, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain and the Ottoman Empire. An Italic League that ensured peace in the peninsula for 50 years had collapsed in 1492 with the death of Lorenzo De Medici, key figure of the bloc and ruler of Florence. In 1494, Charles VIII of France invaded the Italian Peninsula and occupied the Kingdom of Naples on the ground of a dynastic claim. However, he was forced to leave the occupied territories after a northern Italian alliance won a tactical victory against him at the Battle of Fornovo. In an attempt to avoid the mistakes of his predecessor, Louis XII annexed the Duchy of Milan in the north of Italy and signed an agreement with Ferdinand of Aragon to share the Kingdom of Naples. Ferdinand of Aragon turned on Louis XII and expelled French forces from the South after the battles of Cerignola and Garigliano.
After a series of alliances and betrayals, the Papacy decided to side against French control of Milan and supported Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and heir of Aragon territories in Italy. Following the battles of Bicocca and Pavia, France lost its control of Milan to the Habsburgs. However, mutinous German Protestant troops of Charles V sacked Rome in 1527: this event was a turning point in the development of the European Wars of Religion and caused Charles V to focus on the growth of Protestantism in the Holy Roman Empire. King Henry II of France took advantage of the situation and tried to establish supremacy in Italy by invading Corsica and Tuscany. However, his conquest of Corsica was reversed by the Genoese admiral Andrea Doria and his troops in Tuscany were defeated at the Battle of Scannagallo by the Florentines and the Imperials. With the abdication of Charles V, Philip II of Spain inherited the Italian possessions; the last significant confrontation, the Battle of St Quentin, was won by Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy for the Spanish and international forces: this led the restoration of the French-occupied Piedmont to the House of Savoy.
In 1559, the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis was signed. The political map of Italy was affected by the end of the wars: Naples and Milan had been confirmed to remain under Spanish control. In a jousting tournament held to celebrate the peace treaty, Henry II of France was killed by a lance: the instability that followed his death led to the French Wars of Religion. Following the Wars in Lombardy between Venice and Milan, which ended in 1454, Northern Italy had been at peace during the reigns of Cosimo de' Medici and Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence, with the notable exception of the War of Ferrara in 1482–1484. Charles VIII of France improved relations with other European rulers in the run up to the First Italian War by negotiating a series of treaties: in 1493, France negotiated the Treaty of Senlis with the Holy Roman Empire. Ludovico Sforza of Milan, seeking an ally against the Republic of Venice, encouraged Charles VIII of France to invade Italy, using the Angevin claim to the throne of Naples as a pretext.
When Ferdinand I of Naples died in 1494, Charles VIII invaded the peninsula with a French Army of twenty-five thousand men hoping to use Naples as a base for a crusade against the Ottoman Turks. For several months, French forces moved through Italy unopposed, since the condottieri armies of the Italian city-states were unable to resist them. Charles VIII made triumphant entries into Pisa on November 8, 1494, Florence on November 17, 1494, Rome on December 31, 1494. Upon reaching the city of Monte San Giovanni in the Kingdom of Naples, Charles VIII sent envoys to the town and the castle located there to seek a surrender of the Neapolitan garrison; the garrison mutilated the envoys and sent the bodies back to the French lines. This enraged the French army so that they reduced the castle in the town with blistering artillery fire on February 9, 1495 and stormed the fort, killing everyone inside; this event was called the sack of Naples. News of the French Army's sack of Naples provoked a reaction among the city-states of Northern Italy and the League of Venice was formed on March 31, 1495.
The League was formed to resist French aggression. The League was established on 31 March after negotiations by Venice, Milan and the Holy Roman Empire. On the League consisted of the Holy Roman Empire, the Duchy of Milan, the Papal States, the Republic of Florence, the Duchy of Mantua and the Republic of Venice; this coalition cut Charles' army off from returning to France. After establishing a pro-French government in Naples, Charles started to march north on his return to France. However, in the small town of Fornovo he met the League army; the Battle of Fornovo was fought on July 6, 1495, after an hour the League's army was forced back across the Taro river while the French continued marching to Asti, leaving their carriages and provisions behind. Francesco Guicciardini wrote that both parties strove to present themselves as the victors in that battle, but the eventual consensus was for a French victory, because the French repelled their enemies across the river and succeeded in moving forward, the
Roman Catholic Diocese of Toul
The Diocese of Toul was a Roman Catholic diocese seated at Toul in present-day France. It existed from 365 until 1824. From 1048 until 1552, it was a state of the Holy Roman Empire; the diocese was located at the western edge of the Holy Roman Empire. It was annexed to France by King Henry II in 1552, and, recognized by the Holy Roman Empire in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, it was part of the province of the Three Bishoprics. After the Duchy of Lorraine became part of France in the 18th century, the Diocese of Toul was merged with the Diocese of Nancy into the Diocese of Nancy-Toul; the Diocese of Toul belonged to the ecclesiastical province of the Archbishop of Trier. Mansuetus 338–375, first bishop Amon c. 400? Alchas c. 423? Gelsimus c. 455? Auspicius c. 478? Ursus around 490 Aprus 500–507 Aladius 508–525? Trifsorich 525–532 Dulcitius 532?–549 Alodius c. 549 Premon Antimund Eudolius c. 602 Theofred 640–653 Bodo of Toul c. 660 Eborinus around 664 Leudinus 667?–669 Adeotatus 679–680 Ermentheus c. 690?
Magnald c. 695? Dodo c. 705 Griboald 706–739? Godo 739?–756 Jakob 756–767 Borno 775–794 Wannich 794?–813 Frotar 814–846 Arnulf 847–871 Arnald 872–894 Ludhelm 895–905 Drogo 907–922 Gosselin 922–962 Gerard I 963–994 Stephen 994–995 Robert 995–996 Berthold 996–1019 Herman 1020–1026 Bruno Egisheim-Dagsburg † Sede Vacant 1049-1051 Odo 1052–1069 Poppo 1070–1107 Richwin of Commercy 1108–1126 Heinrich I von Lothringen 1127-1167 Peter of Brixey 1168–1192 Odo of Vaudemont 1192–1197 Matthias of Lorraine 1197–1206, † 1217 Reinald of Chantilly 1210–1217 Gerard II of Vaudemont 1218–1219 Odo II of Sorcy 1219–1228 Garin 1228–1230 Roger of Marcey 1231–1251 Giles of Sorcy 1253–1271 Conrad II of Tübingen 1272–1296 John I of Sierck 1296–1305 Vito Venosa 1305–1306 Odo III of Grançon 1306–1308 Giacomo Ottone Colonna 1308–1309 John II of Arzillières 1309–1320 Amatus of Geneva 1320–1330 Thomas of Bourlemont 1330–1353 Bertram de la Tour 1353–1361 Pietro di la Barreria 1361–1363 John III of Hoya 1363–1372 John IV of Neufchatel 1373–1384, † 1398 Savin de Floxence 1384–1398 Philip II de la Ville-sur-Illon 1399–1409 Henry II de la Ville-sur-Illom 1409–1436 Louis de Haraucourt 1437–1449 William Fillatre 1449–1460 John V de Chevrot 1460 Anthony I of Neufchatel 1461–1495 Ulric of Blankenberg 1495–1506 Hugh des Hazards 1506–1517 John, Cardinal of Lorraine 1517–1524, † 1544 Hector de Ailly-Rochefort 1526–1532 John, Cardinal of Lorraine 1532–1537 Anthony II Pellagrin 1537–1542 John of Lorraine-Guise 1542–1543, † 1544 Toussaint de Hossey 1543–1565 Peter III de Châtelet 1565–1580 Charles de Lorraine de Vaudémont 1580–1587 Christopher de la Vallée 1589–1607 John VII Porcelet de Maillane 1609–1624 Nicholas II, Duke of Lorraine 1625–1634 Charles Christian de Gournay 1634–1637 Henri Arnauld 1637-1643 Paolo Fiesco 1643–1645 Jacques Lebret 1645 Henri-Pons de Thiard de Bissy 29 March 1687 to 10 May 1704 François Blouet de Camilly 1706–1723 Scipion-Jérôme Begon 1723–1753 Claude Drouâs de Boussey 1754–1773 Etienne-François-Xavier des Michels de Champorcin, last bishop, 1773–1802 Catholic Church in France List of Catholic dioceses in France Gams, Pius Bonifatius.
Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae: quotquot innotuerunt a beato Petro apostolo. Ratisbon: Typis et Sumptibus Georgii Josephi Manz. pp. 548–549. Eubel, Conradus. Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 1. Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list p. 301. Eubel, Conradus. Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 2. Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list p. 175. Eubel, Conradus. Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 3. Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Gauchat, Patritius. Hierarchia catholica IV. Münster: Libraria Regensbergiana. Retrieved 2016-07-06. P. 219. Ritzler, Remigius. Hierarchia catholica medii et recentis aevi V. Patavii: Messagero di S. Antonio. Retrieved 2016-07-06. Jean, Armand. Les évêques et les archevêques de France depuis 1682 jusqu'à 1801. Paris: A. Picard. Pisani, Paul. Répertoire biographique de l'épiscopat constitutionnel. Paris: A. Picard et fils. Bishopric of Toul at Catholic-hierarchy.org
The Reformation was a movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic church – and papal authority in particular. Although the Reformation is considered to have started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517, there was no schism between the Catholics and the nascent Lutheran branch until the 1521 Edict of Worms; the edict condemned Luther and banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas. The end of the Reformation era is disputed: it could be considered to end with the enactment of the confessions of faith which began the Age of Orthodoxy. Other suggested ending years relate to the Counter-Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, or that it never ended since there are still Protestants today. Movements had been made towards a Reformation prior to Luther, so some Protestants in the tradition of the Radical Reformation prefer to credit the start of the Reformation to reformers such as Arnold of Brescia, Peter Waldo, Jan Hus, Tomáš Štítný ze Štítného, John Wycliffe, Girolamo Savonarola.
Due to the reform efforts of Huss and others in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Utraquist Hussitism was acknowledged by both the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, although other movements were still subject to persecution, as were the including Lollards in England and Waldensians in Italy and France. Luther began by criticising the sale of indulgences, insisting that the Pope had no authority over purgatory and that the Treasury of Merit had no foundation in the Bible; the Reformation developed further to include a distinction between Law and Gospel, a complete reliance on Scripture as the only source of proper doctrine and the belief that faith in Jesus is the only way to receive God's pardon for sin rather than good works. Although this is considered a Protestant belief, a similar formulation was taught by Molinist and Jansenist Catholics; the priesthood of all believers downplayed the need for saints or priests to serve as mediators, mandatory clerical celibacy was ended. Simul justus et peccator implied that although people could improve, no one could become good enough to earn forgiveness from God.
Sacramental theology was simplified and attempts at imposing Aristotelian epistemology were resisted. Luther and his followers did not see these theological developments as changes; the 1530 Augsburg Confession concluded that "in doctrine and ceremonies nothing has been received on our part against Scripture or the Church Catholic", after the Council of Trent, Martin Chemnitz published the 1565–73 Examination of the Council of Trent in order to prove that Trent innovated on doctrine while the Lutherans were following in the footsteps of the Church Fathers and Apostles. The initial movement in Germany diversified, other reformers arose independently of Luther such as Zwingli in Zürich and Calvin in Geneva. Depending on the country, the Reformation had varying causes and different backgrounds, unfolded differently than in Germany; the spread of Gutenberg's printing press provided the means for the rapid dissemination of religious materials in the vernacular. During Reformation-era confessionalization, Western Christianity adopted different confessions.
Radical Reformers, besides forming communities outside state sanction, sometimes employed more extreme doctrinal change, such as the rejection of the tenets of the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon with the Unitarians of Transylvania. Anabaptist movements were persecuted following the German Peasants' War. Leaders within the Roman Catholic Church responded with the Counter-Reformation, initiated by the Confutatio Augustana in 1530, the Council of Trent in 1545, the Jesuits in 1540, the Defensio Tridentinæ fidei in 1578, a series of wars and expulsions of Protestants that continued until the 19th century. Northern Europe, with the exception of most of Ireland, came under the influence of Protestantism. Southern Europe remained predominantly Catholic apart from the much-persecuted Waldensians. Central Europe was the site of much of the Thirty Years' War and there were continued expulsions of Protestants in central Europe up to the 19th century. Following World War II, the removal of ethnic Germans to either East Germany or Siberia reduced Protestantism in the Warsaw Pact countries, although some remain today.
Absence of Protestants however, does not imply a failure of the Reformation. Although Protestants were excommunicated and ended up worshipping in communions separate from Catholics contrary to the original intention of the Reformers, they were suppressed and persecuted in most of Europe at one point; as a result, some of them lived as crypto-Protestants called Nicodemites, contrary to the urging of John Calvin who wanted them to live their faith openly. Some crypto-Protestants have been identified as late as the 19th century after immigrating to Latin America; as a result Reformation impulses continued to affect the Latin Church well past the end of what is considered the Reformation era. The oldest Protestant churches, such as the Unitas Fratrum and Moravian Church, date their origins to Jan Hus in the early 15th century; as it was led by a Bohemian noble majority, recognised, for a time, by the Basel Compacts, the Hussite Reformation was Europe's first "Magisterial Reformation" because the ruling magistrates supported it, unlike the "Radical Reformation", which the state did not support.
Common factors that played a role during the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation included the rise of nationalism, the
Mary of Guise
Mary of Guise called Mary of Lorraine, ruled Scotland as regent from 1554 until her death. A noblewoman from the Lotharingian House of Guise, which played a prominent role in 16th-century French politics, Mary became queen consort upon her marriage to King James V of Scotland in 1538, her infant daughter, ascended the throne when James died in 1542. Mary of Guise's main goal as regent was a close alliance between the powerful French Catholic nation and smaller Scotland, which she wanted to be Catholic and independent of England, she failed, at her death the Protestants took control of Scotland, with her own grandson achieving the Union of the Crowns a few decades later. Mary was born at Bar-le-Duc, the eldest daughter of Claude of Lorraine, Duke of Guise, head of the House of Guise, his wife Antoinette de Bourbon, herself the daughter of Francis, Count of Vendome, Marie de Luxembourg. Among her 11 siblings were Francis, Duke of Guise. Mary was tall and her mother mentioned in a letter that she suffered from bad colds.
However, there is a story of Mary of Guise being born in a commoner's home while en route to her "supposed" birthplace. Her name has been stylized as Mary of Guise, Marie de Guise, Mary di Guise; when Mary was five, she was godmother to her younger sister Louise. Not long after, she joined her grandmother Philippa of Guelders in the convent of the Poor Clares at Pont-à-Mousson, her uncle Antoine, Duke of Lorraine and her aunt Renée of Bourbon visited Philippa there when Mary was about fourteen. Impressed by their niece's qualities and stature, they took her away from the convent and prepared her for life at the French court. In 1531, Mary made her first appearance there at the marriage between Francis I and Eleanor of Austria, she established a friendship with the king's daughters Margaret. On 4 August 1534, at the age of 18, she became Duchess of Longueville by marrying Louis II d'Orléans, Duke of Longueville, at the Château du Louvre, their union turned out to be brief. On 30 October 1535, Mary gave birth to her first son, but on 9 June 1537, Louis died at Rouen and left her a widow at the age of 21.
For the rest of her life, Mary kept the last letter from her bon mari et ami Louis, which mentioned his illness and explained his absence at Rouen. It can still be seen at the National Library of Scotland. On 4 August, Mary gave birth to their second son, named Louis after his deceased father. Louis died young, but Francis wrote letters to his mother in Scotland. On 22 March 1545, he sent a piece of string to show how tall he was, on 2 July 1546 he sent her his portrait. In 1537, Mary became the focus of marriage negotiations with James V of Scotland, who had lost his first wife, Madeleine of Valois, to tuberculosis, wanted a second French bride to further the interests of the Franco-Scottish alliance against England. According to a 17th-century writer, James V had noticed the attractions of Mary when he went to France to meet Madeleine and Mary of Bourbon, she was next in his affections, it is known that Mary had attended the wedding of Madeleine. The widowed Henry VIII of England, in attempts to prevent this union asked for Mary's hand.
Given Henry's marital history—banishing his first wife and beheading the second—Mary refused the offer. In December 1537, Henry VIII told Castillon, the French ambassador in London, that he was big in person and had need of a big wife. Biographer Antonia Fraser writing in 1969 said Mary replied, "I may be a big woman, but I have a little neck." This was a tribute to the famously macabre jest made by Henry's French-educated second wife, Anne Boleyn, who had joked before her death that the executioner would find killing her easy because she had "a little neck."King Francis I of France accepted James's proposal over Henry's and conveyed his wishes to Mary's father. Francis had a marriage contract prepared that offered James a dowry as large as if Mary had been born a princess of France. Mary's mother found the contract "marvellously strange", because the king had included Mary's son's inheritance in the dowry. Mary received the news with shock and alarm, as she did not wish to leave family and country as she had just lost her first husband and her younger son.
It has been said that her father tried to delay matters until James sensing her reluctance, wrote to her, appealing for her advice and support. However the authenticity of this letter, first produced in 1935, has been questioned. David Beaton travelled to France for the marriage negotiations, he wrote to James V from Lyon on 22 October 1537 that Mary was "stark, well-complexioned, fit to travel." Beaton wrote that the Duke of Guise was "marvellous desirous of the expedition and hasty end of the matter," and had consulted with his brother, the Duke of Lorraine, Mary herself, with her mother in Champagne waiting for the resolution of the negotiations. The marriage contract was finalized in January 1538 with a dowry including that of her first marriage; as was customary, if the king died first, the queen dowager would have for her lifetime her jointure houses of Falkland Palace, Stirling Castle, Dingwall Castle, Threave, with the rentals of the corresponding Earldoms and Lordships. Mary accepted the offer and made hurried plans for departure.
The actual wedding of James V and Mary of Guise was held by proxy on 9 May 1538 in the Sainte Chapelle at the Château de Châteaudun. Some 2,000 lords and barons sent by James V came fr
Antoine, Count of Vaudémont
Antoine of Vaudémont was Count of Vaudémont and Sieur de Joinville from 1418 to 1458. By marriage, he was Count of Harcourt, Count of Aumale, Baron of Elbeuf from 1452 to 1458, his uncle Charles II, Duke of Lorraine had only daughters. Antoine didn't conceal his wish to inherit the Duchy of Lorraine, quarrelled with Charles. Charles attacked Antoine. After Charles II died in 1431, Antoine attacked the new Duke, René of Anjou and capturing him at the Battle of Bulgnéville, on 1 July 1431. A decade of negotiation followed, since Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor was unwilling to recognise Antoine as Duke, pronouncing for René in 1434. Antoine gave up his claim on the Duchy of Lorraine, by a treaty of 27 March 1441. In return, Antoine's County of Vaudémont was recognised as independent, his son Frederick became engaged to the Duke's daughter Yolande of Lorraine; the dynastic consequence was. Antoine took part in several local armed conflicts, he was the son of Frederick I of Count of Vaudémont and Margaret of Joinville.
He married Marie of Harcourt, on 12 August 1416. She was Countess of Harcourt, of Aumale, Baroness of Elbeuf, her father was John VII of Harcourt, Count of Harcourt and Aumale, her mother was Marie of Alençon. Their children were sire of Joinville. John of Lorraine-Vaudémont, Count of Harcourt and Aumale, as well as Baron of Elbeuf. Henri of Lorraine-Vaudémont, Bishop of Thérouanne, Bishop of Metz. Marie of Lorraine-Vaudémont, who married in 1450, Alain IX of Rohan. Marguerite of Lorraine-Vaudémont, Dame d'Aarschot, married in 1432, Antoine I de Croÿ, Count of Porcéan. At thepeerage.com
Catharine of Bourbon
Catharine of Bourbon was Duchess of Guelders from 1465-1469 by her marriage to Adolf, Duke of Guelders. She was Duke of Bourbon and his wife Agnes of Burgundy. On 28 December 1463 in Bruges, she married Adolf II, Duke of Guelders, who succeeded his father Arnold as Duke of Guelders in 1465. Catherine and Adolf had twin children: Philippa, who married in 1485 with René II, Duke of Lorraine Charles, who became Duke of Guelders Catherine died in 1469 and was buried in the St. Stephen Church in Nijmegen. Wilhelm Karl Prinz von Isenburg and Frank Baron Freytag von Loringhoven: Europäische Stammtafeln. Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der europäischen Staaten, vol. 2, J. A. Stargard, Marburg, 1956, table 30. P. H. Scheltema: De St.-Stevenskerk te Nijmegen, in: De Opmerker, vol. 30, issue 37, 14 September 1895, p. 291-292, page 291 and page 292
German Peasants' War
The German Peasants' War, Great Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in some German-speaking areas in Central Europe from 1524 to 1525. It failed because of the intense opposition by the aristocracy, who slaughtered up to 100,000 of the 300,000 poorly armed peasants and farmers; the survivors were achieved few, if any, of their goals. The war consisted, like the preceding Bundschuh movement and the Hussite Wars, of a series of both economic and religious revolts in which peasants and farmers supported by Anabaptist clergy, took the lead; the German Peasants' War was Europe's largest and most widespread popular uprising prior to the French Revolution of 1789. The fighting was at its height in the middle of 1525; the war began with separate insurrections, beginning in the southwestern part of what is now Germany and Alsace, spread in subsequent insurrections to the central and eastern areas of Germany and present-day Austria. After the uprising in Germany was suppressed, it flared in several Swiss Cantons.
In mounting their insurrection, peasants faced insurmountable obstacles. The democratic nature of their movement left them without a command structure and they lacked artillery and cavalry. Most of them had little, military experience. In combat they turned and fled, were massacred by their pursuers; the opposition had experienced military leaders, well-equipped and disciplined armies, ample funding. The revolt incorporated some principles and rhetoric from the emerging Protestant Reformation, through which the peasants sought influence and freedom. Radical Reformers and Anabaptists, most famously Thomas Müntzer and supported the revolt. In contrast, Martin Luther and other Magisterial Reformers condemned it and sided with the nobles. In Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants, Luther condemned the violence as the devil's work and called for the nobles to put down the rebels like mad dogs. Historians have interpreted the economic aspects of the German Peasants' War differently, social and cultural historians continue to disagree on its causes and nature.
In the sixteenth century, many parts of Europe had common political links within the Holy Roman Empire, a decentralized entity in which the Holy Roman Emperor himself had little authority outside of his own dynastic lands, which covered only a small fraction of the whole. At the time of the Peasants' War, Charles V, King of Spain, held the position of Holy Roman Emperor. Aristocratic dynasties ruled hundreds of independent territories within the framework of the empire, several dozen others operated as semi-independent city-states; the princes of these dynasties were taxed by the Roman Catholic church. The princes stood to gain economically if they broke away from the Roman church and established a German church under their own control, which would not be able to tax them as the Roman church did. Most German princes broke with Rome using the nationalistic slogan of "German money for a German church". Princes attempted to force their freer peasants into serfdom by increasing taxes and introducing Roman civil law.
Roman civil law advantaged princes who sought to consolidate their power because it brought all land into their personal ownership and eliminated the feudal concept of the land as a trust between lord and peasant that conferred rights as well as obligations on the latter. By maintaining the remnants of the ancient law which legitimized their own rule, they not only elevated their wealth and position in the empire through the confiscation of all property and revenues, but increased their power over their peasant subjects. During the Knights' Revolt the "knights", the lesser landholders of the Rhineland in western Germany, rose up in rebellion in 1522–1523, their rhetoric was religious, several leaders expressed Luther's ideas on the split with Rome and the new German church. However, the Knights' Revolt was not fundamentally religious, it sought to preserve the feudal order. The knights revolted against the new money order, squeezing them out of existence. Martin Luther, the dominant leader of the Reformation in Germany, took a middle course in the Peasants' War.
He criticized both the injustices imposed on the peasants, the rashness of the peasants in fighting back. He tended to support the centralization and urbanization of the economy; this position shored up his position with the burghers. Luther argued, he could not support the Peasant War because it broke the peace, an evil he thought greater than the evils the peasants were rebelling against. Therefore, he encouraged the nobility to violently eliminate the rebelling peasants. Luther criticized the ruling classes for their merciless suppression of the insurrection. Luther has been criticized for his position. Thomas Müntzer was the most prominent radical reforming preacher who supported the demands of the peasantry, including political and legal rights. Müntzer’s theology had been developed against a background of social upheaval and widespread religious doubt, his call for a new world order fused with the political and social demands of the peasantry. In the final weeks of 1524 and the beginning of 1525, Müntzer travelled into south-west Germany, where the peasant armies were gathering.
He spent several weeks in the Klettgau area, there is some e