Principality of Regensburg
The Principality of Regensburg was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire created in 1803 and, following the dissolution of the Empire in 1806, the Confederation of the Rhine until 1810. Its capital was Regensburg; the principality was created as an ecclesiastical electorate for Archbishop Karl Theodor von Dalberg, the Elector-Archchancellor of the Empire and the former Archbishop of Mainz, due to the annexation of Mainz itself by the French following the Treaty of Lunéville. Most of the new principality consisted of the territory of the former Prince-Bishopric of Regensburg; the principality included the Lordships of Donaustauf, Wörth, Hohenburg, the former free imperial city of Regensburg, St. Emmeram's Abbey, the abbeys Obermünster and Niedermünster located within the city of Regensburg. Dalberg acquired the newly-created Principality of Aschaffenburg along the Main river. Dalberg received the electoral dignity accorded to the Electorate of Mainz; because the archiepiscopal status of Mainz had been transferred to the Regensburg diocese, the principality has been known in English as the Archbishopric of Regensburg.
Because of Bavarian claims on Regensburg, Dalberg was not installed as archbishop until 1 February 1805. The principality lost its status as an electorate in 1806 with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and became part of the Confederation of the Rhine that year; the Napoleonic Code was introduced in 1809. During the War of the Fifth Coalition, Austrian troops occupied Regensburg on 20 April 1809. In the Treaty of Paris, Dalberg conceded Regensburg to the Kingdom of Bavaria, which formally incorporated the city on 22 May 1810. In return for conceding Regensburg, Dalberg was granted Hanau and Fulda, which he combined with the Principality of Aschaffenburg to create the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt. Although he had lost the Principality of Regensburg, Dalberg retained the title of Archbishop of Regensburg until his death in 1817, after which time the archbishopric was downgraded to a suffragan diocese of Munich and Freising. Köbler, Gerhard. Historisches Lexikon der deutschen Länder. Munich: Verlag C. H. Beck.
P. 639. ISBN 3-406-33290-0
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain and several other monarchies, they are divided in the War of the Second Coalition. Confined to Europe, the fighting assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe; as early as 1791, the other monarchies of Europe looked with outrage at the revolution and its upheavals. Anticipating an attack, France declared war on Prussia and Austria in the spring of 1792 and they responded with a coordinated invasion, turned back at the Battle of Valmy in September; this victory emboldened the National Convention to abolish the monarchy.
A series of victories by the new French armies abruptly ended with defeat at Neerwinden in the spring of 1793. The French suffered additional defeats in the remainder of the year and these difficult times allowed the Jacobins to rise to power and impose the Reign of Terror to unify the nation. In 1794, the situation improved for the French as huge victories at Fleurus against the Austrians and at the Black Mountain against the Spanish signaled the start of a new stage in the wars. By 1795, the French had captured the Austrian Netherlands and knocked Spain and Prussia out of the war with the Peace of Basel. A hitherto unknown general named Napoleon Bonaparte began his first campaign in Italy in April 1796. In less than a year, French armies under Napoleon decimated the Habsburg forces and evicted them from the Italian peninsula, winning every battle and capturing 150,000 prisoners. With French forces marching towards Vienna, the Austrians sued for peace and agreed to the Treaty of Campo Formio, ending the First Coalition against the Republic.
The War of the Second Coalition began in 1798 with the French invasion of Egypt, headed by Napoleon. The Allies took the opportunity presented by the French effort in the Middle East to regain territories lost from the First Coalition; the war began well for the Allies in Europe, where they pushed the French out of Italy and invaded Switzerland – racking up victories at Magnano and Novi along the way. However, their efforts unraveled with the French victory at Zurich in September 1799, which caused Russia to drop out of the war. Meanwhile, Napoleon's forces annihilated a series of Egyptian and Ottoman armies at the battles of the Pyramids, Mount Tabor and Abukir; these victories and the conquest of Egypt further enhanced Napoleon's popularity back in France and he returned in triumph in the fall of 1799. However, the Royal Navy had won the Battle of the Nile in 1798, further strengthening British control of the Mediterranean. Napoleon's arrival from Egypt led to the fall of the Directory in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, with Napoleon installing himself as Consul.
Napoleon reorganized the French army and launched a new assault against the Austrians in Italy during the spring of 1800. This brought a decisive French victory at the Battle of Marengo in June 1800, after which the Austrians withdrew from the peninsula once again. Another crushing French triumph at Hohenlinden in Bavaria forced the Austrians to seek peace for a second time, leading to the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801. With Austria and Russia out of the war, the United Kingdom found itself isolated and agreed to the Treaty of Amiens with Napoleon's government in 1802, concluding the Revolutionary Wars. However, the lingering tensions proved too difficult to contain and the Napoleonic Wars began a few years with the formation of the Third Coalition, continuing the series of Coalition Wars; the key figure in initial foreign reaction to the revolution was Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, brother of Louis XVI's Queen Marie Antoinette. Leopold had looked on the Revolution with equanimity, but became more and more disturbed as the Revolution became more radical, although he still hoped to avoid war.
On 27 August and King Frederick William II of Prussia, in consultation with emigrant French nobles, issued the Declaration of Pillnitz, which declared the interest of the monarchs of Europe in the well-being of Louis and his family, threatened vague but severe consequences if anything should befall them. Although Leopold saw the Pillnitz Declaration as a non-committal gesture to placate the sentiments of French monarchists and nobles, it was seen in France as a serious threat and was denounced by the revolutionary leaders. France issued an ultimatum demanding that the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria under Leopold II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire renounce any hostile alliances and withdraw its troops from the French border; the reply was evasive and the Assembly voted for war on 20 April 1792 against Francis II, after a long list of grievances presented by foreign minister Charles François Dumouriez. Dumouriez prepared an immediate invasion of the Austrian Netherlands, where he expected the local population to rise against Austrian rule as they had earlier in 1790.
However, the revolution had disorganized the army, the forces raised were insufficient for the invasion. Following the declaration of war, French soldiers deserted en masse and in one case murdered their general, Théob
Bavaria the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres, Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Nuremberg; the history of Bavaria includes its earliest settlement by Iron Age Celtic tribes, followed by the conquests of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC, when the territory was incorporated into the provinces of Raetia and Noricum. It became a stem duchy in the 6th century AD following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire, became an independent kingdom, joined the Prussian-led German Empire while retaining its title of kingdom, became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Duchy of Bavaria dates back to the year 555. In the 17th century AD, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918. In 1946, the Free State of Bavaria re-organised itself on democratic lines after the Second World War. Bavaria has a unique culture because of the state's Catholic majority and conservative traditions. Bavarians have traditionally been proud of their culture, which includes a language, architecture, festivals such as Oktoberfest and elements of Alpine symbolism; the state has the second largest economy among the German states by GDP figures, giving it a status as a rather wealthy German region. Modern Bavaria includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia and Swabia; the Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps inhabited by Celts, part of the Roman provinces of Raetia and Noricum. The Bavarians spoke Old High German, unlike other Germanic groups, they did not migrate from elsewhere. Rather, they seem to have coalesced out of other groups left behind by the Roman withdrawal late in the 5th century; these peoples may have included the Celtic Boii, some remaining Romans, Allemanni, Thuringians, Scirians, Heruli.
The name "Bavarian" means "Men of Baia" which may indicate Bohemia, the homeland of the Celtic Boii and of the Marcomanni. They first appear in written sources circa 520. A 17th century Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the diocese was named after an ancient Bohemian king, Boiia, in the 14th century BC. From about 554 to 788, the house of Agilolfing ruled the Duchy of Bavaria, ending with Tassilo III, deposed by Charlemagne. Three early dukes are named in Frankish sources: Garibald I may have been appointed to the office by the Merovingian kings and married the Lombard princess Walderada when the church forbade her to King Chlothar I in 555, their daughter, became Queen of the Lombards in northern Italy and Garibald was forced to flee to her when he fell out with his Frankish overlords. Garibald's successor, Tassilo I, tried unsuccessfully to hold the eastern frontier against the expansion of Slavs and Avars around 600. Tassilo's son Garibald II seems to have achieved a balance of power between 610 and 616.
After Garibald II little is known of the Bavarians until Duke Theodo I, whose reign may have begun as early as 680. From 696 onwards he invited churchmen from the west to organize churches and strengthen Christianity in his duchy, his son, led a decisive Bavarian campaign to intervene in a succession dispute in the Lombard Kingdom in 714, married his sister Guntrud to the Lombard King Liutprand. At Theodo's death the duchy was reunited under his grandson Hugbert. At Hugbert's death the duchy passed from neighboring Alemannia. Odilo issued a law code for Bavaria, completed the process of church organization in partnership with St. Boniface, tried to intervene in Frankish succession disputes by fighting for the claims of the Carolingian Grifo, he was defeated near Augsburg in 743 but continued to rule until his death in 748. Saint Boniface completed the people's conversion to Christianity in the early 8th century. Tassilo III succeeded his father at the age of eight after an unsuccessful attempt by Grifo to rule Bavaria.
He ruled under Frankish oversight but began to function independently from 763 onwards. He was noted for founding new monasteries and for expanding eastwards, fighting Slavs in the eastern Alps and along the River Danube and colonising these lands. After 781, his cousin Charlemagne began to pressure Tassilo to submit and deposed him in 788; the deposition was not legitimate. Dissenters attempted a coup against Charlemagne at Tassilo's old capital of Regensburg in 792, led by his own son Pépin the Hunchback; the king had to drag Tassilo out of imprisonment to formally renounce his rights and titles at the Assembly of Frankfurt in 794. This is the last appearance of Tassilo in the sources, he died a monk; as all of his family were forced into monasteries, this was the end of the Agilolfing dynasty. For the next 400 years numerous families held the duchy for more than three generations. With the revolt of duke Henry the Quarrelsome in 976, Bavaria lost large territories in the south and
Bremen the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, is the smallest and least populous of Germany's 16 states. It is informally called Land Bremen; the state consists of the city of Bremen as well as the small exclave of Bremerhaven in Northern Germany, surrounded by the larger state of Lower Saxony. The state of Bremen consists of two separated enclaves; these enclaves contain Bremen the'City', the state capital and located in both enclaves, the city of Bremerhaven. Both are located on the River Weser. Both enclaves are surrounded by the neighbouring State of Lower Saxony; the two cities are the only administrative subdivisions. The highest point in the state is in Friedehorst Park. At the unwinding of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 the Free Imperial City of Bremen was not mediatised but became a sovereign state titled Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, its currency was the Bremen thaler. In 1811 the First French Empire annexed the city-state. Upon the first, albeit only preliminary, defeat of Napoléon Bonaparte, Bremen resumed its pre-1811 status as city-state in 1813.
The Vienna Congress of 1815 confirmed Bremen's—as well as Frankfurt's, Hamburg's, Lübeck's—independence after pressuring by Bremen's emissary, burgomaster, Johann Smidt. Bremen became one of 39 sovereign states of the German Confederation. In 1827 the state of Bremen bought the tract of land from the Kingdom of Hanover, where future Bremerhaven would be established. Bremen became part of the North German Confederation in 1867 and became an autonomous component state of the new-founded German Empire in 1871 and stayed with Germany in its following forms of government. Bremen, which in 1935 had become a regular city at the de facto abolition of statehood of all component German states within the Third Reich, was reestablished as a state in 1947. Being—at that time—actually located in the British Zone of Occupation the Control Commission for Germany - British Element and the Office of Military Government for Germany, U. S. agreed in 1947 to constitute the cities of Bremen and Wesermünde—in their borders altered in 1939—as a German state named again Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, becoming at that occasion an exclave of the American Zone of Occupation within the British zone.
In 1949 the city-state joined the West German Federal Republic of Germany. The legislature of the state of Bremen is the 83-member Bürgerschaft, elected by the citizens in the two cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven; the executive is constituted by the Senate of Bremen, elected by the Bürgerschaft. The Senate is chaired by the President of the senate, one of the mayors of the city of Bremen and is elected directly by the Bürgerschaft; the Senate selects of its members as a second mayor. In contrast to the Federal Chancellor of Germany or other German states, the President of the Senate has no authority to override senators on policy, decided upon by the senate collectively. Since 1945, the Senate has continuously been dominated by the Social Democratic Party. On a municipal level, the two cities in the state are administered separately: The administration of the city of Bremen is headed by the two mayors and controlled by the portion of the Bürgerschaft elected in the city of Bremen. Bremerhaven, on the other hand, has a municipal assembly distinct from the state legislature and an administration under a distinct head mayor and a distinct second mayor.
Henning Scherf remained Senate President, in an SPD-CDU grand coalition. As promised he resigned after half of the legislative period; the Mayor and Senate President from 8 November 2005, until 17 July 2015, was Jens Böhrnsen. The 2007 elections were held on 13 May; the coat of arms and flag of Bremen state include: The unemployment rate stood at 9.5% in October 2018 and was the highest of all 16 German states. The University of Bremen is the largest university in Bremen. Furthermore, Bremen has a University of the Arts Bremen, a University of Applied Sciences in Bremen and another one in Bremerhaven, more the Jacobs University Bremen. Bombing of Bremen in World War II Former countries in Europe after 1815 Timeline of Bremen history Official state portal Official governmental portal Constitution of the state, German only Geographic data related to Bremen at OpenStreetMap
The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in an northerly direction through Germany and The Netherlands to the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and the Franco-German border flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and empties into the North Sea; the largest city on the Rhine is Cologne, with a population of more than 1,050,000 people. It is the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, at about 1,230 km, with an average discharge of about 2,900 m3/s; the Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and, since those days, the Rhine has been a vital and navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. Its importance as a waterway in the Holy Roman Empire is supported by the many castles and fortifications built along it. In the modern era, it has become a symbol of German nationalism.
Among the biggest and most important cities on the Rhine are Cologne, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam and Basel. The variants of the name of the Rhine in modern languages are all derived from the Gaulish name Rēnos, adapted in Roman-era geography as Greek Ῥῆνος, Latin Rhenus; the spelling with Rh- in English Rhine as well as in German Rhein and French Rhin is due to the influence of Greek orthography, while the vocalisation -i- is due to the Proto-Germanic adoption of the Gaulish name as *Rīnaz, via Old Frankish giving Old English Rín,Old High German Rīn, early Middle Dutch Rijn. The diphthong in modern German Rhein is a Central German development of the early modern period, the Alemannic name Rī retaining the older vocalism, as does Ripuarian Rhing, while Palatine has diphthongized Rhei, Rhoi. Spanish is with French in adopting the Germanic vocalism Rin-, while Italian and Portuguese retain the Latin Ren-; the Gaulish name Rēnos belongs to a class of river names built from the PIE root *rei- "to move, run" found in other names such as the Reno in Italy.
The grammatical gender of the Celtic name is masculine, the name remains masculine in German and French. The Old English river name was variously inflected as feminine; the length of the Rhine is conventionally measured in "Rhine-kilometers", a scale introduced in 1939 which runs from the Old Rhine Bridge at Constance to Hoek van Holland. The river is shortened from its natural course due to a number of canalisation projects completed in the 19th and 20th century; the "total length of the Rhine", to the inclusion of Lake Constance and the Alpine Rhine is more difficult to measure objectively. Its course is conventionally divided as follows: The Rhine carries its name without distinctive accessories only from the confluence of the Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein and Rein Posteriur/Hinterrhein next to Reichenau in Tamins. Above this point is the extensive catchment of the headwaters of the Rhine, it belongs exclusively to the Swiss canton of Graubünden, ranging from Saint-Gotthard Massif in the west via one valley lying in Ticino and Italy in the south to the Flüela Pass in the east.
Traditionally, Lake Toma near the Oberalp Pass in the Gotthard region is seen as the source of the Anterior Rhine and the Rhine as a whole. The Posterior Rhine rises in the Rheinwald below the Rheinwaldhorn; the source of the river is considered north of Lai da Tuma/Tomasee on Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein, although its southern tributary Rein da Medel is longer before its confluence with the Anterior Rhine near Disentis. The Anterior Rhine springs from Lai da Tuma/Tomasee, near the Oberalp Pass and passes the impressive Ruinaulta formed by the largest visible rock slide in the alps, the Flims Rockslide; the Posterior Rhine starts near the Rheinwaldhorn. One of its tributaries, the Reno di Lei, drains the Valle di Lei on politically Italian territory. After three main valleys separated by the two gorges and Viamala, it reaches Reichenau in Tamins; the Anterior Rhine arises from numerous source streams in the upper Surselva and flows in an easterly direction. One source is Lai da Tuma with the Rein da Tuma, indicated as source of the Rhine, flowing through it.
Into it flow tributaries from the south, some longer, some equal in length, such as the Rein da Medel, the Rein da Maighels, the Rein da Curnera. The Cadlimo Valley in the canton of Ticino is drained by the Reno di Medel, which crosses the geomorphologic Alpine main ridge from the south. All streams in the source area are sometimes captured and sent to storage reservoirs for the local hydro-electric power plants; the culminating point of the Anterior Rhine's drainage basin is the Piz Russein of the Tödi massif of the Glarus Alps at 3,613 metres above sea level. It starts with the creek Aua da Russein. In its lower course the Anterior Rhine flows through a gorge named Ruinaulta; the whole stretch of the Anterior Rhine to the Alpine Rhine confluence next to Reichen
Augsburg is a city in Swabia, Germany. It is a university town and regional seat of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg, it is the third-largest city in Bavaria with a population of 300,000 inhabitants, with 885,000 in its metropolitan area. After Neuss and Trier, Augsburg is Germany's third oldest city, founded in 15 BC by the Romans as Augusta Vindelicorum, named after the Roman emperor Augustus, it was a Free Imperial City from 1276 to 1803 and the home of the patrician Fugger and Welser families that dominated European banking in the 16th century. The city played a leading role in the Reformation as the site of the 1530 Augsburg Confession and 1555 Peace of Augsburg; the Fuggerei, the oldest social housing complex in the world, was founded in 1513 by Jakob Fugger. Augsburg lies on the Singold; the oldest part of the city and the southern quarters are on the northern foothills of a high terrace, which emerged between the steep rim of the hills of Friedberg in the east and the high hills of the west.
In the south extends the Lechfeld, an outwash plain of the post ice age between the rivers Lech and Wertach, where rare primeval landscapes were preserved. The Augsburg city forest and the Lech valley heaths today rank among the most species-rich middle European habitats. On Augsburg borders the nature park Augsburg Western Woods - a large forestland; the city itself is heavily greened. As a result, in 1997 Augsburg was the first German city to win the Europe-wide contest Entente Florale for Europe's greenest and most livable city. Augsburg is surrounded by the counties Landkreis Augsburg in the west and Aichach-Friedberg in the east; the Suburb are Friedberg, Königsbrunn, Neusäß, Diedorf Neighbouring municipalities:Rehling, Kissing, Merching, Gessertshausen The city was founded in 15 BC by Drusus and Tiberius as Augusta Vindelicorum, on the orders of their stepfather Emperor Augustus. The name means "Augusta of the Vindelici"; this garrison camp soon became the capital of the Roman province of Raetia.
Early development was due to a 400-year affiliation with the Roman Empire because of its excellent military and geographic position at the convergence of the Alpine rivers Lech and Wertach, with direct access to most important Alpine passes. Thus, Augsburg was the intersection of many important European east-west and north-south connections, which evolved as major trade routes of the Middle Ages. Around 120 AD Augsburg became the capital of the Roman province Raetia. Augsburg was sacked by the Huns in the 5th century AD, by Charlemagne in the 8th century, by Welf of Bavaria in the 11th century, but arose each time to greater prosperity. Augsburg was granted the status of a Free Imperial City on March 9, 1276 and from until 1803, it was independent of its former overlord, the Prince-Bishop of Augsburg. Frictions between the city-state and the prince-bishops were to remain frequent however after Augsburg became Protestant and curtailed the rights and freedoms of Catholics. With its strategic location at an intersection of trade routes to Italy, the Free Imperial City became a major trading center.
Augsburg produced large quantities of woven goods and textiles. Augsburg became the base of two banking families that rose to great prominence, the Fuggers and the Welsers; the Fugger family donated the Fuggerei part of the city devoted to housing for needy citizens in 1516, which remains in use today. In 1530, the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor at the Diet of Augsburg. Following the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, after which the rights of religious minorities in imperial cities were to be protected, a mixed Catholic–Protestant city council presided over a majority Protestant population. Religious peace in the city was maintained despite increasing Confessional tensions until the Thirty Years' War. In 1629, Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II issued the Edict of Restitution, which restored the legal situation of 1552 and again curtailed the rights of the Protestant citizens; the inequality of the Edict of Restitution was rescinded when in April 1632, the Swedish army under Gustavus Adolphus captured Augsburg without resistance.
In 1634, the Swedish army was routed at nearby Nördlingen. By October 1634, Catholic troops had surrounded Augsburg; the Swedish garrison refused to surrender and a siege ensued through the winter of 1634/35 and thousands died from hunger and disease. According to J. N. Hays, "In the period of the Swedish occupation and the Imperial siege the population of the city was reduced from about 70,000 to about 16,000, with typhus and plague playing major roles." In 1686, Emperor Leopold I formed the League of Augsburg, termed by the English as the "Grand Alliance" after England joined in 1689: a European coalition, consisting of Austria, Brandenburg, the Holy Roman Empire, the Palatinate of the Rhine, Savoy, Spain and the United Provinces. It was formed to defend the Palatinate from France; this organization fought against France in the Nine Years War. Augsburg's peak boom years occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries thanks to the bank and metal businesses of the merchant families Fugger and Welser, who held a local near total monopoly on their respective industries.
Augsburg's wealth attracted artists seeking patrons and became a creative centre for famous painters and musicia
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of