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Holy Roman Empire.doc

Course Code
HIS 2403E
Jeffrey Temple

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February 25, 2009
Holy Roman Empire
Charles V
- Had no toleration for Protestants
Holy Roman Empire
Emperor is elected by the 7 most powerful German Princes
- The electors expected bribes and legal demands from the candidates
- They had to trade away their power through these Capitulations
Conflicts with Emperor’s Power
Peace of Augsburg (1555)
- Ferdinand knows that he faces excommunication from the Papacy if he tolerates Protestants
oBut he must find a way to maintain peace in the empire
Cius Regio Eius Religio
The Princes determine the religion of their areas
- The Emperor’s power to demand loyalty to Roman Catholicism is limited by Cius Regio Eius
- This is the legal agreement between the Holy Roman Emperor and the German Princes
- This is the bribe that the Emperor Candidates have to make with the princes … gives the Princes
The Emperors continually give a little more of their power away with each election
In Germany, if you wanted to pass a law to the entire empire, they had to go through the Reichstag
- It was another inconvenient hurdle to the Emperor’s power
Habsburg Lands
- Bohemia and Austria were very Protestant – Ferdinand had to deal with that
- Ferdinand wants to buy time until he can find a way to heal the rift between Catholicism and
oAsks the Pope for permission to do the following things in the German Lands
Offer the laity communion in both kinds
Priests in the German Lands obtain the right to marry
Curb Church land ownership
The trouble was that the Council of Trent was not willing to change Priest Celibacy and Church Lands
- Ferdinand responded by challenging the Pope’s ability to reform (“Your holiness, you suck!”)
Died in 1564
Maximilian II (r. 1564-1576)
He remains officially Catholic, but leaned toward the Protestant faith
- He believed that religious peace was good for government
- Appalled by the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre – attempted to urge other leaders in Europe to
stop this religious difference
oHe couldn’t understand why other leaders would not also pursue religious toleration
He was for peace, not war – rare for a Roman Emperor
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Rudolf II (r. 1576-1612)
- Sent in teams of Jesuits into Vienna to swing the lands back toward Catholicism
- He threw out all the Protestant Priests – tried to re-Catholicize his lands, specifically Bohemia
- He becomes interested in his own ideas and hobbies
oWhen this happens, the Nobility always try to takeover
They demanded “The Letter of Majesty”
- His brother Matthias tried to assassinate him
Letter of Majesty – 1609
Matthias (r. 1612-1619)
- His reputation was stained by his attempt to kill his brother
Ferdinand II (r. 1619-1637)
- The people did not believe in him
We have a string of Emperors who are increasingly less effective – a degradation of their power
German Princes During this Degradation
Trying to get a hold of government in the most practical ways
- The German Princes are trying to maintain religious stability in their territories
- G
Gnesio-Lutherans / Philippists
- Gnesio-Lutherans were followers of Luther
- Philippists were the ones who followed Philip Melanchthon
Philip Melanchthon
- Friend of Calvini, took the Protestant Church in Germany in Calvinists directions
- F
Book of Concord
Combination of religious ideologies from 1571 to 1580
- Was an attempt to offend as few people as possible
- Combined broad statements about the Catholic faith and the Protestant that hardly left anyone’s core beliefs out
German religions largely became a State church
Catholic Princes
They would write to the Pope to try to obtain permission to make changes in their land
- If the Pope didn’t approve, the Princes would threaten to convert to Protestantism and take their land away
The Pope must approve or lose the lands, which they do
“Second Reformation
The Princes found that religion at the peasant level lacked the knowledge of what it means to be Catholic or Protestant
- The Princes begin to re-educate their people on what it meant to be Catholic or Protestant
- By the last quarter of the 16th Century, there is one last effort to draw hardlines between people
oThe Peace of Augsburg was to keep peace in Germany for the time being
oIt is not a document that was adaptable to changing circumstances – band-aid solution
- There is no provision within the Peace of Augsburg for Calvinism
oCius Regio Eius Religio only allowed the option of Lutheranism or Catholicism
Calvinism spreads at the cost of Lutheranism not at the cost of Calvinism
There are armies on both sides beginning to form and Protestants are ready to fight Protestants
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