The best known of these outrages is the horrible murder of Count von Helfenstein on 16 April, 1525. Some 100,000 peasants were killed. [1] The Revolt involved peasants and merchants, artisans, members of the minor nobility, and Protestant pastors. The peasants were caught off-guard and fled in panic to the town, followed and continuously attacked by the public forces. The petty sovereigns now combined and Luther encouraged their intention to crush the rebellion. Many had seen in Luther’s teachings an opportunity to enrich themselves and gain control over their own local churches. [24] He was also known as the "Scourge of the Peasants". The German Peasants War was the rebellion of agrarian peasants in the southern and central parts of German-speaking central Europe against the rulers of their cities and provinces. By September 1525 all fighting and punitive action had ended. ." [29], However, the peasants lacked the Swabian League's cavalry, having few horses and little armour. (See alsoArtisans; Mercenaries; Peasantry; Revolts. 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. Considering the conditions of hard labor and little in return that the peasants were facing, their actions were justified. The revolt began in the summer of 1524 in the county of Stühlingen, in the region of Upper Swabia near the border of Germany and Switzerland. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list. [citation needed], The Swabian League fielded an army commanded by Georg, Truchsess von Waldburg, later known as "Bauernjörg" for his role in the suppression of the revolt. These conditions created problems and confusion for the nobles as they tried to gather together forces large enough to put down the revolts. On this day, August 24 1524, a leader named Hans Müller gathered a few Stühlingen peasants around him. Retrieved October 16, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/peasants-war. At the same time, the Truchsess broke off his negotiations, and received a volley of fire from the main group of peasants. In this way, it could be explained as a conservative and traditional effort to recover lost ground. Peasants' War. [49], As he had done in earlier encounters with the peasants, the Truchsess negotiated while he continued to move his troops into advantageous positions. Only in a few exceptional cases were reforms introduced, as in Baden and the Tyrol. The fighting was at its height in the middle of 1525. At the time of the Peasants' War, Charles V, King of Spain, held the position of Holy Roman Emperor (elected in 1519). Ted Lyons, On 15 June, the 14-year-old king, Richard II, met the rebels' leader Wat Tyler. There were many reasons for the outbreak. [16] At odds with other classes in Germany, the lesser nobility was the least disposed to the changes. [15] The introduction of military science and the growing importance of gunpowder and infantry lessened the importance of heavy cavalry and of castles. Other demands of the Twelve Articles included the abolition of serfdom, death tolls, and the exclusion from fishing and hunting rights; restoration of the forests, pastures, and privileges withdrawn from the community and individual peasants by the nobility; and a restriction on excessive statute labor, taxes and rents. Each company, in turn, was composed of smaller units of 10 to 12 men, known as rotte. Although they only managed to hold the allegiance of small numbers of the European population, they were enormously influential, especially in America.[19]. The peasants sought relief from heavy taxes, an end to serfdom, fair trials, and an end to the taxes they owed on the death of a member of their families. Like the princes, they sought to secure revenues from their peasants by any possible means. [28], The peasant army was governed by a so-called ring, in which peasants gathered in a circle to debate tactics, troop movements, alliances, and the distribution of spoils. [15] Thus their "temporary" position devoid of civic rights tended to become permanent. After the refusal by the Duke of Baden, Margrave Ernst, to accept the 12 Articles, peasants attacked abbeys in the Black Forest. [59] However the overall goals of change for these peasants, particularly looking through the lens of the Twelve Articles, had failed to come to pass and would remain stagnant, real change coming centuries later. Like the landsknechts, the peasant bands used similar titles: Oberster feldhauptmann, or supreme commander, similar to a colonel, and lieutenants, or leutinger. A list of demands of the peasants was in circulation by 1525. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Peasants-War, CRW Flags - Flag of Peasants' War (The Low Countries, 1798), German History in Documents and Images - The Revolution of 1525, Peasants’ War - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). World Encyclopedia. https://dailyhistory.org/index.php?title=What_was_the_impact_of_the_German_Peasant_War_(1524-1527)_on_the_Reformation%3F&oldid=21417. [52], The massacre at Weinsberg was also too much for Luther; this is the deed that drew his ire in Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants in which he castigated peasants for unspeakable crimes, not only for the murder of the nobles at Weinsberg, but also for the impertinence of their revolt. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. What were the causes of the Northern Renaissance? Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Peasants dug ditches around the outer edge of the fort and used timber to close gaps between and underneath the wagons. However, the Knights' Revolt was not fundamentally religious. Roman law favoured these exactions.

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