Peace of Augsburg

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The front page of the document. Mainz, 1555.


The Peace of Augsburg was a treaty signed between Ferdinand, who replaced his brother Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor, and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League, an alliance of Lutheran princes, on September 25, 1555 at the city of Augsburg in Bavaria, Germany. It officially ended the religious struggle between the two groups and made the legal division of Christendom permanent within the Holy Roman Empire. The document allowed for German princes to select either Lutheranism or Catholicism within the domains they controlled, ultimately reaffirming the independence they had over their states. Families were given a period in which they were free to emigrate to different regions of their desired religion.

History

The Peace of Passau, which in 1552 gave Lutherans religious freedom after a victory by Protestant armies, foreshadowed the formation of this document. The one major problem of this document was that it did not legally recognize various religious minorities, such as Calvinism and Anabaptism. Not until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 would these sects be given legal recognition.

The treaty effectively gave Lutheranism official status within the domains of the Holy Roman Empire. According to the policy of cuius regio, eius religio ("whose reign, that religion", or "in the Prince's land, the Prince's religion"), the religion (Catholic or Lutheran) of a region's ruler determined the religion of its people. During a grace period, families could choose to move to a region where their faith was practiced. (Article 24: "In case our subjects, whether belonging to the old religion or the Augsburg Confession, should intend leaving their homes with their wives and children in order to settle in another, they shall be hindered neither in the sale of their estates after due payment of the local taxes nor injured in their honour.")

Although the Peace of Augsburg was moderately successful in relieving tension in the empire and increasing tolerance, it left important things undone. Neither the Anabaptists nor the Calvinists were protected under the peace, so many Protestant groups living under the rule of a Lutheran prince still found themselves in danger of the charge of heresy. (Article 17: "However, all such as do not belong to the two above named religions shall not be included in the present peace but be totally excluded from it.") Tolerance was not officially extended to Calvinists until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. Many who did not wish to adopt Catholicism or Lutheranism emigrated from the empire, with high numbers settling in the Netherlands and France.

The intolerance towards Calvinists caused them to take desperate measures that led to the Thirty Years' War. One of the more notable measures was the Second Defenestration of Prague (1618) in which two representatives of the fiercely Catholic Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II were thrown out of a castle window in Prague. This eventually led to more involved conflict between Protestants and Catholics.

Another effect of the Peace was Charles' decision to leave the throne and divide the empire in two. His brother Ferdinand ruled the Austrian lands, and Charles' fervently Catholic son, Philip II, became administrator of Spain, the Netherlands, parts of Italy, and other overseas holdings. Philip was responsible for initiating war with England, which ultimately crippled Spain and gave the Protestant movement new life, contributing to the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War.

By aligning religious divisions with political divisions, the Peace of Augsburg established the patchwork of states that characterized Germany until the 19th century.

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Ferdinand I (10 March 1503 – 25 July 1564) was an Austrian monarch from the House of Habsburg. He was first the Archduke of Austria from 1521-1564. After the death of Louis II, Ferdinand ruled as King of Bohemia and Hungary (1526–1564).
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Charles V (Also Charles I of Spain)
Holy Roman Emperor; King of Castile, Aragon, Naples and Sicily, others

Reign King of Aragon and Castile
Holy Roman Emperor
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Holy Roman Emperor (German: Römischer Kaiser, Latin: Romanorum Imperator) was the elected monarch ruling over the Holy Roman Empire, a Central European state in existence during the Middle
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The Schmalkaldic League (German: Schmalkaldischer Bund) was a defensive alliance of Lutheran princes within the Holy Roman Empire during the mid-16th century.
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September 25 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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Augsburg
The Town Hall of Augsburg
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Freistaat Bayern
Free State of Bavaria

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"Das Lied der Deutschen" (third stanza)
also called "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
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Holy Roman Empire (Latin: Sacrum Romanum Imperium, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero
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Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestant Christianity that identifies with the teachings of the sixteenth-century German reformer Martin Luther. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Church launched the Protestant Reformation and, though it was not
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Peace of Passau. A precursor to the Peace of Augsburg of September, 1555, the Peace of Passau effectively surrendered Charles V's lifelong quest for European religious unity.

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Peace of Westphalia refers to the pair of treaties, the Treaty of Osnabrück and the Treaty of Münster, signed on May 15 and October 24 of 1648 respectively, which ended both the Thirty Years' War and the Eighty Years' War.
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Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestant Christianity that identifies with the teachings of the sixteenth-century German reformer Martin Luther. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Church launched the Protestant Reformation and, though it was not
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Holy Roman Empire (Latin: Sacrum Romanum Imperium, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero
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Cuius regio, eius religio is a phrase in Latin that means "Whose the region, his the religion". In other words, the religion of the king or other ruler would be the religion of the people.
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Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestant Christianity that identifies with the teachings of the sixteenth-century German reformer Martin Luther. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Church launched the Protestant Reformation and, though it was not
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Augsburg Confession, also known as the "Augustana" from its Latin name, Confessio Augustana, is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church. The Augsburg Confession is, by its catholic nature (meaning "universal" in its application to Lutheran churches),
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Protestantism encompasses the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with the doctrines of the Reformation. The word Protestant is derived from the Latin protestatio meaning declaration
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Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a "theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the Roman Catholic or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian
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Peace of Westphalia refers to the pair of treaties, the Treaty of Osnabrück and the Treaty of Münster, signed on May 15 and October 24 of 1648 respectively, which ended both the Thirty Years' War and the Eighty Years' War.
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