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German Peasant Revolts Of 1524 1526 Essay

1071 words - 5 pages

In late 1524, German peasants believed that they were being mistreated and, therefore, created a revolt against the government. To this, the government responded in violence by killing over 100,000 rebels. These German peasant revolts were mainly caused by economic issues and the widespread belief and misuse of the Lutheran ideology. In response to this revolt, some key figures acted cooperative, while others acted in a violent and non-sympathetic manner.
One of the reasons the serfs led an uprise against the government in the early 1520s was a wanting for economic equality. In a letter written from a Count to a Duke, describes the attacks the peasants were planning and executing in which they attacked the houses of the nobility (Doc 11). The peasants started with the most wealthy individuals and stealing possessions from wealthy areas (like consuming all that was available in the monasteries) and then continued to attack other rick noblemen is descending order of wealth. This systematic approach of attacking the wealthy, and the wealthiest first, shows the dislike by the peasants for the economic system at the time. In addition, in an article written by peasants, called Twelve Articles of the Swabian Peasants, the peasants demanded better compensations for the services they provided their lords (Doc 2). They believed that they were being severely underpaid and were suffering conditions almost equal of that to a slave. They believe that they are simply demanding what is, in their opinion, just. On another instance, in 1525, in a letter written to the Archbishop of Wurzburg by an unknown source, the peasants demand a wealth redistribution (Doc 8). Lorenz Fries, the chief advisor to the Archbishop, discusses that the secret letter to the Archbishop called for economic reform and that the rich should be forced to share their wealth with the poor individuals, especially the poor individuals whom the rich individuals had profited off of. Since the letter to the Archbishop was secret and sender and/or writer of the letter is unknown, it is also unknown the social class of the writer. Even though the writer might have been a poor peasant himself, which can result in him having bias upon the topic, the underlying message cannot be denied: the peasants were constantly asking economic reform and equality from 1524-1526. Therefore, it can be concluded that economic inequality was one of the reasons for the German peasant’s revolt of 1524-1526.
The belief and enforced of the Lutheran ideals were also one of the roots of the German peasant revolts. In Articles of the Peasants of Memmigen, the Swabian peasants talk about sacrifice of Christ and their willingness to obey religious authority (Doc 3). The peasants expressed this religious doctrine and belief for many of their misfortunate events and grievances. Secondly, Thomas Muntzer wrote to the people of Allestedt join the serf’s rebellion (Doc 6). He believed that the revolt was “God’s will.” As a...

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