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Internal politics and civic society in Augsburg during the era of the early reformation, 1518-37

Broadhead, P (1981) Internal politics and civic society in Augsburg during the era of the early reformation, 1518-37. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86005) (KAR id:86005)


In the early sixteenth century civic society in Augsburg was divided between an oligarchy of merchants, which dominated economic and political life, and the majority of townspeople who had lost their political rights and were experiencing declining standards of living. Support for the Reformation was soon voiced by the lower orders, but events demonstrated the mixed motives of the populace for pressing for religious reform. They saw in the Reformation a means of redressing their grievances and restricting the political power of the oligarchy. In the riots of 1524 and during the subsequent unrest the popular demands included religious and social reform. The oligarchs resisted change as they wished to protect their political dominance in Augsburg and their trading interests in Rabsburg lands. It was largely in response to this conflict that popular religious allegiance was given to the Zwinglians after 1525. The Zwinglian pastors demanded the establishment of a theocratic form of government which was responsive to the needs of the townspeople. This measure would force the Council to concede political influence to the pastors and to accept popular demands when formulating policy. It would not consent to this. As a result of unrest amongst the lower orders in 1533 the Council was forced to give the Zwinglian pastors a monopoly of preaching in the city but this concession was not an official Protestant Reformation. The Council, in return for its support of the pastors, forced them to accept a contract in which they acknowledged the sole authority of the Council over the political and religious life of the city. The Protestant Church therefore no longer constituted a political threat to the oligarchy, but rather encouraged obedience to the Council . It was against this new background that the Council enforced a Protestant religious settlement in 1537.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86005
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Uncontrolled keywords: History
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship. The Humanities
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
L Education > LA History of education
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:24 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2022 10:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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