Peace of Augsburg
Overview
 
The Peace of Augsburg, also called the Augsburg Settlement, was a treaty between Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League
Schmalkaldic League
The Schmalkaldic League was a defensive alliance of Lutheran princes within the Holy Roman Empire during the mid-16th century. Although originally started for religious motives soon after the start of the Protestant Reformation, its members eventually intended for the League to replace the Holy...

, an alliance of Lutheran princes, on September 25, 1555, at the imperial city of Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

, now in present-day Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

It officially ended the religious struggle between the two groups and made the legal division of Christendom
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 permanent within the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. The Peace established the principle Cuius regio, eius religio
Cuius regio, eius religio
Cuius regio, eius religio is a phrase in Latin translated as "Whose realm, his religion", meaning the religion of the ruler dictated the religion of the ruled...

, which allowed Holy Roman Empire's states' princes to select either Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 or Catholicism
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 within the domains they controlled, ultimately reaffirming the independence they had over their states.
Encyclopedia
The Peace of Augsburg, also called the Augsburg Settlement, was a treaty between Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League
Schmalkaldic League
The Schmalkaldic League was a defensive alliance of Lutheran princes within the Holy Roman Empire during the mid-16th century. Although originally started for religious motives soon after the start of the Protestant Reformation, its members eventually intended for the League to replace the Holy...

, an alliance of Lutheran princes, on September 25, 1555, at the imperial city of Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

, now in present-day Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

It officially ended the religious struggle between the two groups and made the legal division of Christendom
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 permanent within the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. The Peace established the principle Cuius regio, eius religio
Cuius regio, eius religio
Cuius regio, eius religio is a phrase in Latin translated as "Whose realm, his religion", meaning the religion of the ruler dictated the religion of the ruled...

, which allowed Holy Roman Empire's states' princes to select either Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 or Catholicism
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 within the domains they controlled, ultimately reaffirming the independence they had over their states. Subjects, citizens, or residents who did not wish to conform to the prince's choice were given a period in which they were free to emigrate to different regions in which their desired religion had been accepted.

Charles V had made a provisional ruling on the religious question, the Augsburg Interim
Augsburg Interim
The Augsburg Interim is the general term given to an imperial decree ordered on May 15, 1548, at the 1548 Diet of Augsburg, after Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, had defeated the forces of the Schmalkaldic League in the Schmalkaldic War of 1546/47...

 of 1548; this offered a temporary ruling on the legitimacy of two religious creeds in the empire, and codified by law in 30 June 1548 upon the insistence of Charles V, who wanted to work out religious differences under the auspices of a general council of the Catholic Church. The Interim reflected largely Catholic principles of religious behavior in its 26 articles, but it did allow for marriage of the clergy, and bread and wine for the laity. This led to resistance by the Protestant territories, who proclaimed their own Interim at Leipzig the following year.

The Interim was overthrown in 1552 by the revolt of the Protestant elector Maurice of Saxony and his allies. In the negotiations at Passau in the Summer of 1552, even the Catholic princes had called for a lasting peace, fearing the religious controversy would never be settled. The emperor, however, was unwilling to recognize the religious division in Western Christendom as permanent. This document was foreshadowed by the Peace of Passau
Peace of Passau
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V had won a victory against Protestantism in the Schmalkaldic War of 1547. Many Protestant princes were unhappy with the religious terms of the Augsburg Interim imposed after this victory. In January 1552, led by Maurice of Saxony, many formed an alliance with Henry II of...

, which in 1552 gave Lutherans religious freedom after a victory by Protestant armies. Under the Passau document. He granted a peace only until the next imperial Diet. Charles V called for the meeting in early 1555.

The treaty, negotiated on Charles' behalf by his brother Ferdinand
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

, effectively gave Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 official status within the domains of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. According to the policy of cuius regio, eius religio
Cuius regio, eius religio
Cuius regio, eius religio is a phrase in Latin translated as "Whose realm, his religion", meaning the religion of the ruler dictated the religion of the ruled...

("whose realm, his religion", or "in the Prince's land, the Prince's religion"), the religion (Roman Catholic
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 or Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

) 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
Augsburg Confession
The Augsburg Confession, also known as the "Augustana" from its Latin name, Confessio Augustana, is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Lutheran reformation...

, 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.") Knights and towns who had practiced Lutheranism for some time were exempted under the Declaratio Ferdinandei
Declaratio Ferdinandei
The Declaratio Ferdinandei was a clause in the Peace of Augsburg, signed in 1555 to end conflicts between Catholics and Protestants within the Holy Roman Empire. The Peace created the principle of Cuius regio, eius religio , which meant that the religion of the ruler decided the religion of the...

, but the Ecclesiastical reservation
Reservatum ecclesiasticum
The reservatum ecclesiasticum was a measure inserted into the Peace of Augsburg of 1555 to balance the principal proviso of cuius regio, eius religio in ecclesiastical lands...

supposedly prevented the principle of cuius regio, eius religio from being applied if an ecclesiastical ruler converted to Lutheranism.

Problems

The document itself had critical problems. While it gave legal basis for the practice of the Lutheran confession, it did not accept any of the Reformed traditions, such as Calvinism
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

, or for Anabaptism. 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
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 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
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

. (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.") These minorities did not achieve any legal recognition until the Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October of 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the...

 in 1648.
The intolerance towards Calvinists caused them to take desperate measures that led to the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

. 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
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand II , a member of the House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Bohemia , and King of Hungary . His rule coincided with the Thirty Years' War.- Life :...

 were thrown out of a castle window in Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

.

Aftermath

The principle of ecclesiastical reservation
Reservatum ecclesiasticum
The reservatum ecclesiasticum was a measure inserted into the Peace of Augsburg of 1555 to balance the principal proviso of cuius regio, eius religio in ecclesiastical lands...

 was tested in the Cologne War
Cologne War
The Cologne War devastated the Electorate of Cologne, a historical ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire, present-day North-Rhine-Westphalia, in Germany...

 (1583-1588), which grew out of the scenario envisioned by Ferdinand when he wrote the proviso: the reigning Prince-Bishop
Prince-Bishop
A Prince-Bishop is a bishop who is a territorial Prince of the Church on account of one or more secular principalities, usually pre-existent titles of nobility held concurrently with their inherent clerical office...

 converted to Protestantism; although he did not insist that the population convert, he placed Calvinism on a parity with Catholicism throughout the Electorate of Cologne. This in itself created a two-fold legal problem: first, Calvinism was considered a heresy; second, the Elector did not resign his see
Episcopal See
An episcopal see is, in the original sense, the official seat of a bishop. This seat, which is also referred to as the bishop's cathedra, is placed in the bishop's principal church, which is therefore called the bishop's cathedral...

, which made him eligible, at least in theory, to cast a ballot for emperor. Finally, his marriage posed a very real potential to convert the Electorate into a dynastic principality, shifting the balance of religious power in the Empire.

A side effect of the religious turmoil was Charles' decision to abdicate and divide Habsburg territory into two sections. His brother Ferdinand ruled the Austrian lands, and Charles' fervently Catholic son, Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, became administrator of Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, parts of Italy, and other overseas holdings. Philip was responsible for initiating protracted wars with England and the Dutch, which ultimately crippled Spain and gave the Protestant movement new life.

External links

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