Why Lutheranism Was Able to Survive to 1555

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  • Why Lutheranism Was Able to Survive to 1555
    • Charles V
      • Often Absent From Germany
        • Not present during crucial period of 1522-1529
          • Preoccupied by French threat in Italy and Spanish Rebellion
          • On return in 1543, confronted with irresolvable problem
        • Delegated day-to-day running to brother Ferdinand
      • Needed Princely Support
        • Eg. At Diet of Worms, 1521 Charles under pressure from princes who voted for him in 1519
      • Poor Imperial Policy - Generally Aimed to Play for Time
        • Preoccupied by French threat in Italy and Spanish Rebellion
        • Eg. Diet of Speyer, 1526, decision of implementation of Edict of Worms left to Princes
          • Princes in favour of reform, eg Philip of Hesse, did not enforce
    • Cities
      • Very many cities in the HRE
      • Provided large literate population
      • Contained Universities and publishing works
        • Printing Press
          • Allowed spread of message
      • Lay on trade routes, allwing message to spread
    • Peasants
      • Generally opposed papacy
      • believed in prophesies claiming Luther as prophet of renewal for new age
        • Luther
          • Refused to compromise on matters of doctrine, without attention to support losss
      • Enforcement of Edict of Worms lef to Peasant's revolt, 1525
      • Attracted to Anabaptism of Munster
    • Princes
      • Frederick the Wise
        • Supported Luther's stance on indulgences and wished to maintain integrity of University of Wittenburg
          • Power of support shown at Edict of Worms in 1521, Frederick kidnapped Luther for his safety
            • Luther able to translate Bible in to German
        • One of the seven imperial electors, Chales had relied on his vote in 1519
      • Formed Leagues in 1526 and 1531
        • League of Torgau, 1526, designed to prevent implementation of the Edict of Worms
      • Initially reluctant to identify with movement
      • Became more involved  in 1530s, making Lutheranism less radical as a result.
        • Some committed Lutherans eg Philip of Hesse and John of Saxony
        • Some Pressurised by local populace eg Archbishop of Mainz at Erfurt
        • Some wished for freedom from Habsburg authority eg Palatinate or Anhalt Dessau
        • Wanted benefits sich as revenue and power from secularised Church lands
    • Humanists
      • Encouraged studying of original scriptures
      • Erasmus
        • Talked of restoration, an improvement of Christianity through the interpretation and translation of sacred texts
        • Translated New Testament into Greek and Latin
        • Criticised corruption of Church in 'of praise of folly'
        • Did not propose split from Church, finally condemned radicalism of Luther in 1524 in 'On the freedom of the Will'
      • Ulrich von Hutten
        • Included patriotic tone in writing, encouraged nationalist resentment of foreign Pope and pledged military support
    • Printing Press
      • Allowed spread of message
    • Luther
      • Refused to compromise on matters of doctrine, without attention to support losss

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