How did Lutheranism develop from the early 1520s?

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  • Created by: Kate H
  • Created on: 18-04-15 14:49
  • Luther's ideas spread rapidly in Germany, provoking great discussion and demands for change. Many priests and scholars had been won over, and by their preaching helped to encourage this further. Scholars and priests with a humanist outlook were especially quick to declare for Luther. Some individual Church congregations began to reform, especially in and around Saxony, though without the formal support of the authorities.
  • To begin with few princes and city councils took the decision to actually organise the reform from above. Frederick the Wise himself only formally became a Reformed Christian on his deathbed in 1525, so even in Electoral Saxony the process did not finally get under way until the mid-1520s. Many others hesitated because of fears of the Emperor's power(limited though it actually was). Others then began to join in-amongst them Albrecht, Duke of Prussia in 1525, Philip of Hesse in 1526, the Duchy of Wurtemburg in 1534, the Elector of Brandenburg in 1535, Ducal Saxony in 1539 and the Elector of the Palatinate in 1544. The majority of the Imperial Free Cities gradually reformed too. By 1550 over half of Germany, mostly the North, was officially Lutheran, and there were Protestant congregations further south in the lands of the princes that were loyal Catholics, including many in the Habsburg lands of Austria. 
  • In 1526 Charles called a Diet at Speyer but was not present so his demands were ignored.
  • In 1529 he called another Diet at Speyer to call a halt to reform. The Lutherans protested against this.
  • In 1530 Charles' representatives and the Catholic princes met the Protestant princes and leaders at the Diet of Augsburg. Charles wanted a compromise statement of beliefs that would allow a political settlement of the issue, with the Protestants brought back within the Church, but with the Church ready to reform its abuses. The Protestants came up with a united statement of their beliefs (Confession of Augsburg) but the Catholics could not accept it. The Protestants, for their part, would not have accepted that Pope's leadership. Charles' idea od compromise was unrealstic.
  • In 1531…

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