In the Empire there were 65 Imperial Free Cities. Though they owed allegiance to the Emperor, each effectively ruled itself through a city council. 51 became Protestant.
- Cities were more likely to be exposed to the reform message than the wider countryside. There were higher rates of literacy in the cities- perhaps 20%. The cities were centres of Humanist learning, and printing. The cities were linked to each other by trade routes- the reform message moved along these. Cities were geographically small and could be deeply acffected by the activities of one Evangelical preacher.
- Cities had well off and influential lay leaders who were used to running…