German farmer war

German farmer war (also collection of the common man) is called the expansion of local farmer rebellions starting from 1524 in far parts of the South German linguistic area ( South Germany and Switzerland), whereby the farmers with its twelve articles for the first time firmlyoutlined demands formulated. In Swabia, Franconias, the Elsass and in Thuringia were struck down the rebellions 1525, in Saxonia and Tirol 1526.

Die Aufstände breiten sich aus
The rebellions spread from

table of contents

causes and surrounding field

the causes for rebelling the farmers were various. Beginning 16. Century was the holy RomanRichly German nation in the South German linguistic area and particularly in Swabia in a difficult-to-understand multiplicity of small Feudalherrschaften splinters there. Many problems of the farmers were local and to the respective national gentlemen due; the small restaurant units led to demarcation and church tower thinking andbraked the economic upswing.

Most causes of the rebellions were however in the general situation of the farmers justified, who differed from rule to rule not substantially.

situation of the farmers

the main load for the maintenance of the Feudalgesellschaft carriedthe farmers:Princes, aristocracy, officials, Patrizier and the Klerus lived on their worker, and there the number of the beneficiaries continued to rise always, rose also the deliveries, which had to carry the farmers out. Beside that largetenth and thatSmalltenth on most of a their gained income and yields they paid taxes, tariffs and interest and were frequent their basic gentlemen to Fron - and commits to clamping services. In upper swabia, Württemberg, Franken, Saxonia (upper axles) and Thuringia those became Material division applied, which led with equal lasting total production surface to ever smaller yards. Many this Kleinstbauernhöfe were not to be led in view of the high loads any longer economically.

Economic problems, frequent harvest failures and the pressure of the basic gentlemen led ever more farmer into those Hörigkeit and further into the body characteristic, from which again additional leases and conscriptions result.

Also „old person the right “, a verbally delivered right, was interpreted increasingly free by the basic gentlemen or ignored perfectly. For centuries existing common lands were expropriated and jointFeasting, wood impact, fishery or hunting rights cut abolished or.

situation in the realm

the high aristocracy was naturally not interested in a change of the life circumstances of the farmers, because thereby inevitably own privileges and advantages would have been limited. The low aristocracyapproached to the fall and had with a dramatic meaning loss to fight, which led to own rebellions (Pfälzi knight rebellion). The attempt of many low noble to hold itself by Raubrittertum over water went to a large extent again debited to the farmers.

The Klerus was exactly the same against each change: The catholicism in the existing form represents the core column of the Feudalismus; the church mechanisms were usually even feudal organized - hardly a monastery existed without associated villages. The church referredtheir incomes predominantly from donations, prosperous drain trade as well as the tenth. The latter was also for the aristocracy an important financial source.

The only reform movement, which aimed at the abolishment of the old Feudalstrukturen, proceeded from the erstarkenden middle class of the cities, remained howeverweakly pronouncedly, since also this on aristocracy and Klerus was dependent.


bad states prevailed to reformation in the church - many devaluing Pfaffen mentioned of clergyman led an all too out-curving living and profited from donations and inheritances of the richPopulation as well as deliveries and donations arms. In Rome one by nepotism and bribery arrived at office and became; the Popes did as war and owners as well as promoters of the beautiful arts out.

These conditions became already early of Hans Böhm in Lower Franconia, Girolamo Savonarola in Florenz and also of Luther criticizes later. As the Dominikanermönch Johannes Tetzel 1517 on behalf of Albrecht, the indebted archbishop of Mainz, and Pope Leo X.. by Germany pulled, theresuccessfully preached the drain and sold its drain note, wrote enraged Luther its 95 theses, which it struck the legend after to the church door of joke mountain.

Zwingli in Zurich as well as Calvin in Geneva held publicly the opinion that everyoneHumans also without the switching of the church its way to God and its soul welfare to find can. Thus they undermined the absolute heating absolute of the catholic church and confirmed the farmers, as far the Klerus from its own teachings had departed andtherefore in large parts is redundant.

The argumentation of Luther in its writing of the liberty of a Christian human being (1520 appeared) that a Christian human being [...] a gentleman over all things and nobody subject is, as well as its translation of the new will inGerman 1522 was further crucial trips for rebelling the village population: Now it was also possible for the simple people to analyze requirements from aristocracy and Klerus, justified with „the will of God the “, to. For the own erbärmliche situation they foundand thus many farmers did not state Biblical reason that the restriction of the old person of right contradicts the actual Göttlichen right by the basic gentlemen - God actually leaves the animals and plants without the effort of humans and for all humanssufficiently grow. Some believed now to be able to stress the same rights as noble ones and the Klerus.

carriers of the rebellion

many of the simple farmers did not dare due to their multiple subordinate positions to up-desire against their gentlemen. Above all the villageOberschicht wanted however changes.Schult hoisting, farmer judges, village craftsmen and field citizens from the towns carried the rebellion and pushed in many places the poor farmers for the connection to the heaps of farmer.

The farmers wanted to repair above all their old-delivered rights anda human being-worthy and in the rest of gottesfürchtiges life lead. Their demands for moderating the loads and abolition of the body characteristic however shook at the basic celebrations of the existing social order.

preceding collections

the constantly worsening situation of the farmers was alreadybe enough before the actual farmer war of 1524/25 the cause for many regional conflicts. The discontent of the farmers became larger over many decades and expressed themselves in a multiplicity of regional collections. Trips for these were beside the generalCircumstances usually additional local of problems.

Apart from numerous smaller farmer protests it came again and again even to larger farmer rebellions:

Would list larger farmer collections:

also the citizens desired up and solidarized with the farmers: 1509 in Erfurt, 1511 in Regensburg, Braunschweig, Speyer, Cologne, pig ford, Worms, Aachen, Osnabrück and further cities.

Nearly everything of these rebellions was by force thrashed; only rebelling of Swiss mountain peasants persisting for a long time was crowned at the end of success. The situation of the farmers was improved otherwise by none of the rebellions; usually it cameto additional Repressalien.

escalation 1524

1524 came it with Forchheim in close proximity to Nuremberg recently to unrests, shortly thereafter also into Mühlhausen with Erfurt. In October 1524 the farmers in the rage oh valley rose with Stühlingen. 3,500 farmers pulled a little later toward ford cheeks. In upper swabia around the Bodensee it fermented approximately already longer and within short time formed in February and March 1525 three armed heaps of farmer so mentioned: the Baltringer heap, the sea-heap, and the Allgäuer heap. The largest of the three was the Baltringer heap: more than 12,000 farmers, citizen and clergyman collected themselves within fewer days in the Baltringer Ried in close proximity to beaver oh. Alsothe Allgäuer heap in close proximity to Lindau consisted of approximately 12,000 men, under it also many simple of clergyman and land farmhands. The 7,000 Allgäuer farmers, who rebelled particularly against the prince abbott of Kempten, stored with Leubas.

Twelve articles and negotiations

the three upper-Swabian heaps of farmer wanted to reach above all an improvement of their living conditions and begin no war. Therefore they set on negotiations with the Swabian federation. 50 representatives of the three heaps of farmer met in addition in that free realm city Memmingen, whose citizenry sympathized with the farmers. Here the leaders of all three heaps tried to articulate and support with the Bible argumentatively the demands of the farmers. After several negotiations 20 became to. March 1525 those Twelve articles and the federal order discharges. These were both complaint writing and reform program and political communist manifesto. After the model of Swiss confederation the farmers created the upperSwabian confederation, whose bases in the federal order were laid down. So the particulars should Heap of farmer, contrary to preceding collections, in the future also for each other once marriages. Within shortest time by both writings high editions were printed and distributed, which provided for an unusually fast spreading of the rebellions in completely South Germany and Tirol. The establishment that UpperSwabian confederation after the Verabschiedung of the two papers one indicated to the Swabian federation in Augsburg in hope to be able to participate as equivalent partners in negotiations. In view of different plunderings and the Weinsberger had blood act (see further below) in the Swabian one Federation united noble one however no interest in negotiations. Supported by Augsburger buyer family Fugger was assigned George Truchsess 1,500 riders armored of Waldburg Zeil (called Bauernjörg) an army of 9.000 land farmhands and, usually the farmers armed with scythes and Dreschflegelnto thrash.

The negotiation of the 12 articles in Memmingen was trick and pivot of the farmer war: Here the demands were formulated for the first time uniform as well as fixed in writing. The farmers stepped for the first time uniformly in relation to the authority up the past collections failed above allat splintering the rebellions and the mutual support lacking. With „the 12 articles “this changed. It is to be however also noticed: If the farmers would not have set on negotiations with the Swabian federation, but further regions occupies, they would havehowever due to their numerical superiority to be hardly thrashed can, and its request would have been more seriously taken.

process of the rebellion


at the end of March 1525 collected itself the army of Waldburg Zeil in Ulm. A piece Danube downward with Leipheimaround the Prediger the Jakobs sore one had met 5,000 farmers, who plünderten in the further periphery of monasteries and aristocracy seats. The army of the Swabian federation marched therefore after Leipheim and reamed already on the way there individual plündernde groups of farmers. To 4. April came it to the first large battle with Leipheim, in which the Leipheimer heap was defeated. The city Leipheim had to pay a fine; Sore one and the other leaders of the heap were executed.

Likewise also those collected themselves at the beginning of of AprilFarmer from the Neckartal and the desert forest under Yak-small tubing brook. At Easter 1525 (16. ) The Neckartaler heaps stored April with wine mountain, where the hitzköpfige tubing brook the count Ludwig von Helfenstein, that hated by the farmersSon-in-law by emperor Maximilian I., and its knight Spiessruten to run left. The painful death of the noble ones by stinging and flogging the farmers entered as the Weinsberger blood act history of the farmer war. It coined/shaped crucially the pictureof and plündernden farmers murder-end and were one of the principal reasons, why many noble ones placed themselves against the thing of the farmers. To the punishment the city wine mountain was down-burned and burned Yak-small tubing brook with alive body. After the blood act of wine mountain combineditself the Neckartaler and desert forests with of the Frankish noble Florian Geyer of led deaf valleys heap (black heap) to strong Heller lights heaps. Those approximately 12,000 men turned under the guidance of the captain Götz of Berlichingenagainst the bishops of Mainz and peppering castle and the cure princes of the Pfalz.

To 12. April placed the armed force of the Swabian federation to the Baltringer heap, which could be defeated fast. The farmers were disarmed, and everyone had a highFine pay.

To 13. April had to again withdraw itself the Truchsess with its army before the militarily quite well trained sea-heap and met one day later, to 14. April with pepper oh on the own farmers of the Allgäuer of heap. Itnegotiated with them and could it convince to lay down their weapons. In the contract of wine garden to 20. It made April the sea-heap and guaranteed the Allgäuer heap of concessions and them free departure and an independent arbitral tribunal for delivering its conflicts.

To 16. The Württemberger farmer collected itself April. Men strong troop Stuttgart engaged and pulled the 8,000 in May further after Böblingen into the city.

Also with resound and for Gmünd formed smaller heaps, the 3,000 trailers plünderten thoseMonasteries Lorch and Murrhardt, and put the castle high baptism in debris and ash. Also in the Kraichgau and Ortenau monasteries were geplündert and down-burned castles.

After the success of wine garden the army Waldburg Zeils pulled in the Neckartal. The farmers became Balingen, gang castle, gentleman mountain and to 12. May in the battle with Böblingen struck. Similarly it was issued to 2. June the Neckartalern and desert forests with king yards.

To 23. May took a heap of 18.000 Breisgauer and south black forests farmers Freiburg in mash gau . After success the leader Hans Mueller wanted to hurry the Belagerern from Radolfzell to assistance, but only few farmers pulled with him; - most wanted to worry their fields. Like that was their armed forcerelatively small, when they are struck shortly thereafter of ore duke Ferdinand of Austria. Waldburg Zeil met to 4. June with peppering castle on bright clearing heap of the Frankish farmers, and there these the day before of Götz of Berlichingen under a pretext, had the leaderless farmers a chance were not left. In two hours 8,000 farmers were killed.

After this victory the troop of the Bauernjörg again after the south and defeated in the general-outer at the end of the last insurgent ones turned July. In four months hadthe army George of the Truchsess put back of Waldburg Zeil more than 1,000 km.

The battle when Franconia living to 15. May 1525 was one of the most important battles during the German farmer war. In it became the insurgent farmers of Thuringia under guidance of Thomas Müntzer of a prince army completely defeats. Münzer was imprisoned taken and to 27. May in Mühlhausen beheads, after it had been brought and tortured on the fortress hero run gene .

Some smaller rebellions were likewise struck down; until Septembers were 1525all engagements and punitive actions finally. Emperor Karl V. and Pope Clemens VII. thanked the Swabian federation for its intervention.


consequences for the insurgent

consequences for the insurgent ones were hard. Have according to estimationshowever by striking down the rebellions about 100,000 farmers their life lost. The survivors insurgent ones fell automatically in realm eight and lost thereby all their civic, private and leaning rights - they were thus bird-free. The leaders became with deathpunished. Participants and supporters of the rebellions had to be afraid the criminal courts of the national gentlemen, who began only now and were partially very cruel. Many reports speak of beheading, eye outdoing, reducing from fingers and further abusing. Who got off a penalty, hadprobably luck had, even if many farmers could not pay the fines because of the high deliveries. Whole municipalities were denied rights, because they had supported the farmers. Partly the jurisdiction was lost, celebrations was forbidden and to city attachments geschleift. All weaponshad to be delivered and in the evening could no more village giving be visited.

Nevertheless the farmer war in some regions had positive effects, even if few were. In some areas bad states were eliminated by contracts, if the insurgent ones due to particularly bad circumstanceshad revolted (e.g. in the prince abbey Kempten, for which on Reichstag was closed to Speyer the 1526 an appropriate contract). Also conditions of the farmers had become in many places better visible, because these their taxes now no longer alone to those Basic gentlemen, but also directly to the princes to exhaust had.

consequences for the army leaders

the defeats of the farmers put the foundation-stone for appreciation of assets with the victorious noble army leaders. To George to Truchsess of Waldburg Zeil Ländereien were assigned in upper swabia.The field captain Sebastian Schertlin of Burtenbach adhered without loss to the defeated ones, in order to pay its from it adjusted land farmhands.

consequences for the realm

individual farmer federations like that animal oilers of the Michael Gaismair held themselves in the secret one stillsome years. Some outlawed farmers lived still decades as gangs of robbers in forests. From this time have also a set of stories (e.g. Robber Hotzenplotz) their origin. To larger rebellions it did not come however any longer. In the following 300 yearsdesired the farmers hardly still up, and only with the March revolution of 1848/49 goals could be implemented, which had already formulated the farmers in their twelve articles 1525.

The economic effects by the loss of 100.000 - inother sources are called 130,000 - farmers were enormous and ensured also for the fact that in Germany also politically much was located quietly and it became in the dreissigjährigen war the ball of many powers.

farmer war and religion

Martin Luther

although the points of view of the reformation a substantial justification for the insurgent farmers were, dissociated themselves Martin Luther clearly from the farmer war. It already differentiated 1521 exactly between lay and religious range, there it with the reformation the change thatChurch and non contrary to Savonarola - a Verchristlichung of the world to reach wanted. By the authority nevertheless increasingly for the events in the farmer war responsible made, reserved it after the Weinsberger blood act sharply of the insurgent ones and was written:

against the mörderischen and predatory gangs of the farmers [...] one it is to zerschmeissen, chokes, stings, secretly and off finally, who can there, as one must kill a mad dog.

After 1525 that lost protest anti-mash its revolutionary spirit and cemented, also ofLuther supported, dominant social conditions with the faith set „are subject the authority “.

Thomas Müntzer

Thomas Müntzer was an earlier trailer of Luther. Contrary to this it stood however for the release by force of the farmers and operateditself in Mühlhausen, where he was a minister, as agitator and a promoter of the rebellions. There it tried to convert its conceptions of a fair social order: Privileges were created waived, monasteries dissolved, areas for homeless people, an arm supply was furnished. Its efforts, different Thüringer heap of farmerto combine, do not arrive however. In May 1525 it was imprisoned taken, tortured and finally executed.


  • William Carpenter: The large German farmer war charcoal burner Stuttgart 1841-43, Dietz Stuttgart 1891, Dietz Berlin 1952, deb Berlin 1980 and 1982(7.Auflage ISBN 3-920-303-26-1), Berlin 1993 ISBN 3-32001-829-9
  • Friedrich Engels: The German farmer war Hamburg 1850, Marx angel works Bd.7, Dietz Berlin 1960, ISBN 3-32000-291-0
  • Peter Blickle: The farmer war. The revolution of the common man, C.H. Beck 1998, ISBN 3-40643-313-8
  • Peter Blickle: ThoseRevolution of 1525, Munich 2004, 4. Edition, ISBN 3-486-44264-3
  • refuge Buszello and. A. (Hrsg.): The German farmer war, Paderborn and. A. 1995, 3. Edition, ISBN 3-8252-1275-0
  • Adolf Waas: The farmer war. The farmers in the fight for justice 1300 to 1525, To Callwey Munich

see also

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