Analyze the causes of and the responses to the peasants' revolts in the German states, 1524–1526.

Essay by guyoamiHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2010

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Downloaded 20 times

While Lutheran beliefs, high taxes, and serfdom caused the peasant revolts, the nobles' responses were solely based upon monetary gains and fear, while commoners had mixed reactions but were mostly against the peasants.

Religious officials viewed the peasant revolts with differing views. For example, Thomas Muntzer encouraged these revolts, implying that they were God's Will (Doc 6). On the other hand, Martin Luther condemned the peasants, claiming that they were associated with the Devil (Doc 7). However, Luther's claim was influenced by his political situation. Exiled by the Edict of Worms, Luther needed the protection of nobles. Due to this, he could not support the revolts unless he opposed the nobles. What's more, Muntzer was once a follower of Luther. This further proves that Luther's position on the peasant revolts was biased, because Luther went against his original beliefs. Moreover, peasants were dissatisfied with their way of life, claiming that the rich should share what they had with the poor.

They claimed that Christ had redeemed both the peasants and the Emperor with His blood (Doc 3). Thus, the peasants were hopeful that as Christian lords the nobles would free them from serfdom. Also, the peasants of Wurzburg believed that the nobles were brothers with the peasants (Doc 8). They also stated that the rich should share with the poor, especially if the rich had used the poor for monetary gains. In the end, this revealed the peasants' agitation at their situation, which led the nobles to rethink their actions. Furthermore, Caspar Nutzel said that although the peasants went too far, it was not unjustified (Doc 9). The authorities treated the peasants like sheep, using the wool for profit but neglecting to keep the sheep healthy by taking care of it. Therefore, the peasant revolts were viewed with both sympathy...