IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > B. Early Modern Europe, 1479–1815 > 1. Europe, 1479–1675 > g. The German Empire > 1. Overview, to 1618 > 1521–26
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
First war of Charles V against Francis I of France (See 1522–23). Invasion of Italy by the French under Bonnivert (1523–24). Imperial forces thereupon invaded southern France. Francis I crossed the Mt. Cenis Pass and recaptured Milan.  1
Development of the Reformation. Luther returned to Wittenberg and introduced public worship, with the liturgy in German and communion in both kinds in Electoral Saxony and in Hesse. The spread of the Reformation was favored by the emperor's deep involvement in the war with France.  2
The Knights' War, led by Franz von Sickingen and Ulrich von Hutton (the humanist knight), who hoped to improve the position of the imperial knights by strengthening the authority of the emperor at the expense of the princes. Without Luther's knowledge, they wanted to use the Lutheran movement for their political purposes. Sickingen's attack on the archiepiscopal city of Trier failed; he was besieged in his castle at Landstuhl and mortally wounded. Hutton fled to Switzerland. Luther published the Larger Catechism (1529), brief sermons on articles of faith, and the Shorter Catechism, concise explanations of doctrine in question-and-answer form. The printing press rapidly spread his teaching. Luther's remarkable gift for language a major reason for his fame; hymns such as the stirring “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (1530).  3
The PEASANTS' WAR, in Swabia and Franconia. The peasants took the occasion of the disorders attendant on Luther's revolt (inspiration of his passionate attacks on the constituted authorities) to rise against the social and economic inequalities of German feudalism. They incorporated their demands in the revolutionary Twelve Articles. Luther totally condemned this attack on legal authority. The peasants were defeated at Königshofen and perhaps 60,000 executed.  4
Ferdinand of Austria, younger brother of Charles V, to whom the emperor had entrusted the government of Germany in 1522, formed an alliance with the two dukes of Bavaria and the bishop of southern Germany in the hope of checking the religious changes.  5
The BATTLE OF PAVIA (See 1525, Feb. 24).  6
1526, Aug. 29
Battle of Mohács (plain on the Danube in southern Hungary). The janissaries and artillery of the Ottoman Turks smashed the Hungarian army, killing King Louis II and many of the nobility. A week later Suleiman reached Buda, and two-thirds of Hungary came into the hands of the Ottoman Turks.  7
Second war between Charles V and Francis I, who had declared that the conditions of the peace of Madrid were extorted by force and hence void. Alliance of Cognac between Francis, the pope, Venice, and Francesco Sforza, against the emperor. The imperial army, unpaid and mutinous, took Rome by storm under the Constable de Bourbon, who fell in the assault; the pope besieged in the Castle of St. Angelo (1527; (See 1527, May 6). The French general Lautrec invaded Naples, but the revolt of Genoa (Doria), whose independence Charles V promised to recognize, and the epidemic of plague, of which Lautrec himself died, compelled the French to raise the siege of the capital and retire to France.  8
Diet of Speyer. Charles's envoys insisted that the Edict of Worms be enforced, that Lutheran estates allow Catholics to attend the Mass, and that Zwinglianism (See 1519, Jan. 1) and Anabaptism be suppressed. Lutherans protested that they could not be compelled to act against conscience; hence, they and all who left the Catholic Church were called Protestants.  9
1529, Aug. 3
Treaty of Cambrai (Paix des dames), negotiated by Margaret of Austria, Charles's aunt, and Louise of Savoy, duchess of Angoulême, mother of Francis. Francis paid two million crowns and renounced his claims upon Italy, Flanders, and Artois; Charles promised not to press his claims upon Burgundy for the present and released the French princes.  10
Diet of Augsburg, with the emperor presiding. Lutheran doctrine, drafted by Luther's associate Philip Melanchthon, was officially formulated in the Confession of Augsburg: justification (salvation) by faith, a free and arbitrary gift of God, not by good works; authority in the Church exists in Scripture alone (sola scriptura), meaning the rejection of ecclesiastical tradition and of the papacy as source of authority; the church equivalent to the community of believers, thus rejecting identification of church with the clergy. These principles became the basic tenets of all Protestant groups. Although Charles had summoned the diet to achieve religious reconciliation and win unified opposition to the Ottoman threat, the assembly confirmed the schism.  11
1530, Feb
Charles crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Bologna by Pope Clement VII, in the last papal coronation of a German emperor.  12
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.