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Peace Of Augsburg

What Was The Peace Of Augsburg?

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The Peace of Augsburg came as a result of the Reformation that occurred in Western Europe, which brought forth dissent within the Roman Catholic Church, leading to the beginning of Protestantism. Martin Luther’s attempts at pushing for reformation of the Roman Catholic Church from within failed, forcing him to revolt after being excommunicated. The active revolt and open defiance of the Catholic Church earned Luther an increasing number of supporters leading to the start of Lutheranism.

It was clear that there was need to settle the religious issues and the Peace of Augsburg achieved the settlement by ending the struggle between Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism.  Leaders of different states were allowed to choose between Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism as the official religion of their territories under the principle Cuius regio, eius religio (Whose region, his religion). Subjects of the different states opposed to the official religion were allowed to immigrate to other states that conformed to their religious inclinations.

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The Peace of Augsburg, basically, was the "legalization" of Catholicism and Lutheranism in the country of Germany. This was signed into effect on September 25, 1555.

The initial move to "legalize" the religions of Catholicism and Lutheranism was made in 1552. Given that the Charles V did not wish to acquiesce to the demands being made.

The main aspects of the Peace of Augsburg were:

- Peace was to be maintained between both the Catholic and Lutheran practitioners.

-Lutheran royalty was to have the same securities as those of the Catholics.

-Every principality was to decide if they were to practice Catholicism or Lutheranism, all other religions were not allowed.

-Principalities under control of a non-Catholic prince would give up prior religious control and be controlled by the Church.

-Imperial cities were to keep the named religious parity during the time of the Truce of Passau.

-Church lands were to legally belong to the Augsburg Confession already in their possession at the time of the Truce of Passau.

-People would be able to move from principality to principality in order to keep their own personal preference of religion (only if Catholic or Lutheran).

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The Peace of Augsburg, which was a result of the Reformation, was signed in 1555 and divided Europe into the Roman Catholic Church and the new Lutheran (Protestant) Church. Charles V (1500–1558), the Holy Roman emperor, was reluctant to concede lands to Protestantism, yet he also wished to end the religious divisions in the empire. Princes themselves had converted to Lutheranism, and they convinced Charles to allow each prince to choose between the two faiths for his own land. The Peace of Augsburg officially recognized the Lutheran Church and the right of people to worship as Protestants.

Further Information: "The Peace of Augsburg." Encyclopædia Britannica. [Online] Available,5716,11373+1,00.html, October 20, 2000; The English Reformation and Counter Reformation. [Online] Available, October 20, 2000.