Augsburger Reichsabschied von 1555

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek


With the Augsburg imperial and religious peace treaty, the empire recognised the confession of the "Confessio Augustana" and, therefore, the Lutheran confession. The peace was ratified in 1555 on a diet in Augsburg as imperial law. In print, the Peace of Religion appeared as part of the so-called imperial recess, which also contained further political resolutions. The diet had been called by Charles V (1519-1556). After decade-long conflicts, the emperor and his councillors had arrived at the conclusion that Protestantism could no longer be defeated. The desire for peace was also wide-spread among the estates. The most important resolution of the imperial recess is the free choice of the confession. This was only valid for the estates, not for the subjects. The short formula coined in the sixteenth century declared "cuius regio, eius religio" ("Whose realm, his religion"). In imperial cities of mixed confession, in future both confessions should be able to exist in parallel. Despite its importance, the effects of the imperial recess can be interpreted in different ways. Even though it secured peace for decades to come, it also contained the seeds of future conflict. The division into Protestant and Catholic territories led to a high degree of alienation that finally was also co-responsible for the outbreak of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Datum: 2016


Matthias Bader

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