Peace of Augsburg

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The Peace of Augsburg was a treaty signed between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League on September 25, 1555 at the city of Augsburg in Germany.

The effect of the treaty was to establish official toleration for Lutherans in the Holy Roman Empire. According to the policy of cuius regio, eius religio ("he who rules, his religion", or "in the Princes land, the Princes religion"), the religion (Catholic or Lutheran) of a region's ruler determined the religion of its people. During a grace period, families could choose to move to a region where their faith was practiced. (Article 24: "In case our subjects, whether belonging to the old religion or the Augsburg confession, should intend leaving their homes with their wives and children in order to settle in another, they shall be hindered neither in the sale of their estates after due payment of the local taxes nor injured in their honour.")

Although the Peace of Augsburg was moderately successful in relieving tension in the empire and increasing tolerance, it left important things undone. Neither the Anabaptists nor the Calvinists were protected under the peace, so many Protestant groups living under the rule of a Lutheran prince still found themselves in danger of the charge of heresy. (Article 17: "However, all such as do not belong to the two above named religions shall not be included in the present peace but be totally excluded from it.") Tolerance was not officially extended to Calvinists until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.

By aligning religious divisions with political divisions, the Peace of Augsburg fixed the patchwork of states that characterized Germany into the 19th century. Some historians argue that this late unification as a nation-state led to the extreme German nationalism in the 19th and 20th centuries, and thus indirectly to World War I and World War II.

External links

fr:Paix d'Augsbourg nl:godsdienstvrede van Augsburg pl:Pokój augsburski pt:Paz de Augsburgo

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