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German Peasants' War Research Papers

German Peasants' War research projects are custom written for students that need world history information. Paper Masters can help organize your thoughts and outline your topic on German history or the Peasants' War.

When Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses on the cathedral door, he was unleashing far more than the religious debate he hoped to spark.  His revolution would engulf all of Europe into decades of religious debate, religious experimentation, and religious warfare.  The Protestant Reformation affected the whole of European society and helped shape the character of the New World:

  • Political
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Religious

One of the most significant events of the Reformation was the German Peasants’ War.

German Peasants' War

Its significance remains mired in controversy.  “Was it, in fact, a revolution, the first in modern history, or rather the last fling of a long tradition of medieval rebellion?” asks one historian.  Another historian contends that “it was not just a movement of peasants but a revolt of ‘the common man’ in the towns and mining districts as well as on the land.  It was not simply a war but a failed social revolution.”  Scribner and Benecke cop out and call it both :the last great medieval peasant revolt” and “the first modern revolution.”  Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx’s otherwise junior partner, published his history of the war in 1850, fast on the heels of the failed revolution of 1848, and viewed the conflict through the prism of class struggle: “In the so-called religious wars of the Sixteenth Century, very positive material class-interests were at play, and those wars were class wars just as were the later collisions in England and France.”

Unrest and rebellions in the region of Southern Germany have been traced to the early Fifteenth Century, beginning with the 1476 anticlerical revolt of Hans Böheim, the “Piper of Niklashausen.”  In 1514 the “Poor Conrad” (Armer Konrad) revolt broke out in Württemberg, following the imposition of new taxes by the local duke.  Urban artisans soon joined the peasants, but the diet spilt the rebels through the appeasement of the urban grievances, allowing the duke to crush the peasants and execute the leaders of the revolt.  The rebellion of 1525, as the result of a peasant uprising on the estate of the count of Lupfen.  These rebels were led by Hans Müller, a former mercenary.  Müller formed an alliance with the townsmen of nearby Waldshut, who had refused to hand a radical preacher over to the authorities.  Simultaneously, peasants around Nuremberg refused to pay tithes, burning the tithe grain.  Three more risings took place around Lake Constance during the fall of 1524.  By the middle of October 1524, Hans Müller was at the head of a band of 5000 men.  Withdrawing into winter camp around Rietheim, Müller was eventually persuaded to disperse his forces in exchange for a negotiated settlement with the Count of Lupfen.

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