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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

XVII: The Crusades Against the Hussites,   pp. 586-646 ff. PDF (24.0 MB)

Page 621

number of grim civil wars.97 There was a repeated bloody struggle between
palsgrave Louis of Witteisbach and margrave Bernard of Baden, in which duke
Charles of Lorraine and a number of cities— Strassburg, Basel, Freiburg,
and others—were also involved. Another war was being waged between
archbishop Conrad of Mainz and landgrave Louis of Hesse; archbishop Dietrich
of Cologne, bishop John of WUrzburg, and prince-abbot John of Fulda, as well
as a number of lay princes, were drawn into this struggle. Margrave elector
Frederick of Brandenburg—still trying to maintain his close friendship
with Poland and at the same time under continuous pressure from the holy
see—had had, up to the summer of 1427, difficulty in defending the
Brandenburg province called Uckerm ark against attacks by the dukes of Mecklenburg
and Pomerania, though eventually he maintained his position. 
 Perhaps of even more significance were the rebellions in a consider able
number of German cities. It is especially noteworthy that the majority of
these cities were the seats of bishops and archbishops, such as Mainz, Cologne,
Magdeburg, Speyer, Strassburg, Constance, WUrzburg, and Bamberg, or, in the
case of Erfurt, a city dependent on the archbishop of Mainz. While in some
of them the rebellions were, as in earlier times, directed mainly against
the patricians, the majority displayed a special hatred for the clergy and
above all for the bishops, some of whom had been the allies of the patrician
families. It is not easy to decide to what extent these developments reflect
a direct influence from the Hussites, with their antagonism against leading
clerical figures such as the newly promoted cardinal John "the Iron" of Olomouc.
In some regions where the Hussite armies had not only begun to invade repeatedly
but had also tried to establish contacts with the local population—as
was, for instance, true in some corners of Silesia—there is little
doubt that there had been some direct influence.98 There were also attempts
at broad casting leaflets over territories quite distant from Bohemia. In
any case the worry that such an influence might spread contributed to a changed
attitude on the part of those who until recently had taken it for granted
that the only proper policy was to destroy the "heresy"— and the "heretics"—by
force. This was true also in the case of Sigismund, who wanted at least a
prolonged truce which would enable him to go to Rome to be crowned emperor.
A measure of willingness toward compromise could also be found on the other
 97. See, for example, for what follows, J. Gustav Droysen, Geschichte der
preussischen Politik, I (Berlin, 1855), 504—507. 
 98. See U.B., II, 175 (no. 712) and 181—183 (nos. 719 and 720). 

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