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Analyze the Causes of and the Responses to the Peasants' Revolts in the German States, 1524-1526

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1. Analyze the causes of and the responses to the peasants' revolts in the German states, 1524-1526.

From 1524-1526, German peasants revolted against the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire; this event was principally caused by extremist views of Marin Luther's doctrine. The peasants demanded freedom from their poor economic situation and oppression by the nobles and proprietors. Townspeople allowed the peasants into their city gates through feelings of empathy towards the peasants due to the unfair treatment to them by the upper class; others responded with more violence and condemnation such as the nobility and Luther himself.

The peasants did not want to be under serfdom or economic grief by the nobility. Since they desire brotherly love, they believe that the rich should share their wealth with the poor (Doc 1 and 8). Lorenz Fries may have more frank in his report since it was a secret report that was not meant for the public eye. Document 2 states the exact desires made by the peasants; Sebastian Lotzer said that the peasants would not continue to be oppressed. However since Lotzer is a preacher, he looks at the moral outlook of the situation and states that if lords stop forcing compensation from peasants, then peasants should help the lord in times of trouble (Doc 2). The letter written by Count Wilhelm describes the greed of the peasants; they initially attacked the monasteries and stole its wealth, and then they gradually moved on to stealing from the nobility (Doc 11). Due to the nobility's dislike of the peasants during this period, this letter may have been biased and contain an exaggeration of the situation.

The peasants asserted certain demands from the nobility; they wrote it in the twelve articles. In document 1, von Eck states that the peasants back their reasons for the revolt on the Lutheran doctrine; Leonard von Eck believes that the peasants are blinded by their demands for brotherly love. Von Eck is biased since by being the Chancellor of Bavaria, he is part of the upper class, so he appealed to the peasants by not directing the blame directly at them in fear of an attack against him. They also believed that they deserved to be treated just as equally as the nobility is since Christ died for their sins (Doc 3). They also desired to be released from their serfdom as stated in documents 2, 3, and 4. Even some pastors believed that the peasants should revolt; Thomas Muntzer stated that the revolt was "God's will" (Doc 6).

There was a diverse range of responses made by people during the Peasant revolt of 1524-1526. Many people sympathized with the peasants; in Pastor Herolt's report, he states that townsfolk aided the peasants in entering the city (Doc 5). Even though the revolt did not give them much personal gain, they empathized with the peasants. Other towns people like Casoer Nutzel agreed that peasants should be taken

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