Armer Konrad, 1514
Württemberg Peasant Revolt 1514



A.) Prehistory

In 1482 Duke Eberhard the Bearded reunited Württemberg, after the County had been partitioned for a number of years. In 1495 Württemberg was elevated into a Duchy. The old and defunct Duchy of Swabia, of which Württemberg formed a major part, with the end of the Stauffen Dynasty in 1256 had been partitioned, granting numerous cities and knights immediate status; Swabia was the most fragmented region of the entire Holy Roman Empire.
The peasants of Württemberg were subject to an increasing taxation, often of indirect nature; which were collected to address the Duchy's debt crisis.


B.) The Expedition

In 1514 peasants took up arms to fight what they regarded betrayal by the authorities - the weights used to weigh their produce had been tampered with. The revolt began in Schorndorf, centered around Schorndorf, Leonberg, Urach; the rebel peasants referred to their movement as ARMER KONRAD (poor Conrad). Following an agreement with the Württemberg estates (Treaty of Tübingen 1514; the nobility was not invited), Duke Ulrich went attacked the peasant hordes. Poorly armed, inexperienced and lacking leadership, they were easily defeated by Duke Ulrich's force of knights and professional soldiers. 1,700 peasants were beheaded.
The peasants had demanded participation in the Württemberg diet, and were supported by the cities in the north of the Duchy, while they were opposed by the cities of the south.


C.) The Legacy

The defeat of the peasants did not address the issues; heavy taxation and burdensome feudal duties continued, and caused the German Peasants War of 1524-1525.




EXTERNAL
FILES
Der Aufstand des Armen Konrad, 1514, from Stadtmuseum Schorndorf, scroll down, in German
Armer Konrad, from Wikipedia, in German
Geschichte Württembergs von den Anfängen bis zum Ende der Reformationszeit (History of W. from the Beginning to the End of the Reformation Era), posted by Franz Quarthal, lecture outline in German
DOCUMENTS Rulers of Württemberg, from Wikipedia (names anglicized), from Genealogy Euweb (names in German)
REFERENCE



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on February 22nd 2004, last revised on November 17th 2004

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