Schwäbisch Wörth (Donauwörth) 1607

The city of Schwäbisch Wörth (later renamed Donauwörth) since 1301 enjoyed the status of a Free Imperial or Immediate City. The majority of the population was Lutheran, as was the city council, but it had to tolerate the Catholic majority. When the Catholic minority complained about their rights being violated, the Imperial diet could not come to a conclusion, as the Catholic and Lutheran blocks were adamant in their positions and no compromise solution was agreed upon. Emperor Rudolf II. declared the ban over the city (1606).
In 1607, Duke Maximilian of Bavaria, at the Emperor's request, in execution of the Imperial ban, marched on the city. He had the city occupied. He declared to be willing to evacuate the city upon reimbursement for the costs of the occupation, estimated at Fl. 225,000, knowing that the Emperor was unable to come up with that sum. Wörth was placed under Bavarian administration, in violation of Imperial law. Immediately, the Counterrevolution was introduced. The event caused the Foundation of the Protestant Union (1608) and the Catholic League (1609) and laid the foundation for the Thirty Years' War.
The city's status as an immediate city was restored twice, in 1632 by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden (Thirty Years' War), in 1705 by the Austrians (War of Spanish Succession, but in both cases the status was only temporary; Bavaria held on to the city.

Lexikon : Donauwörth, from, in German
Maximilian I. von Bayern, from München im Dreissigjährigen Krieg, in German
REFERENCE Andreas Kraus, Geschichte Bayerns von den Anfangen bis zur Gegenwart (History of Bavaria, from the origins to the present day), München : Beck (1983) 2nd edition 1988, in German, p.234

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 15th 2004, last revised November 19th 2004

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