The Luxemburg Peasants War of 1798

also referred to as the Klöppelkrieg (war of the cudgels)

A.) The Pre-History of the Rebellion

Luxemburg, as part of the Austrian Netherlands, was occupied by French troops in 1794 and annexed by France in 1795, an annexion recognized by Austria in the PEACE OF CAMPO FORMIO (1797).
The French introduced a range of new taxes and passed regulations according to which all young men between 20 and 25 years were to serve in the army. The Luxemburg farmers, accustomed traditional law (abolished by the revolution) took up arms against what they regarded injustice,

B.) The Military Course of Events

The Klöppelkrieg broke out on Oct. 25th; the rural militia was called to assemble. They raided local taxation and conscription offices; by November 12th the rebels were defeated and dispersed. The most important skirmish was fought near Arzfeld. The untrained, ill-armed peasants were defeated. Many either fell on battle or were executed.

C.) The Legacy

The rebels were treated harshly by the French force of occupation; those captured were executed. Luxemburg was to remain under French administration until 1813.

Klöppelkrieg, from Interaktives Eifel-Lexikon, in German
De Klöppelkrieg, in : Andere revolutionaire of anti-Franse opstanden, by Wim van Dijck, in Dutch, scroll down

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on November 19th 2004

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