1458-1555 1555-1612

Salzburg 1458-1555

The 15th century was an era of transition, from feudalism to what in German is referred to as Ständische Gesellschaft literally 'society of estates' - a class society based on monetary dues rather than corvee labour (which continued to exist), in statelets where a balance of power between monarch and estates was defined by tradition and privileges.
The Princebishopric of Salzburg was a peasant country; the city of Salzburg was the only larger city; a number of mining cities had only a few thousand inhabitants each.
The transfer of service obligations and dues in naturalia into monetary dues, an inflation caused by the devaluation of coin and increased taxation, partly caused by investments to counter Ottoman raids, caused a series of peasants revolts - 1458, Pongau 1462-1463, Carinthia 1478 (where the Stift owned exclaves), Carniola 1515 (affecting exclaves in Carinthia), and the German Peasants War, which affected Salzburg in 1525-1526.
Similarly, the burghers of the cities resented increasing taxation; in 1508 there was unrest among the miners of Rauris. In 1511 Princebishop Leonard von Keutschach, during a banquet, had the councilmen of the city of Salzburg arrested, abrogated the privileges of the city, in an attempt to submit the city to his control. The burghers of Salzburg accepted Lutheranism, and in 1523 it took another demonstration of force to cause them to accept the reintroduction of Latin mass (the "Latin War", a bloodless affair).
In 1514 the Cathedral Chapter of Salzburg was secularized, i.e. the members, although retaining the right to elect the next bishop, no longer were obliged to be ordained priests and to live by rules of canonic law. Administrator Ernst of Bavaria (1540-1554) himself was not an ordained priest, ruling with a papal dispense. His attempt to implement a (Catholic) church reform within his diocesis (which extended into Bavaria and Austria) in 1549-1554 failed, as the Dukes of Bavaria and Austria objected.
In 1478, 1480 and 1483 Salzburg territory was affected by Ottoman raids. The Ottoman threat (siege of Vienna 1529) caused additional taxation to be collected in Salzburg, thus contributing to rising tension.
Luther's mentor Johann Staupitz (who refused to accept his reformation) spent his last years in Salzburg. The Lutheran reformation spread in the Stift Salzburg in the early 1520es; in 1527 Anabaptists were persecuted in the Stift (38 executions).
Following the Latin War in 1523, Princebishop Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg decreed ordinnances for the city of Salzburg, following the Peasants' War 1525-1526, ordinnances for the Stift Salzburg, both of whom stipulated a strengthened central authority.

Article Salzburg, from EB 1911
Ernst von Bayern, from BBKL, in German
Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, from EB 1911, from Catholic Hierarchy, from aeiou, from Catholic Encyclopedia, from Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte, in German; from BBKL, in German
Die Landesfürsten von Salzburg (the Princes of Salzburg), from Salzburg Coins, in German
DOCUMENTS List of Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg, from Regnal Chronologies, scroll down; from World Statesmen; scroll down for Salzburg
Flag of Salzburg, from FOTW
REFERENCE Friederike Zaisberger, Geschichte Salzburgs (History of Salzburg), Wien : Oldenbourg 1998

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on April 22nd 2004, last revised on November 12th 2004

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