Christian Europe—German Reformation

1350 to 1650
House of Luxembourg to Peace of Westphalia

Era Summary       Characters       Timeline       Reading Assignments      

Characters—German Reformation

Character/Date Short Biography

Hussite Rebellion

John Hus
Initiated a movement based on writings of Wycliffe. Excommunicated, and burned at the stake.
Wenceslas of Bohemia
Mentally unstable king of Bohemia best known for allowing execution of Jan Hus and provoking Hussite War.
Jan Ziska
Leader of the Hussites whose military tactics, were particularly interesting and novel.

Protestant Leaders

John Calvin
Protestant Theologian. Influenced French Huguenots, Presbyterian Scots, and English Puritans.
Martin Luther
Leader of the Protestant Reformation. Excommunicated by Catholic Church.
Philip Melanchthon
Protestant theologian who collaborated with Martin Luther. Served with Luther on the faculty at the University of Wittenberg
Frederick the Wise
Known as the 'Elector of Saxony', a powerful Prince who founded the University of Wittenberg, and supported Luther during his trial for heresy.
Huldrych Zwingli
Priest who was a critic of the abuses of the Church and an early leader of the Reformation in Zurich, Switzerland.
John Gutenberg
Invented printing press. Made improvements over many years on types, inks and methods.
Desiderius Erasmus
Humanist Philosopher and theologian. Befriended Luther, but did not break from the church.

German Peasant War

Thomas Munzer
Radical protestant reformer who was a rebel leader during the Peasants War in Germany.
Goetz of the Iron Hand
Robber baron who led the peasants uprising in Germany shortly after the protestant reformation.

Dutch Revolt

William the Silent
Hero of the Dutch Revolt. Led resistance to the Inquisition and Spanish tyranny.
Count Hoorn
Admiral of the Dutch Navy. With Egmont, protested Inquisition and was beheaded.
Count Egmont
Powerful Noble in Low Countries during Dutch Revolt. Protested Inquisition and was beheaded.
Marice of Nassau
Son of William the Silent and Statholder of the Dtuch Republic after the death of his father.
Margaret of Parma
Half-sister of Philip II of Spain who governed the Netherlands in the early years of the Dutch revolt.
Alexander Farnese
Nephew of Philip III, who governed the Netherlands in the later years of the Dutch revolt.

Thirty Years War

Count of Tilly
One of the two major generals of the HRE imperial forces during the Thirty Years War.
Military leader of the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years War.
Great Elector
Calvinist Duke of Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg who made commercial and domestic reforms and laid the groundwork for the rise of Prussia.

Hapsburg Emperors

Rudolf I of Germany
First Hapsburg to hold throne of Germany. Laid foundations of the Hapsburg Empire.
Maximilian I
Romantic and chivalrous Emperor. Added Burgundian Lowlands to the Hapsburg Realm.
Charles V
16th century Hapsburg Emperor who ruled Austria, the Netherlands, Spain and parts of Italy.

Recommended Reading—German Reformation

Book Title
Selected Chapters (# chapters)

Core Reading Assignments

Marshall - The History of Germany   Charles V to Joseph I and Charles VI (12)
Finnemore - Germany: Peeps at History   The Reformation to The Thirty Year's War (2)

Supplemental Recommendations

Aston - Stories from German History   Dawn of the Reformation to The Aftermath (4)
Marshall - The Story of Europe   Beginning of Reformation to Spain and Netherlands (5)
Morris - Historical Tales: German   Ziska, the Blind Warrior to The Siege of Vienna (8)
Singmaster - Martin Luther    entire book
Upton - Youth of the Great Elector    entire book
Upton - Prince Eugene, the Noble Knight    entire book
Upton - William of Orange    entire book
Macgregor - The Netherlands    entire book

Easy Reading Selections

Haaren - Famous Men of Modern Times   Wallenstein to Gustavus Adolphus (2)