Czech Uprising of 1547

Czech Uprising of 1547

 

the first large-scale uprising in the Czech lands against Hapsburg rule.

The uprising was provoked by heavy taxation, religious persecution, and the growing power of the German element in the country. Its immediate cause was an attempt by the Hapsburg king Ferdinand I to involve the Czech estates in the war with the Schmalkaldic League. The uprising was incited by the royal cities (headed by Prague), which were joined by the minor and middle nobility and landowners.

The Diet that convened in Prague in March confronted the king with the demands of the estates, set forth in 57 articles providing for regular meetings of the Diet, the Diet’s right to elect the king, and other prerogatives. The Diet also elected an administrator for the kingdom and a commander in chief from among the representatives of the estates. Ferdinand responded by besieging Prague in July. Disagreements among the insurgents made it easier to crush the uprising. The Bloody Diet, convened in August, consolidated the victory of the Hapsburgs. Four of the uprising’s leaders were executed; the royal cities lost their privi leges and paid an indemnity; and the Hapsburgs gained the right to convene the Diet and appoint higher officials.

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