Saxon Uprising of 1073–75

Saxon Uprising of 1073–75

 

a revolt of the population of Saxony and Thuringia against the German king Henry IV. Both free peasants and those who had already fallen into feudal dependence took part in the uprising, which was led by the local nobility. The rebels opposed the measures taken by Henry to consolidate the royal domain in Saxony and Thuringia. These measures included constructing fortresses with ministeriales (unfree officers dependent on the king) in command, exacting quitrent from the peasants, forcing the peasants to work on the construction of the royal fortresses, and recovering the lands of the royal domain that had been usurped by the nobility.

At first the rebels met with success. Henry fled from besieged Harzburg in August 1073, and the fortresses were demolished. The king, however, received support from the feudal lords of western and southern Germany and from the townspeople of Worms. In February 1074, at the decisive moment, the leaders of the uprising concluded a compromise peace with the king. The peasants, abandoned by their leaders, were defeated in June 1075. The suppression of the uprising accelerated the reduction of the Saxon peasantry to feudal dependence.

REFERENCE

Kolesnitskii, N. F. “Saksonskoe vosstanie 1073–1075 gg.” Uch. zap. Moskovskogo obl. ped. in-ta im. N. K. Krupskoi: Vseobshchaia istoriia, 1968, vol. 213, issue 10.

N. F. KOLESNITSKII

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