George of Podebrady


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George of Podĕbrady

 

Born Apr. 23, 1420, in Podĕ-brady; died Mar. 22, 1471, in Prague. King of Bohemia from 1458 to 1471. Descendant of noble family from Kunŝtát.

George emerged as one of the leaders of the Utraquists (also called Calixtines) after the Hussite wars. In 1452, as head of the Utraquists, he was elected regent of Bohemia, and in 1458, king. Overcoming the resistance of the Catholic nobles, George, who was backed by the lower and middle gentry and burghers, pursued a policy of strengthening the Bohemian state and its independence. He proposed a plan for unifying the main European monarchs, which was supposed to limit the intrigues of the papacy in international politics and rally the forces of the European states against the Turkish danger and guarantee peace in Europe. George’s policies met with hostility from the Catholic Church. He was condemned by the pope as a heretic in 1466.

Foreign and internal feudal reactionaries had created the Green Mountain Confederacy in 1465, which was directed against George and was an armed alliance of Bohemian Catholic nobles supported by the Hungarian king Mátyás Corvinus, who in 1469 was elected king of Bohemia by some of the nobles. During the course of the war against the confederacy, George died.

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