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Anabaptism in Moravia and Silesia

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Chapter Summary

During the tenures of Ferdinand I and his successors, Moravia was caught in a permanent tension between the centralizing, absolutist tendencies of Habsburg politics and the “critical loyalty” of the Moravian lords, who persistently defended their liberties and privileges laid down in the traditional estate constitution. This tension heightened from the late 16th century on by the religious antagonism between the Catholic overlords and the predominantly Protestant estates culminated in the rebellion of the confederated estates of the Bohemian Lands in 1618–1620. Compared with the significant Anabaptist presence in Moravia, Anabaptism found very limited response in Bohemia, and that only temporarily and sporadically within the local German minority communities of Prague and in the centers of silver mining in south and north Bohemia. By contrast, a vigorous Anabaptist movement emerged between the late 1520s and the 1540s among the local population in parts of Silesia and in the County of Glatz.

Keywords: Anabaptism; Catholic overlords; Ferdinand I; German; Habsburg politics; Moravia; Protestant; Silesia



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