Reformation and the political interests of the Hungarian nobility in the first part of the 1520s

Gusarova, T. P. Reformatciya i politicheskie zaprosy vengerskogo dvoryanstva v pervoy polovine 1520-kh gg. [Reformation and the political interests of the Hungarian nobility in the first part of the 1520s], in: Proslogion: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Social History and Culture, 2018. Vol. 4 (2). P. 123141.

Tatiana Pavlovna Gusarova, doctor of History, assistant professor, Medieval History Department, Moscow State University named after M. V. Lomonosov (119234, Rossiya, Moskva, Lomonosovskiy prospekt, 27/4)

Language: Russian

The article studies the initial period of the Reformation in the Kingdom of Hungary (before the Battle of Mohács, 1526). Proceeding from the confessionalization paradigm, the author examines the correlation of the religious, political and social components in it. The research is based on the legislative material, i. e. the decisions of the Hungarian State assemblies of the first half of the 1520s, against the background of the most important events of the period. The author argues that, despite the penetration Lutheran ideas into the Kingdom, society didn’t yet have a clear understanding of their essence. In those years the persecutors of the heretics called all opponents of the Catholic Church «Lutherans», even if the persecuted were not familiar with the teaching of Luther. The quick reaction of the official authorities to the new doctrine, reflected in the decisions of the State Assemblies of 1523 and 1525, was caused rather by struggle within the political elite of the Kingdom, the confrontation between the so-called «Court» (pro-German) and «noble» («national») «parties», to be more exact. A part of the Hungarian magnates and noblemen behind them were concerned about the claims of the Austrian Habsburgs to the Hungarian throne and the growing influence of the Germans at the royal court, who not only supported the Austrian Habsburgs, but also openly sympathized with the ideas of Luther. They were afraid that they would lose their privileges, the participation in government, the influence on the monarch and the right to choose him. The opposition blamed of the «court» party led by the king and the highest dignitaries of the failure to defend the southern borders of the Kingdom against the Turks, who in 1521 captured Belgrade. Therefore, the National Assembly in 1523 and 1525 adopted strict laws against the Lutherans, by which they meant foreigners, and first of all, the Germans who took over the royal court, and demanded the expulsion of the latter and their place be taken by the Hungarians. Opposition threats were effective, and many foreigners (Germans) left the court and Hungary. However, this could neither prevent further distribution of the Hungarian political elite in different groups, which brought Mohács catastrophe closer, nor the eradication of Lutheranism, which, after 1526, overcame all the obstacles to its development.

Key Words: Reformation, State Assembly, Kingdom of Hungary in the 16–17th centuries, royal court, political elite, Luther, Jagiello dynasty, Werbőczy


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