“A New Form, a New Shape, and a New History” Revolt and Reformation in Sixteenth Century Vienna, 1519–1524
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn 1519, after the death of Emperor Maximilian, the citizens of Vienna revolted against the emperor’s regency government and seized control of the city. This uprising soon expanded to the aristocratic estates, who joined forces with the urban rebels to challenge the authority of the Habsburgs. At the same time, Reformation ideas, texts, and preachers were entering the city and it was during these years of tumult that the nascent evangelical community in Vienna was born. This thesis examines events in Vienna during a six-year period from 1519 to 1524, exploring the ways in which three distinct lines of conflict- urban, dynastic, and religious- unraveled and intersected during this time of revolt and reformation. Highlighting the fluctuating nature of conflict and negotiation, the polycentric social organization of the city, and the formation and dissolution of insurgent coalitions, this thesis demonstrates how the intensification of preexisting conflicts during this upheaval helped shape the courses and outcomes of these conflicts. Drawing on a variety of archival and published sources from in and around Vienna, I argue that this six-year period of revolt and reformation marks a distinct shift in the history of the city, witnessing a transformation of Vienna’s political, social, and spiritual landscapes. While the defeat of the Viennese revolt meant the abolition of the city’s medieval autonomy and greater monarchical oversight in the city, the fluid and unstable situation created by the revolt allowed for the early and enduring growth of an evangelical Vienna.
Degree ProgramGraduate College