Gregory Brown
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Department of Philosophy
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204-3004

Schmalkaldic League

German Schmalkaldischer Bund,

during the German Reformation, a defensive alliance formed by Protestant states of the Holy Roman Empire to defend the newly formed Lutheran churches from attack by the Roman Catholic emperor Karl V. Established in 1531 at Schmalkalden, Germany, the league was led by Philip the Magnanimous of Hesse and Johann Friedrich (1503-1554) of Saxony. Among its other original member states were Brunswick, Anhalt, Mansfeld, Magdeburg, Bremen, Strassburg, and Ulm.

Fearing that the league would ally itself with his enemy, Francis I of France, Karl was forced to grant it de facto recognition until 1544, when he made peace with Francis. He then began military operations against its leaders and effectively destroyed it by 1547.

Copyright © 1994-2002 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.


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