Today in Catholic History – The Peace of Augsburg

On 25 September 1555, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the Lutheran Schmalkaldic league agreed to the Peace of Augsburg.

The Peace of Augsburg brought at temporary end to the fighting between Lutherans and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire by establishing the principle Cuius regio, eius religio. Each German prince in the Empire could choose to practice either Lutheranism or Catholicism and those within each prince’s domain would be obliged to follow the faith of their liege. There was a brief period of time given for families of one denomination to move to a German state practicing their particular faith.

The Peace of Augsburg established a permanent division in the Holy Roman Empire between Lutherans and Catholics. Moreover, because other Protestant denominations such as Calvinism and the Anabaptists were not included in the Peace of Augsburg religious conflicts would again break out in the Thirty Years War and result in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

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