This was the initial legal context that created coexistence for both Catholicism and Lutheranism in Germany in the year 1555. This was as a result of the assembly of the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire which met in Augsburg in the same year (“Peace of Augsburg | Germany ”, 2018). It resulted in the dominion of peace between these two conflicting groups, the Lutherans and the Catholics and gave freedom to the princes to choose whichever religion to follow. The citizens of the territories where these princes ruled over had to adhere to the selected religion but if they opted to follow another religion, they had the freedom to go to the territory of their choice. This created an environment whereby western civilization was not threatened by religious divisions.
The assembly held at Augsburg was called for by Charles V who empowered Ferdinand I to take part. Ferdinand at that time was the future emperor and was tasked with settles all issues during the assembly. During this assembly, the Diet made it clear that none of the princes would ever make war on another prince based on religious grounds or differences (“Peace of Augsburg | Germany ”, 2018). This ceasefire was to hold and take effect until the churches in question were reunited.
The rulings made also did not forget the territories that had and were still free imperial cities. These cities had the freedom to remain as they were and any religious citizens in these areas be they Catholics or Lutherans were to practice their religions freely. One major sensitive issue arose when the Lutheran knights were granted the freedom to continue with their religion in the ecclesiastical lands. This was because of the fact that the said lands were initially owned by Catholics. The stalemate ended when a clause was added stating that for any reason, if a prince presiding over ecclesiastical land converted to be a protestant, they should renounce their office, lands and incomes (“Peace of Augsburg | Germany ”, 2018). All in all, this peace created harmony for the Lutherans and Catholics in Germany.
- Peace of Augsburg | Germany . (2018). Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 6 February 2018, from https://www.britannica.com/event/Peace-of-Augsburg