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for administering church finances and church property. In short, they were not only representatives of the prince in his position as the head of the church, but they were also empowered to enforce the edicts concerning church doctrine and church life that the prince wanted to put into effect. In some Lutheran states church affairs were run by bishops, as for example in Sweden, where the church was headed by the Archbishop of Uppsala. In regard to practical matters of church life as well as the preservation and defence of Lutheran or Calvinist doctrine, only small differences existed between Protestant churches under the leadership of bishops and those run by consistories. In both cases, the princes attempted to incorporate the churches into the emerging bureaucracy of their absolutist rule and, to varying degrees, were successful in doing so. Only in a small number of Protestant states in central Europe did estates continue to exert some power in church matters. Within the empire, the Mecklenburg duchies and the Duchy of W├╝rttemberg were such cases. Outside the empire, this was true of some Calvinist provinces of Hungary that were, as we shall see, under continued Catholic pressure, as well as the Protestant cantons of the Swiss federation.

Within the Protestant states of central Europe, the backbone of the established churches was the support first by the ruling princes and then, especially in towns, by the families that belonged to the well-educated middle classes. By contrast, noble families very often took pride in their legal autonomy as well as in their social distinction and cherished their own confessional tradition, which might be different from the established tradition within the state. In the decades after 1648, moreover, it took a long time before confessional indoctrination made any significant impact among members of the lower classes. As servants of artisans or farmers the lower classes adhered, as a rule, to the faith practised by their masters. When they had the opportunity to migrate to other regions in search of a better life, or when they were forced to migrate, they often showed little confessional loyalty. Even among artisans there are examples of people who changed their confessional affiliation several times.

But there were also spectacular examples of confessional loyalty. The Huguenots who decided to leave France in 1685 rather than convert to Catholicism formed close confessional communities and congregations in the states that offered them places of refuge. They were led by Reformed pastors who in turn were supported by a large number of well-educated merchants and artisans. In their host societies they managed to create communities adhering to the Reformed faith which remained loyal to the religious tradition of their heroic forefathers well into the nineteenth century. The Waldensians who were forced to emigrate only a few years after the Huguenots also showed

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