a remarkable degree of religious loyalty to their special tradition. They, too, continued to preserve their Waldensian faith in the places that were offered to them as new settlements. Even the Salzburgers who were expelled by an intransigent Catholic archbishop in the early 1730s and had to leave their native Alpine valleys retained their confessional identity for several generations. As they migrated to faraway places, some to East Prussia, others as far as the new British colony of Georgia, they were praised by their fellow Protestants as heroes of true Protestant faith. In the territories in which they were able to settle they received, in most cases, special privileges, including the right to practise their faith. As a result, they were able to celebrate the memory of their special religious destiny.
The privileges granted to Huguenots, Waldensians, and Salzburgers should not be considered an expression of religious tolerance on the part of the host princes, however. The Huguenots, for example, were famous as extremely talented and productive artisans, and the Lutheran princes were pursuing their own economic interests when they permitted the Huguenots to settle in their territories and retain their own Reformed traditions. The princes' position was marked by economic pragmatism, as dictated by the theories of mercantilism, not by a deliberate policy of toleration. Nor were those princes who granted refuge to the Salzburgers inspired by Enlightened ideas of religious toleration. As they paid tribute to the fame the Salzburgers had gained on their journey through the empire, they attempted to stylize themselves as champions of true Protestant faith. Even in Prussia, a policy of religious toleration came later.
The principle of 'cuius regio ejus religio', first proclaimed in 1555 and confirmed in 1648, was put to a severe test in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries when several Protestant princes decided to convert to Catholicism. The most spectacular case occurred in 1697 when the Elector of Saxony had the opportunity to become King of Poland on condition that he convert to Catholicism, which he did. And there were also other, similar cases. In 1733, for example, a Catholic prince inherited the Lutheran Duchy of Wurttemberg. Since the early Reformation of the sixteenth century, both Saxony and Wurttemberg had been first among the defenders of Lutheran faith. What could be done in Saxony and Wurttemberg to honour this tradition if their prince was a Catholic? How could the confessional balance of power in the Holy Roman Empire be preserved if leading princes changed confessional sides? In both cases the estates successfully claimed the right to protect Lutheranism and to be responsible for the course of church government. Through this compromise, the delicate relationship between Protestant and Catholic powers within the empire could be maintained.
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