the influence of the estates in their realm. As the Lutherans supported the estates, the Pietists' wish to establish themselves in the Hohenzollern lands came just at the right time. By helping Spener in his social activities in Berlin, but above all by granting special privileges to Francke at Halle, the Prussian sovereign was able to curtail the influence of the Lutheran establishment and this, as he knew, in turn served to weaken the political role of the estates. It was not love for Pietism that led the Hohenzollerns in their decision to support Halle Pietism; rather, they used the Pietists at Halle for their own political ends.
Francke proved to be more than an equal in dealing with Prussian sovereigns. Francke was committed to building a kingdom of his own, or, rather, one should say, he was convinced that he was the instrument chosen by God to build His kingdom. When Frederick William I became King of Prussia in 1713, he sent an ultimatum to Francke, demanding that he stop his involvement in worldwide projects. Instead, he should concentrate his efforts on helping to improve society and educational provision within Prussia. Francke knew that he had to give in, or at least to give the king the impression that he agreed. In truth, Francke pursued what can be called a double strategy On the one hand, he sent some of his alumni to teach at the military orphanage in Berlin and he also supplied the Prussian army with military chaplains. Through this and other means he attempted to demonstrate to the king that Halle served the king's policies and nothing else. On the other hand, Francke not only continued to keep contact with Pietists in many other countries, but he actively expanded Halle's sphere of influence. As recent research has clearly shown, Francke corresponded with like-minded Christians in east-central Europe, especially Hungary and Bohemia, and in northern Europe, most notably in Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia. He even sent an expedition to Siberia. Francke also developed close ties to the court in Copenhagen, to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in England and to many of the German communities which had migrated to the British colonies in North America. He also supplied them with bibles and with pharmaceutical products, most notably the essentia dulcis. As a result, between the time of Spener's death in 1705 and Francke's death in 1727, Halle not only was the most important centre of Pietism within Prussia - such that some historians argue that the rise of Prussia and the very special Prussian values can only be understood if one takes into account the influence of Pietism - but also the most active centre of Pietism worldwide. Two centuries after the Reformation, and after a long period of German Lutheran self-centeredness, the Halle Pietists were the first German-speaking Christians to become active outside of Germany
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