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Two contemporary accounts of Martin Luther

This book presents a contemporary, eyewitness account of the life of Martin Luther translated into English. Johannes Cochlaeus (1479–1552) was present in the great hall at the Diet of Worms on April 18, 1521 when Luther made his famous declaration before Emperor Charles V: ‘Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen’. Afterward, Cochlaeus sought Luther out, met him at his inn, and privately debated with him. Luther wrote of Cochlaeus, ‘may God long preserve this most pious man, born to guard and teach the Gospel of His church, together with His word, Amen’. However, the confrontation left Cochlaeus convinced that Luther was an impious and malevolent man. Over the next twnety-five years, Cochlaeus barely escaped the Peasant's War with his life. He debated with Melanchthon and the reformers of Augsburg. It was Cochlaeus who conducted the authorities to the clandestine printing press in Cologne, where William Tyndale was preparing the first English translation of the New Testament (1525). For an eyewitness account of the Reformation—and the beginnings of the Catholic Counter-Reformation—no other historical document matches the first-hand experience of Cochlaeus. After Luther's death, it was rumoured that demons seized the reformer on his death-bed and dragged him off to Hell. In response to these rumours, Luther's friend and colleague Philip Melanchthon wrote and published a brief encomium of the reformer in 1548. Cochlaeus consequently completed and published his monumental life of Luther in 1549.

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The first collection of its kind, Chartist Drama makes available four plays written or performed by members of the Chartist movement of the 1840s. Emerging from the lively counter-culture of this protest campaign for democratic rights, these plays challenged cultural as well as political hierarchies by adapting such recognisable genres as melodrama, history plays, and tragedy for performance in radically new settings. A communal, public, and embodied art form, drama was linked for the Chartists with other kinds of political performance: the oratory of the mass platform, festival-like outdoor meetings, and the elaborate street theatre of protest marches. Plays that Chartists wrote or staged advanced new interpretations of British history and criticised aspects of the contemporary world. And Chartist drama intervened in fierce strategic arguments within the movement. Most notably, poet-activist John Watkins’s John Frost, which dramatises the gripping events of the Newport rising of 1839, in which twenty-two Chartists lost their lives, defends the rebellion and the Chartist recourse to violence as a means for the movement to achieve its aims. The volume’s appendices document over one hundred Chartist dramatic performances, staged by activists in local Chartist associations or at professional benefits at some of London’s largest working-class theatres. Gregory Vargo’s introduction and notes elucidate the previously unexplored world of Chartist dramatic culture, a context that promises to reshape what we know about early Victorian popular politics and theatre.

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

Allison Drew

John Ruedy, Modern Algeria: The Origins and Development of a Nation, 2nd edn (Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University, 2005), pp. 1–2, 10–12; Martin Evans and John Phillips, Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale, 2007 ), pp. 3, 13, 22–4, 230. 2 Eric R. Wolf, Peasant Wars of

in We are no longer in France
Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Open Access (free)
Alison Rowlands

whole the craftsmen had no automatic right to representation on the city council. This was dominated by an 4 WITCHCRAFT NARRATIVES IN GERMANY urban patriciate which made its money chiefly from land-rents rather than trade and which became increasingly exclusive during the early modern period, particularly after 1650. The tension between the urban patriciate and craftsmen over the question of access to political power periodically reached breaking point in Rothenburg.5 This occurred most spectacularly during the PeasantsWar of 1525, when the craftsmen seized the

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
Barbara L. Solow

market. Such societies produce only small surpluses and are mired in poverty. Peasants here cling to their land by restricting sales on a free market. But when the landlord ‘is bitten by the capitalist bug’ and is able to end these imperfections in the land market, traditional agriculture gives way to modern market systems.19 This is a very widespread pattern. The struggle against this transition, which is the story of the Irish land question, is involved with the peasant wars of the twentieth century. Each case has its own distinctive features, but they exemplify a

in Land questions in modern Ireland
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Samuel K. Cohn, Jr

fourteenth century’ – the English peasant war or uprising, which lasted for less than a month in all, and for only six days in the capital, as a challenge to royal power (10–15 June). For that revolt, students are well armed with the excellent and thorough collection compiled by R. B. Dobson, The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 , which has rightly become standard reading for most courses on the social history

in Popular protest in late-medieval Europe
Open Access (free)
Elizabeth Vandiver
Ralph Keen
, and
Thomas D. Frazel

describes the flight up the Rhine of Tyndale and his collaborator, William Roy, to the Lutheran sanctuary of Worms where they finally completed their monumental work. Introduction 3 Cochlaeus was an eyewitness when the Diets of Nuremberg (1522–3) abrogated the Emperor’s edict suppressing the reformers and demanded a national German council. At the outbreak of the PeasantsWar in 1524–5 Cochlaeus barely escaped with his life; his account of the savagery on both sides is still harrowing. In 1526 he was present when the Diet of Speyer laid the foundation for reformed

in Luther’s lives
Paul Blackledge

Peasant War In Germany (1850), his history of the Anabaptist revolt of the early sixteenth century: The worst thing that can befall a leader of an extreme party is to be compelled to take over a government in an epoch when the movement is not yet ripe for the domination of the class which he represents and for the realisation of the measures which that domination would imply. What he can do depends not upon his will but upon the sharpness of the clash of interests between the various classes, and upon the degree of development of the material means of existence, the

in Reflections on the Marxist theory of history