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German History in Documents and Images
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Peasant Rebels of 1525 (1525)
In 1525, a series of peasant rebellions incited by demands for greater local self-government and religious freedom swept through many of the southern German lands. The rebellions came to be known collectively as the Revolution of 1525, or the German Peasants’ War. This image, which decorated the title page of a broadsheet listing the rebels’ Twelve Articles, depicts a band of peasants armed with pitchforks and other primitive weapons. Inexperienced, insufficiently organized, and ill-equipped, thousands of peasants died in the uprising. Woodcut by an unknown German artist, 1525.