GEORGE OF PODEBRAD (1420-1471), king of Bohemia, was the son of Victoria of Kunstat and Podebrad, a Bohemian nobleman, who was one of the leaders of the "Orphans" or modern Taborites during the Hussite wars.
For some years after the death of John Huss (1415), the majority of his followers were split into two contending factions: the Hussite Wars began; and the net result of the conflict seemed to be that while the Utraquists, content with the grant of the cup to the laity, were recognized by the pope as the national Church of Bohemia (1433), the more radical Taborites were defeated at the battle of Lipan (1434) and ceased to exist.
In the beginning of 1409 he concluded a treaty with Jagiello at Novogrudok for the purpose, and on the 9th cf July 1410 the combined Polish-Lithuanian forces, reinforced by Hussite auxiliaries,.
The Hussite movement, a victorious expression of Czech nationality, is contemporaneous with the loss of German dominion in Prussia; the exodus of German students from Prague takes place a year before the defeat of the Order at Tannenburg.
The Hussite wars, the feuds of Burgundian and Armagnac, the renewal of the Hundred Years' War, all prevented it from drawing new blood from the west.
The success of the Hussite raids in Germany gave fresh confidence to the Sla y s of Poland.
The city developed with great rapidity, and at the outbreak of the Hussite troubles, early in the 14th century, was next to Prague the most important in Bohemia, having become the favourite residence of several of the Bohemian kings.
By way of reprisals for the Hussite outrages in Prague, the miners of Kuttenberg seized on any Hussites they could find, and burned, beheaded or threw them alive into the shafts of disused mines.
In the Hussite wars it took the utraquist side, was occupied in 1420 by King Sigismund, but retaken the next year by the troops of Prague.
The Hussite movement may be said to have sprung from three sources, which are however closely connected.
The Hussite movement was also a democratic one, an uprising of the peasantry against the landowners at a period when a third of the soil belonged to the clergy.
The Hussite movement assumed a revolutionary character as soon as the news of the death of Huss reached Prague.
Under the influence of his brother Sigismund, king of the Romans, King Wenceslaus endeavoured to stem the Hussite movement.
On the 30th of July 1419, when a Hussite procession headed by the priest John of Lelivo (in Ger.
The nobles, who though favourable to the Hussite cause yet supported the regent, promised to act as mediators with Sigismund; while the citizens of Prague consented to restore to the royal forces the castle of Vysehrad, which had fallen into their hands.
Unable to maintain himself there he marched to southern Bohemia, and after defeating the Romanists at Sudomef - the first pitched battle of the Hussite wars - he arrived at Usti, one of the earliest meeting-places of the Hussites.
This document, the most important of the Hussite period, runs thus in the wording of the contemporary chronicler, Laurence of Brezova: I.
These articles, which contain the essence of the Hussite doctrine, were rejected by Sigismund, mainly through the influence of the papal legates, who considered them prejudicial to the authority of the Roman see.
After an unsuccessful attempt to storm Zatec the crusaders retreated somewhat ingloriously, on hearing that the Hussite troops were approaching.
The almost uninterrupted series of victories of the Hussites now rendered vain all hope of subduing them by force of arms. Moreover, the conspicuously democratic character of the Hussite movement caused the German princes, who were afraid that such views might extend to their own countries, to desire peace.
On the 1st of August 1431 a large army of crusaders, under Frederick, margrave of Brandenburg, whom Cardinal Cesarini accompanied as papal legate, crossed the Bohemian frontier; on the 14th of August it reached the town of Domazlice (Tauss); but on the arrival of the Hussite army under Prokop the crusaders immediately took to flight, almost without offering resistance.
Prolonged negotiations ensued; but finally a Hussite embassy, led by Prokop and including John of Rokycan, the Taborite bishop Nicolas of Pelhfimov, the "English Hussite," Peter Payne and many others, arrived at Basel on the 4th of January 1433.
On the 5th of July 1436 the compacts were formally accepted and signed at Iglau, in Moravia, by King Sigismund, by the Hussite delegates, and by the representatives of the Roman Church.
From the end of the 16th century the inheritors of the Hussite tradition in Bohemia were included in the more general name of "Protestants" borne by the adherents of the Reformation.
All histories of Bohemia devote a large amount of space to the Hussite movement.
The publication of the work was hindered by the police-censorship, which was especially active in criticizing his account of the Hussite movement.
The west came the Hussite propagandists teaching that all men were equal, and that all property should be held in common.
Albert, a sturdy soldier, who had given brilliant proofs of valour and generalship in the Hussite wars, was crowned king of Hungary at Szekesfehervar (Stuhlweissenburg) on the 1st of January 1438, elected king of the Romans at Frankfort on the 18th of March 1438, and crowned king of Bohemia at Prague on the 29th of June 1438.
And the counts of Cilli, flooded northern and western Hungary with Hussite mercenaries, one of whom, Jan Giszkra, she made her captain-general, while Wladislaus held the central and south-eastern parts of the realm.
At this very time northern Hungary, including the wealthy mining towns, was in the possession of the Hussite mercenary Jan Giszkra, who held them nominally for the infant king Ladislaus V., still detained at Vienna by his kinsman the emperor.
About the year 1437 two Hussite monks named Minas and Balint (i.e.
Dresden, Aussig and Leitmeritz are all reminiscent of the fierce battles of the Hussite wars, and the last named of the Thirty Years' War.
From the outbreak of the Hussite Wars to the Thirty Years' War Saaz was Hussite or Protestant, but after the battle of the White Mountain (1620) the greater part of the Bohemian inhabitants left the town, which became German and Roman Catholic.
On the other hand there were movements, such as the Waldensian, the Wycliffite and Hussite,which are often described as "reformations anticipating the Reformation" which "set out from the Augustinian conception of the Church, but took exception to the development of the conception," and were pronounced by the medieval church as heretical for (1) "contesting the hierarchical gradation of the priestly order; or (2) giving to the religious idea of the Church implied in the thought of predestination a place superior to the conception of the empirical Church; or (3) applying to the priests, and thereby to the authorities of the Church, the test of the law of God, before admitting their right to exercise, as holding the keys, the power of binding and loosing" (Harnack's History of Dogma, vi.
In 1318 it passed to the mark of Brandenburg; in 1319 to Bohemia; and in 1635, after suffering much in the Hussite and Thirty Years' wars, it came into the possession of Saxony.
Frederick was a member of the family of Wettin, which since his day has played a prominent part in the history of Europe, and he owed his new dignity to the money and other assistance which he had given to the emperor during the Hussite war.
Wycliffe's ideas, conveyed to the continent, precipitated the outbreak of the Hussite storm in Bohemia.
In return Hussite mercenaries fought on the Polish side at Tannenburg, and Czech patriots repeatedly offered the crown of Bohemia to Wladislaus.
Indeed, from first to last, the Polish gentry as a body took good care to pay and fight as little as possible, and Casimir depended for the most part upon the liberality of the Church and the Prussian towns, and the valour of the Hussite infantry, 17c,000 of whom, fighting on both sides, are said to have perished.
Hussite influences, in the beginning of the 15th century, had been superficial and transitory.
The Polish government had employed Hussite mercenaries, but rejected Hussite propagandists.
Thus we find that Bishop Andrew of Bnin seized five Hussite priests and caused them to be burnt in the market of Posen in 1439.
Of Bohemia, founded here a convent for Benedictine nuns, which was destroyed in the Hussite wars.
In the Hussite wars, after its capture by the utraquist, Leitmeritz remained true to "the Chalice," shared also in the revolt against Ferdinand I., and suffered in consequence.
During the Hussite wars its people remained loyal to the Roman Catholic Church.
It suffered severely during the Hussite war, during the Swedish invasion in 1631 and 1647, and in the War of the Austrian Succession in 1742.
Under later rulers the connexion with Bohemia brought the Silesians no benefit, but involved them in the destructive Hussite wars.
In consequence of these raids the German element of population in Upper Silesia permanently lost ground; and a complete restitution of the Slavonic nationality seemed imminent on the appointment of the Hussite, George Podiebrad, to the Bohemian kingship in 1457.
These privileges still remained to them at the outset of the religious Reformation, which the Silesians, in spite of their Catholic zeal during the Hussite wars, accepted readily and carried out with singularly little opposition from within or without.
The Hussite movement further weakened the spell of the Church.