The programme of the more conservative Hussites (the moderate party) is contained in the Four Articles of Prague, which were written by Jakoubek ze Stříbra and agreed upon in July 1420, promulgated in the Latin, Czech, and German languages. The full text is about two pages long, but they are often summarized as: Freedom to preach the word of God
After the Hussite movement split into various factions early in the Hussite Wars, Hussites that emphasized the laity's right to communion under both kinds became known as Moderate Hussites, Utraquist Hussites, or simply Utraquists. The Utraquists were the largest major Hussite faction.
The fighting ended after 1434 when the moderate Utraquist faction of the Hussites defeated the radical Taborite faction. The Hussites agreed to submit to the authority of the king of Bohemia and the Roman Catholic Church, and were allowed to practice their somewhat variant rite.
- July 30, 1419 – May 30, 1434
- Eventual defeat for Radical Hussites, victory for Moderate Hussites, Compromise between Moderate Hussites and the Catholic Church few years after the fighting began, both join forces to fight Radical Hussites, Moderate Hussites are recognized by the Catholic Church and allowed to practise their variant rite, Radical Hussites are defeated and forced to practice their variant rites underground as these are now forbidden, Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor becomes king of Bohemia, Basel Compacts signed by Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, Catholic and Hussite representatives effectively end the Hussite Wars
The Hussites (Czech: Husité or Kališníci; "Chalice People") were a pre- Protestant Christian movement that followed the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus, who became the best known representative of the Bohemian Reformation.
The Prague Hussites, Prague Union (Czech: Pražský svaz) or simply "Praguers" (Czech: Pražané) was a faction of Moderate Hussites based in Prague, the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia. In September 1420, the first year of the Hussite Wars , the Prague Hussites, led by Hynek Krušina of Lichtenburg , besieged Vyšehrad castle, which was held ...
- The Outbreak of Fighting
- Wagenburg Tactics
- The First Anti-Hussite Crusade
- The Second Anti-Hussite Crusade
- Civil War
- Polish and Lithuanian Involvement
- The Third Anti-Hussite Crusade
- Campaigns of 1426 and 1427
- Beautiful Rides
Starting around 1402, priest and scholar Jan Hus denounced the corruption of the Church and the Papacy, and promoted the reformist ideas of English theologian John Wycliffe. His preaching was widely heeded in Bohemia, and provoked repression by the Church, which had declared Wycliffe a heretic. In 1411, in the course of the Western Schism, "Antipope" John XXIII proclaimed a "crusade" against King Ladislaus of Naples, the protector of rival Pope Gregory XII. To raise money for this, he authorized the sales of indulgencesin Bohemia. Hus bitterly denounced this practice, and explicitly quoted Wycliffe against it, provoking further complaints of heresy, but winning much support in Bohemia. In 1414, Sigismund of Hungary convened the Council of Constanceto end the Schism and resolve other religious controversies. Hus went to the Council, under a safe-conduct from Sigismund, but was imprisoned, tried, and executed on 6 July 1415. The knights and nobles of Bohemia and Moravia, who were in f...
The death of Wenceslaus resulted in renewed troubles in Prague and in almost all parts of Bohemia. Many Catholics, mostly Germans — mostly still faithful to the Pope — were expelled from the Bohemian cities. Wenceslaus' widow Sophia of Bavaria, acting as regent in Bohemia, hurriedly collected a force of mercenaries and tried to gain control of Prague, which led to severe fighting. After a considerable part of the city had been damaged or destroyed, the parties declared a truce on 13 November. The nobles, sympathetic to the Hussite cause, but supporting the regent, promised to act as mediators with Sigismund, while the citizens of Prague consented to restore to the royal forces the castle of Vyšehrad, which had fallen into their hands. Žižka, who disapproved of this compromise, left Prague and retired to Plzeň. Unable to maintain himself there he marched to southern Bohemia. He defeated the Catholics at the Battle of Sudoměř(25 March 1420), the first pitched battle of the Hussite war...
Depending on the terrain, Hussites prepared carts for the battle, forming them into squares or circles. The carts were joined wheel to wheel by chains and positioned aslant, with their corners attached to each other, so that horses could be harnessed to them quickly, if necessary. In front of this wall of carts a ditch was dug by camp followers. The crew of each cart consisted of 16-22 soldiers: 4-8 crossbowmen, 2 handgunners, 6-8 soldiers equipped with pikes or flails(the flail was the Hussite "national weapon"), 2 shield carriers and 2 drivers. The Hussites' battle consisted of two stages, the first defensive, the second an offensive counterattack. In the first stage the army placed the carts near the enemy army and by means of artillery fire provoked the enemy into battle. The artillery would usually inflict heavy casualties at close range. In order to avoid more losses, the enemy knights finally attacked. Then the infantry hidden behind the carts used firearms and crossbows to w...
After the death of his childless brother Wenceslaus, Sigismund inherited a claim on the Bohemian crown, though it was then, and remained till much later, in question whether Bohemia was an hereditary or an elective monarchy. A firm adherent of the Church of Rome, Sigismund was aided by Pope Martin V, who issued a bull on 17 March 1420 proclaiming a crusade “for the destruction of the Wycliffites, Hussites and all other heretics in Bohemia". Sigismund and many German princes arrived before Prague on 30 June at the head of a vast army of crusaders from all parts of Europe, largely consisting of adventurers attracted by the hope of pillage. They immediately began a siege of the city, which had, however, soon to be abandoned. Negotiations took place for a settlement of the religious differences. The united Hussites formulated their demands in a statement known as the “Four Articles of Prague". This document, the most important of the Hussite period, ran, in the wording of the contempora...
Internal troubles prevented the followers of Hus from fully capitalizing on their victory. At Prague a demagogue, the priest Jan Želivský, for a time obtained almost unlimited authority over the lower classes of the townsmen; and at Tábor a religious communistic movement (that of the so-called Adamites) was sternly suppressed by Žižka. Shortly afterwards a new crusade against the Hussites was undertaken. A large German army entered Bohemia and in August 1421 laid siege to the town of Žatec. After an unsuccessful attempt of storming the city, the crusaders retreated somewhat ingloriously on hearing that the Hussite troops were approaching. Sigismund only arrived in Bohemia at the end of 1421. He took possession of the town of Kutná Hora but was decisively defeated by Jan Žižka at the Battle of Deutschbrod(Německý Brod) on 6 January 1422.
Bohemia was for a time free from foreign intervention, but internal discord again broke out, caused partly by theological strife and partly by the ambition of agitators. On 9 March 1422, Jan Želivský was arrested by the town council of Prague and beheaded. There were troubles at Tábor also, where a more radical party opposed Žižka's authority.
The Hussites were aided at various times by Poland. Because of this, Jan Žižka arranged for the crown of Bohemia to be offered to King Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland, who, under pressure from his own advisors, refused it. The crown was then offered to Władysław's cousin, Vytautas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania. Vytautas accepted it, with the condition that the Hussites reunite with the Catholic Church. In 1422, Žižka accepted Prince Sigismund Korybutof Lithuania (nephew of Władysław II) as regent of Bohemia for Vytautas. His authority was recognized by the Utraquist nobles, the citizens of Prague, and the more moderate Taborites, but he failed to bring the Hussites back into the Church. On a few occasions, he even fought against both the Taborites and the Orebites to try to force them into reuniting. After Władysław II and Vytautas signed the Treaty of Melnowith Sigismund of Hungary in 1423, they recalled Sigismund Korybut to Lithuania, under pressure from Sigismund of Hungary and th...
Papal influence had meanwhile succeeded in calling forth a new crusade against Bohemia, but it resulted in complete failure. In spite of the endeavours of their rulers, Poles and Lithuanians did not wish to attack the kindred Czechs; the Germans were prevented by internal discord from taking joint action against the Hussites; and the King of Denmark, who had landed in Germany with a large force intending to take part in the crusade, soon returned to his own country. Free for a time from foreign threat, the Hussites invaded Moravia, where a large part of the population favored their creed; but, paralysed again by dissensions, they soon returned to Bohemia. The city of Hradec Králové, which had been under Utraquist rule, espoused the doctrine of Tábor, and called Žižka to its aid. After several military successes gained by Žižka in 1423 and the following year, a treaty of peace between the Hussite factions was concluded on 13 September 1424 at Libeň, a village near Prague, now part of...
In 1426 the Hussites were again attacked by foreign enemies. In June 1426 Hussite forces, led by Prokop and Sigismund Korybut, signally defeated German invaders in the Battle of Aussig. Despite this result, the death of Jan Žižka caused many, including Pope Martin V, to believe that the Hussites were much weakened. Martin proclaimed yet another crusade in 1427. He appointed Cardinal Henry Beaufort of England as Papal Legate of Germany, Hungary, and Bohemia, to lead the crusader forces. The crusaders were defeated at the Battle of Tachov. The Hussites subsequently invaded Germany several times, though they made no attempt to occupy permanently any part of the country. Korybut was imprisoned in 1427 for allegedly conspiring to surrender the Hussite forces to Sigismund of Hungary. He was released in 1428, and participated in the Hussite invasion of Silesia. But after a few years, Korybut returned to Poland with his men. Korybut and his Poles, however, did not really want to leave; but...
During the Hussite Wars, the Hussites launched raids against many bordering countries. The Hussites called them Spanilé jízdy ("beautiful rides"). Especially under the leadership of Prokop the Great, Hussites invaded Silesia, Saxony, Hungary, Lusatia, and Meissen. These raids were against countries that had supplied the Germans with men during the anti-Hussite crusades, to deter further participation. However, the raids did not have the desired effect; these countries kept supplying soldiers for the crusades against the Hussites. During a war between Poland and the Teutonic Order, some Hussite troops helped the Poles. In 1433, a Hussite army of 7,000 men marched through Neumark into Prussia and captured Dirschau on the Vistula River. They eventually reached the mouth of the Vistula where it enters the Baltic Sea near Danzig. There, they performed a great victory celebration to show that nothing but the ocean could stop the Hussites. The Prussian historian Heinrich von Treitschke lat...
The Hussite Wars concluded with the victory of Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, his Catholic allies and moderate Hussites and the defeat of the radical Hussites. Tensions arose as the Thirty Years' War reached Bohemia in 1620. Both moderate and radical Hussitism was increasingly persecuted by Catholics and Holy Roman Emperor's armies.
In Bohemia, George of Poděbrady took up the leadership of the moderate Hussite lords after the death of Hynce Ptáček. He captured Prague on 3 September 1448 and imprisoned Meinhard of Neuhaus who had started negotiations of the moderate Hussites' union with the Catholic Church.
The Taborites in conjunction with the Sirotci and the Prague Union turned to flee from the Third and Fourth Crusades against the Hussites, in the battles of the Tachov and the Domažlice. In addition, led by Prokop Holý, they set out on campaigns abroad (German parts of the Holy Empire, Austria, Upper and Lower Lusatia, Silesia and Upper Hungary).
The Hussite Wars, also called the Bohemian Wars involved the military actions against and amongst the followers of Jan Hus in Bohemia in the period 1419 to circa 1434. The Hussite Wars were notable for the extensive use of early hand-held gunpowder weapons such as hand cannons.