• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • FRANKISH KINGDOM
  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
  • THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION
  • W
  • INFLATION, REPARATIONS, AND
  • THE STRESEMANN ERA, 19231929
  • STABILIZATION AND LOCARNO,
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  • ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP,
  • T
  • CONSOLIDATION OF POWER
  • THE NAZI TOTAL STATE
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  • THE HOLOCAUST
  • A
  • ALLIED PLANS AND CONFERENCES
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  • T
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  • R
  • CONSEQUENCES AND PROBLEMS OF
  • ECONOMIC UNIFICATION,
  • P
  • RENAISSANCE ART
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  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • GOVERNMENT AND ELECTIONS,
  • HISTORICAL DICTIONARY A
  • A
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  • B
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  • ANABAPTISM AND MÜNTZER
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  • blank check
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  • CHARLES V AND THE REFORMATION
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  • THE THIRTY YEARS WAR
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  • LITERATURE
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  • AN UNPLANNED REVOLUTION
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  • A REPUBLIC PROCLAIMED
  • A SEVERE ARMISTICE
  • T
  • ESTABLISHMENT OF A REVOLUTIONARY
  • EBERT MAKES A DEAL WITH THE
  • THE SPARTACISTS
  • INTERPRETATION OF THE
  • A VENGEFUL PEACE
  • V
  • THE GOALS OF THE PEACEMAKERS
  • TERMS OF THE TREATY
  • WAR GUILT AND REPARATIONS
  • DENUNCIATION AND RELUCTANT
  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • Albert (Albrecht) of

    Brandenburg

    (14901545)

    elector and archbishop of Mainz

    Albert of Brandenburg was born on June 28,

    1490, the younger son of John Cicero, elector of

    Brandenburg. His older brother became elector

    Joachim I of Brandenburg. Albert studied at the

    University of Frankfort on the Oder, then

    entered the ecclesiastical profession, and in 1513

    he became archbishop of Magdeburg and the

    administrator of the bishopric of Halberstadt. At

    the young age of 24 he became archbishop of

    the electorate of Mainz in 1514, which was

    important in the selection of the emperor. It

    Albert (Albrecht) of Brandenburg 209

    might appear that Alberts acquisitions of multiple

    religious offices was exceptional, but it was

    a common practice among aristocratic German

    families. It was, however, a costly affair because

    the pope demanded 30,000 ducats for the privilege.

    On the other hand, the new archbishop

    had to raise the necessary funds by obtaining a

    loan from the AUGSBURG banking house of the

    FUGGERS. At the same time Pope Leo X granted

    him permission to issue indulgences to finance

    his transactions. He was allowed to keep half of

    the proceeds in order to repay the Fuggers and

    the other half was to go to the Holy See. Alberts

    financial needs and his association with his

    employment of the Dominican friar John Tetzel

    were not conducive to conveying the impression

    of religious respectability. John Tetzels dramatic

    and exaggerated preaching of the indulgences

    left a scandalous impression, but so did Alberts

    luxury loving and sensual life as he traveled

    about with his mistresses piquantly clad in male

    costume. Martin LUTHER objected to Tetzels

    scandalous promotion of indulgences, posting

    his Ninety-five Theses and sending a letter to

    archbishop Albert. Luthers communication

    about the indulgences was not answered, but

    referred to the Holy See, and it was reported by

    Albert that Luther was spreading new doctrines.

    Whether or not Albert could have handled the

    situation locally is difficult to determine, but

    needless to say he was not a competent theologian

    and was irritated by any interference with

    his financial dealings.

    In 1518 Albert was created a cardinal as a

    reward for his services to the church. The next

    year his vote became important in the election

    for emperor, which was being contended by

    Francis I, king of France, and Charles who was

    elected CHARLES V with the help of Alberts vote.

    Albert received a considerable sum of money

    from Charles for his support. Albert also was one

    of the most significant patrons of the arts in Germany.

    He was friends with the humanists

    Desiderius ERASMUS and Ulrich von HUTTEN.

    Among his accomplishments in architecture was

    the sumptuously adorned Stiftskirche at Halle

    and the cathedral in Mainz.

    After Luthers ideas began to spread, the

    reformers hoped that Albert would be won over

    to Lutheranism. During the PEASANTS WAR of

    1525, however, he decided to side with the

    Catholic princes in the defense of Dessau in July

    1525. As Albert opposed the spread of

    Lutheranism in his own diocese, it did not deter

    many from accepting the reformers doctrines.

    During his latter years Albert was less tolerant of

    Protestant teaching and invited the JESUITS to

    teach in his dominions. In 1541 Albert found it

    necessary to grant his subjects their religious liberty,

    but exacted from them 500,000 florins to

    pay off his debts. Yet, Albert was not so hostile to

    Protestants as was his brother, Joachim. Albert

    was involved in peace efforts, but also was a

    member of the League of Nuremberg, which was

    formed in 1538 against the protestant SCHMALKALDIC

    LEAGUE. As the REFORMATION progressed,

    Albert became instrumental in fostering the

    COUNTER-REFORMATION, although he soon died

    on September 24, 1545, in Aschaffenburg.

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