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27 Jul

Hussite Wars (1420 – 1436)

Jan Hus being burned at the stake

Execution of Jan Hus

The Hussite Wars were series of conflicts fought between the followers of Jan Hus of Bohemia, the Hussites and the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund from 1420 to 1434. The Hussites Wars were provoked by the conviction and execution of the Bohemian religious thinker and philosopher Jan Hus on the order of the Council of Constance in 1415. An open revolt against Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor broke out as soon as the news of Hus’ execution reached Bohemia. Sigismund claimed the crown of Bohemia on the death of his brother Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia in 1419 and but the Bohemians considered him to be responsible for Hus’ execution.

The Hussites led by Jan Ziska and Prokop the Great repulsed all anti-Hussite Crusades launched by Sigismund. Pope Martin V who was disturbed by the failed expeditions against the Hussites and was also under pressure for ecclesiastical reform convoked the Council of Basel in 1431 to deal with the Hussite question. However, soon arose conflict over the final authority in the Church between the Pope and the attenders of the council. Thus Pope Martin V ordered the council to dissolve almost immediately but the council proclaimed its supremacy over the Pope and continued its session. In 1433 the Council of Basel reached a settlement with the moderate faction of the Hussites, the Utraquists who reunited with the Roman Catholic Church and decisively defeated the radical Taborites led by Prokop the Great in the Battle of Lipany in 1434. Ratification of Compactata of Basel in 1436 officially ended the Hussites Wars and Sigismund was recognized as King of Bohemia.

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