Information I never learned in Sunday School.
1524–26, The German Peasant Wars
A program called the Twelve Articles of the Peasantry listed among the demands liberty to choose their own pastors, relief from the lesser tithes, abolition of serfdom, the right to fish and hunt, restoration of inclosed common lands, abolition of death duties, impartiality of the courts, and restriction of the demands of landlords to their just feudal dues. These articles were modified variously to suit local conditions. Some atrocities by the peasants (e.g., the massacre of Weinsberg) marked the war, but those committed by their enemies were worse.
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2003 Columbia University Press.
It goes on to say that 100,000 peasants died in the Peasant Wars.
I checked out a book at the SC library called Brvegel, the Workshop of Dreams by Claude-Henri Rocquet (I don't recommend it, but I think it would read better in French). He mentions a whole bunch of mid-16th century historical figures without explaining them at all. The thing that intrigued me was a reference to John of Leiden, apparently a Christian leader who advocated the violent overthrow of the fuedal system. I was scandalized/intrigued by the thought of a pastor advocating violence, especially since I have never run across anything in the New Testament saying that violence is the way. I was reading on http://www.bartleby.com/65/pe/PeasWar.html about it. And, K, it mentions "Menno" as a founding member of the controversial Anabaptists (of which John of L was a member as well).
This has been a productive morning, and it isn't even ten. I taught myself one of the Mster's beginning sonatas, as well. I LOVE days off.