Hussite wars


October 25, 2021

The Hussite wars were military conflicts between the Hussites and their domestic and foreign opponents (Catholics) as well as between the Hussite factions themselves, which took place on Czech territory between 1419 and 1434 and for some time after.


Defining the period of the Hussite wars is problematic. The year 1419, when the Prague defenestration took place, is generally referred to as their beginning. The proclamation of the Basel Compacts in 1436 is most often considered to be the end of the Hussite wars, but also the battle of Lipany in 1434, which more or less ended the period of fighting in the lands of the Czech Crown. The period 1434–1437 is sometimes referred to as the "epilogue" of the Hussite wars (in this sense, the Hussite war ends with the conquest of Zion by Jan Roháč of Dubá). Newer historians František Šmahel and Petr Čornej point out the connection between the development in the second half of the 15th century and history before 1436. For František Šmahel, the Hussite war ends with the Kutná Hora religious peace in 1485. and 1467–1479 (wars under King George of Poděbrady and after his death). Čornej understands as significant divisions the year 1427 (consolidation of the hegemony of radical forces) and the year 1434 (victory of the Utraquist-Catholic alliance over the field troops in the battle of Lipany). Four crusades against the Hussites gradually headed to the Czech lands - in the years 1420, 1421, 1427 and 1431. ). The fifth crusade was proclaimed by the Pope against George of Poděbrady in 1466 and began the second period of the Hussite wars.

Causes and origins of the conflict

The burning of Master Jan Hus caused great resentment in the Czech lands. Among the supporters of his teachings, the reception spread to both, which was already introduced by Husoubek of Stříbro during Hus's stay in Constance, and the chalice became a symbol of this movement. Disputes between Catholics and Kaliszs, who were radicalized by preachers, culminated in the Prague defenestration in June 1419. After the death of King Wenceslas IV. his half-brother Sigismund of Luxembourg was right to ascend the throne. However, the Kalisz majority of the nation blamed Sigismund for Hus's burning, and his acceptance as king was conditional on the recognition of the chalice, which was unacceptable to him. Catholic lords and some cities remained with Sigismund, among other fears of revolutionary sentiments among the people. They formed an armed coalition to prevent the connection of rural Hussites, whose hordes also began to arm themselves, with Hussite Prague. The first clashes between the two sides, where the royal party attacked, took place near Živohoště, near Nekmír and Sudoměř. After the founding of Tábor in the spring of 1420, the Hussite divisions went on the offensive and, in addition to burning the monasteries, they also attacked the castles and towns of their opponents (attack on Mladá Vožica, Sedlec fortress, Strakonice, Rabí, etc.).

First Crusade and the period 1420-1421

Already during the ongoing Council of Constance, it was proclaimed by some church officials that Czechs who had fallen away from the Catholic Church had to be brought back, for example by force. The usual route at this time was the proclamation of the crusade, which Sigismund also began to negotiate secretly. The first crusade was proclaimed on March 1, 1420 by Pope Martin V. It was headed by King Hungarian and Roman Sigismund of Luxembourg. His army of about 30,000 men (the Czech and Moravian Catholic nobility also joined) marched from Silesian Wroclaw to Silesia at the end of April. The Crusaders occupied Hradec Králové without a fight and entered Kutná Hora - the core of the anti-Hussite resistance in Bohemia. This is King Sigismund

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