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What led to the Schmalkaldic War and its outcomes?

The Schmalkaldic War was triggered by religious tensions between Protestant and Catholic states within the Holy Roman Empire. Its outcome was a temporary victory for the Catholic forces.

The Schmalkaldic War, which took place from 1546 to 1547, was a significant conflict during the Reformation period in Europe. It was primarily a religious war, sparked by the growing tensions between the Protestant and Catholic states within the Holy Roman Empire. The Protestant states, led by the Schmalkaldic League, were resisting the Catholic Church's attempts to suppress the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic states, on the other hand, were led by Emperor Charles V, who was determined to maintain the unity and religious uniformity of the Empire.

The immediate cause of the war was the refusal of the Schmalkaldic League to recognise the authority of the Augsburg Interim, a temporary religious settlement imposed by Charles V. This refusal was seen as an act of rebellion against the Emperor, leading to the outbreak of hostilities.

The war was largely fought in the territories of the Schmalkaldic League, which included parts of present-day Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. The League was initially successful, winning several key battles. However, the tide of the war turned in favour of the Catholic forces after the League's leader, John Frederick I of Saxony, was captured in the Battle of Mühlberg in April 1547.

The outcome of the Schmalkaldic War was a temporary victory for the Catholic forces. Charles V was able to impose the Augsburg Interim and reassert his authority over the Protestant states. However, this victory was short-lived. The war had severely weakened Charles V's position, and he was unable to prevent the eventual spread of Protestantism within the Empire. In 1555, the Peace of Augsburg was signed, which recognised the right of each ruler within the Holy Roman Empire to determine the religion of their own state. This effectively ended the religious uniformity of the Empire and marked a significant victory for the Protestant cause.

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