Friedrich Engels on the German Peasants War of 1525, arguing that its motivating force was primarily class-based rather than religious.
The 1848 uprisings in Germany put Engels in mind of the last great peasant rebellions of of 1500s. As he would later write: "The parallel between the German Revolution of 1525 and that of 1848-49 was too obvious to be altogether ignored at that time."
Engels demonstrates the failure of both these revolutions was largely attributable to the bourgeois/burgherdom (and thus underscoring the mdoern need for an alliance between the working proletariat and the working peasantry).
The Peasant War in Germany was the first history book to assert that the real motivating force behind the Reformation and 16th-century peasant war was socio-economic (class conflict) rather than "merely" religious.
ONLINE VERSION: Translated from German by Moissaye J. Olgin in 1926 for International Publishers. Transcribed for the Internet by [email protected] in July 1995. Put online January 4 1996.