The Crown & The Cross: The Protestant Union, 1608
The Crown & The Cross
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The Protestant Union, 1608
Document Courtesy of H. H. Hofmann (ed.), Quellen zum Verfassungsorganismus, 1495-1815 (Darmstadt, 1976), P. 151-153.



The Union (Verain) between the Palatinate, Electoral Brandenburg, Wuerttemberg, Ansbach and Baden, made at Auhausen in Franconia.

In view of the urgent necessity, we, the undersigned Electors and Estates of the Holy empire, much less to damage but much more to strengthen and uphold peace and unity in the Holy empire, as dedicate and obedient Estates of the Empire of the German Nation, our beloved fatherland, in order to advance the common well-being, our land and people and also those Estates who will in future join us to further peace, order and protection in the name of God the almighty, have one and all reached the present amicable and confidential agreement which we acknowledge by virtue of this letter, as follows:

1. That each member shall keep in good faith with the order and their heirs, land and people, and that no one shall enter into any other alliance; also that no Estate, jurisdiction, territory, or subjects shall damage, fight or in any way harm another Estate, nor break laws of the Imperial constitution, nor give aid in any manner if such a break should occur;

2. That we and all our heirs who are in this Union shall keep a secret correspondence effectively to inform each other of all dangerous and offensive affairs which may threaten each other’s heirs, land and people, and to this purpose each will keep in good contact with one another.

3. Whenever important matters arise that concern the well-being of us all, we and our heirs, for the duration of this Union will help each other with faithful advice in order to uphold each and every one as far as possible unharmed in his Estate and territory…

4. It is our wish that in matters concerning the liberties and high jurisdictions of the German Electors and Estates, as also of the Protestant [Evangelische] Estates’ grievances as presented at the last Imperial assembly concerning infringements of those selfsame rights, freedoms and laws of the Empire, these shall al be presented and pressed at subsequent Imperial and Imperial Circle assemblies, and not merely left to secret correspondence with each other.  We also agree to try and influence other Protestant Estates [i.e. Saxony] towards an understanding with us.

5. We also agree that this secret Union shall not affect our disagreement on several points of religion, but that notwithstanding these, we have agreed to support each other.  No member is to allow an attack on any other in books or through the pulpit, nor give cause for any breach of the peace, whilst at the same time leaving untouched the theologian’s rights of disputation to affirm the Word of God.

6. If one or other of us is attacked…the remaining members of the Union shall immediately come to his aid with all the resources of the Union, as necessity may demand, and as set out in the detailed argument…
Should any member of the Union inherit or enlarge his territory in the future, then the new land and people will pay a contribution proportional to the federal tax schedule [Reichmatricul] according to the needs of the treasury [Cassa] of the Union.
 

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