The Peasant War in Germany

The Peasant War in Germany

The Peasant War in Germany

The Peasant War in Germany

Excerpt

This work was written in London in the summer of 1850, under the vivid impression of the counter-revolution that had just been completed. It appeared in 1850 in the fifth and sixth issues of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, a political economic review edited byKarl Marx in Hamburg. My political friends in Germany desire to see it in book form, and I hereby fulfil that desire, since, unfortunately, it still has the interest of timeliness.

The work does not pretend to present independently collected material. Quite the contrary, all the material relating to the peasant revolts and to Thomas Muenzer has been taken from Zimmermann whose book, although showing gaps here and there, is still the best presentation of the facts. Moreover, old Zimmermann enjoyed his subject. The same revolutionary instinct which makes him here the advocate of the oppressed classes, made him later one of the best in the extreme left wing of Frankfurt.

If, nevertheless, the Zimmermann representation lacks internal coherence; if it does not succeed in showing the religious and political controversies of that epoch as a reflection of the class struggles that were taking place simultaneously; if it sees in the class struggles only oppressors and oppressed, good and evil, and the final victory of evil; if its insight into social conditions which determined both the outbreak and the outcome of the struggle is extremely poor, it was the fault of the time in which that . . .

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