162 pretations had triggered a propagandistic effort in which the printing industry demonstrated its full potential. Reformation and Counterreformation witnessed early expressions of a comprehensive struggle for control of the societal debate, of a contest for public opinion based on both the printed and the spoken word. At a general diet in 1526, the Austrian estates moved for the toleration of Lutheran principles.9 Although this demand remained unheeded, Lutheranism continued to proliferate in the region. It would be deceptive, therefore, to project the modern-day distribution of Catholicism and Protestantism in Central Europe back into the sixteenth century. What did begin to take root, however, was a division between territories with Catholic and territories with Protestant rulers. Considering that the compromise reached in Augsburg in 1555 invested the territorial rulers with the authority to determine the religious practice of their subjects, the stalwart Catholicism of the Habsburgs was ominous for the future of Protestantism in Austria. During the late 1500s and early 1600s, in part even beyond, the Alpine and Danubian provinces under Habsburg rule were divided among different branches of the family. The archduchy of Austria (below and above the Enns) comprised modern day Lower and Upper Austria, while Styria, Carinthia and Carniola – together with Gorizia and parts of the Adriatic littoral – formed an entity called Inner Austria or Austria Interior, with Graz as its capital. Finally, the later provinces of Tyrol and Vorarlberg were ruled from Innsbruck, together with the old Habsburg domains in southwestern Germany; they were known as Tyrol and the Vorlande, or Austria Anterior. These subdivisions also surfaced in the region’s religious history. After its predominantly urban Lutheranism and comparatively strong Anabaptist movement had been suppressed, Tyrol and much of the remainder of Austria Anterior developed into a Catholic confessional territory reminiscent of Bavaria.10 In noticeable contrast to their Austrian peers, the nobles of Tyrol never turned into a vanguard of Protestantism. Among possible explanations for this divergence, one may cite the area’s geographical, political, and cultural closeness to both Bavaria and the Italian-speaking south, where reformist ideas failed to establish a lasting foothold. In general, the nobility in the Tyrolean territories was politically weak and overshadowed by the monarch; in the area that developed into modern-day Vorarlberg, it did not even form an estate of its own.11 The violence associated with the peasant uprising of 1525, combined with the prevalence of Anabaptism and its more radical challenge to the existing social order, further reinforced the identi?ication of Tyrolean elites with the dynasty’s uncompromising denomina9 See Pörtner: The Counter-Reformation, 21. 10 For a brief introduction to the Tyrolean experience during the confessional age, see Schindling and Ziegler (eds.): Die Territorien des Reichs, 87-101. 11 See Bruckmüller, Stradal, and Mitterauer: Herrschaftsstruktur, 4f., 179-203.
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