Round Tour > Motives 2/6
Religious Motives

In 1648, at the end of the Thirty Years' War, three main confessions were recognized in the German states: Catholicism, Protestantism and Calvinism. The religion of local landlords usually determined the religion of their subjects, however. Anyone with different beliefs was able to leave.

Protestant subjects in Bavaria probably first gained their civil rights in around 1806. Catholics and Protestants were made equal for the first time in the Bavarian constitution of 1808.

The 'Jew Edict' of 1813 tolerated the presence of Jews in Bavaria, but limited their numbers. Once the contingent had been reached, the only option for Jews who wanted to found households of their own was to leave Bavaria. Emigrants in the New World had their religious needs met by priests, monks and lay preachers who left Germany with them. In 1845, Wilhelm Löhe from Neuendettelsau in Franconia was inspired to found Protestant settlements in Wisconsin. In 1846, with the support of the Bavarian king Ludwig I, Father Bonifaz Wimmer from Metten Monastery set up the Benedictine Order in America.

‹ previous    next ›
Introduction ›
Religious Motives ‹
Economic and Social Motives ›
Political Motives ›
Personal Motives ›
Fleeing the Nazi Regime ›