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1500 up to 1550

Johann-Albrechts-Taler 1549
Duke Johann Albrecht I., 1549

The sons of Magnus, Henry V. and Albert VII., separated the regions of Schwerin and Güstrow.

Reformatory signals came from humanists such as Ulrich von Hutten. Aegidius Faber in Schwerin or Joachim Slüter in Rostock preached Luther’s teaching in the German language. The Rostock church order was reformed in 1530. In 1549 there was a change of religious denomination for Mecklenburg to the Lutheran national church with the territorial lords as church rulers.

The economy in small towns stagnated due to mandatory guild membership and the ban on the influx of new craftsmen from outside. In the countryside the knightly gentry gained in power and influence. Through a persistent agricultural boom in the area of grain-growing, the landed gentry extended its farms and turned its hand to agriculture.

Johann Gottlieb Giese, Greifswald 1552

The emperor grants enfeoffment to the dukes of Pomerania at the 1530 Diet of Augsburg, making them directly subordinate to the crown. The region is divided into Pomerania-Wolgast and Pomerania-Stettin. The regional council of the estates remains unified. Philipp I., Duke of Pomerania-Wolgast, enlarges his residential palaces. A three-storey complex with four wings enclosing a central courtyard is completed in Ueckermünde in 1546.

A 'Constitution for Churches and Schools' is penned in Stralsund in 1525, which leads to the formation of a boys' school and a girls' school, each with three teachers. 'Major state schools' are established in Stralsund, Greifswald, Stolp and Stargard. A Pädagogium to educate teachers is opened 1543 in Stettin. Impecunity temporarily forces the closure of the University of Greifswald.

The economy in inland towns stagnated due to mandatory guild membership. Unrest against the aristocrat-dominated town council arises.

Church institutes in Slupsk are looted in 1524. Johannes Kureke leads the 'Stralsund Church attack' in 1524/25. In 1534, the dukes wanted to enforce the Reformation at a state parliament with nobility, clergy and towns. Despite its failure, Johannes Bugenhagen is commissioned to draft new church regulations. Five monasteries are converted into abbeys. Church landed property falls to the duke.

The nobility gains power over the dukes. Through a agricultural boom the landed gentry was motivated to extend its farms and to turn its hand to agriculture.

People’s sex lives were strongly regulated and monitored. Adultery, “fornication” and other sins were punishable. the marital age for girls was between 15 and 18. Boys were marriageable from age 12-15.