Szlachta a duchowieństwo podczas panowania Zygmunta Starego
Nobility and clergy during the reign of Sigismund I the Old
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During the reign of Sigismund I the Old relations between gentry and clergy were visibly tense. The main source of the conflict was the issue of a state reform suggested by chivalry. Crystalizing in the first half of the XVI century, execution movement program considerably infringed clergy’s legal and economic privileges. The reform program proposed by gentry pertained to several social, religious, economic and legal issues. In all these spheres the Church and chivalry differed in opinions, which resulted in a complicated confrontation and impossibility of working out of consensus. The fact that the compromise could not be reached made both sides act even more vigorously, insisting on fulfillment of all their demands. In the fight against the Senate and Monarchy, members of the Chamber of Deputies were still more and more convinced of their increasing power. Thus, still more boldly and unanimously, they defended rights of chivalry and demanded extension of privileges on expense of clergy and the mighty. However, gentry was able neither to impose permanent taxes on the Church nor devoid clergy of remaining the only authority in deciding on issues concerning the faith. Undoubtedly, due to unhesitant position of the Polish Episcopate and support of Sigismund I the Old, clergy managed to retain their political and economic privileges, although political privileges were considerably undermined during the reign of Sigismund Augustus.
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