The Twelve Articles

1525. A statement of the grievances of German peasants against their feudal lords, drawn up at Memmingen. The peasants wanted abolition of serfdom, rights to fish in streams, hunt game and cut wood, just rent, abolition of feudal death taxes as well as the right to appoint their pastors and control the amount of tithes. The last article asserted that their demands must be in conformity with Scripture and would be withdrawn if such were not the case. Luther agreed with these demands and urged the feudal lords to grant these articles, but when the peasants revolted against their feudal lords, Luther turned against the peasants and in a tract urged the lords to exterminate them to prevent anarchy.