By Hubert Jedin
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Additional resources for A History of the Council of Trent (Vol I): The Struggle for the Council
An important precondition of the Reformation in Geneva was the rallying of the forces favouring a close alliance with the Swiss confederation, which, in 1526, resulted in the first treaty of Combourgeoisie being signed between Geneva, Fribourg and Berne. This alliance was, at the same time, an expression of the will of an influential group of Genevans to free this episcopal city from the rights of the bishop and the Savoyard embrace, which threatened the independence of the city. It was under Berne's protection that the religious renewal got going with Guillaume Farel beginning to preach there from 1532.
The Reformation movements were unable to convert any major bishopric to evangelical ideas by pressure from below, although it sometimes looked during the Peasants' War as though this was a likelihood, not least when Wurzburg was occupied by a peasant army and the Archbishopric of Mainz capitulated to the rebels in thefirstweek of May 1525. These successes proved to be as short-lived as the evangelical movements in a large number of episcopal residential towns - Wurzburg, Bamberg, Trier, Mainz, Passau, Freising, Eichstatt and Salzburg.
6 It is true, however, that the Bernese authorities stuck to their temporising insistence on scriptural preaching throughout the next five years despite the growth of the Reformation movement in the town led by the painter, writer and politician Nikolaus Manuel (1484-1530) and by the reformer Berchtold Haller (1492-1536). Ultimately, in the spring of 1527, it was pressure from the city's artisans, which overcame the opposition of some influential councillors and brought about a decision in favour of holding a disputation.
A History of the Council of Trent (Vol I): The Struggle for the Council by Hubert Jedin