JOACHIM II.: Margrave of Brandenburg; b. Jan. 9, 1505; d. at Köpenik (8 m. s.e. of Berlin), Jan. 3, 1571. He was the son of Joachim I. (q.v.), was educated under the supervision of his uncle the Elector Albert (see ALBERT OF BRANDENBURG), and at an early age conceived an interest in theological questions. By his marriage with the daughter of George of Saxony in 1524 and of Sigiamund of Poland in 1535, his father had sought to bind him to the Roman faith. But it was early apparent that he would not follow closely in the footsteps of his father, whom he succeeded in 1535. At first he attempted to play the part of mediator between the two parties and eagerly embraced the plan of a general council for the settlement of the religious schism, but when the convocation of such an assembly was repeatedly postponed he turned his efforts solely in the direction of establishing harmony within the empire. In 1538 he submitted to the emperor a compromise program for the attainment of such an end, which led to prolonged negotiations in that and the following year without resulting in any definite achievement. The death of George of Saxony in 1539 removed one of the strongest influences for Catholicism in Brandenburg. For some years before this event Joachim had permitted the open extension of the Lutheran influence, and in 1538 he submitted to Melanchthon a program of church reform drawn up for him by the dean of Elgersma. Melanchthon rejected the constitutions as insufficiently Evangelical, and the widespread movement among the nobles and the third estate convinced the margrave that the time for a radical change had come. New church constitutions were drawn up, after preparation by Prince Georg von Anhalt, by a commission comprising Jacob Stratner, Georg Buchholzer, and Georg Witzel and were approved by Melanchthon. In November, 1539, the margrave formally received the Lord's Supper according to the Lutheran form and subsequently the revised church constitutions were sent to Wittenberg, where they received the approval of Luther, Melanchthon, and Jonas, though of all Protestant Church systems they represented the least departure from the Roman Catholic position. Joachim succeeded in obtaining the confirmation of the emperor on the promise of submission to the decisions of a future council. The new ordinances were speedily introduced and the gradual abolition of the monastic system was begun.

In the field of politics also Joachim attempted to play the rôle of arbitrator between the two parties. At the Colloquy of Worms (q.v.) in 1540-41 his representatives sat with the "submissive" as opposed to the "protesting" deputies, and he based much hope upon the plan here secretly formulated for another conference at Regensburg where it was hoped that the reunion of the parties might be achieved. Luther, to whom the project was submitted, rejected its terms as unsatisfactory both to the Roman Church and to the Protestants, but Joachim did not abandon his activity, and when the emperor contemplated the despatch of a special mission to Luther he offered himself for the service. Before the outbreak of the Schmalkald War (1546) he attempted to mediate between the leaders of the League and the emperor, but, failing, sent a force of cavalry in the following year to the aid of Maurice of Saxony in return for the elevation of his second son Frederick to the post of coadjutor bishop of Magdeburg and Halberstadt. He pledged himself to abide by the decisions of the council to be assembled at Trent and obtained the same concessions in the religious sphere that had been granted to Maurice of Saxony. He was active in advocating the adoption of the Augsburg Interim (see AGRICOLA, JOHANN; INTERIM, 2). From this time his political importance declines; his subsequent efforts were directed toward dynastic aggrandizement, and with this ambition he permitted his son Sigismund to accept the archbishopric of Magdeburg and the see of Halberstadt on the condition of complete submission to the pope. It was only political interests, however, that prevented the complete introduction of the Protestant confession in his dominions, an event which followed the death of Joachim and the succession of his son John George.



BIBLIOGRAPHY: Besides the literature given under JOACHIM I., consult: A. Hartung, Joachim II. und sein Sohn Johann Georg, Berlin, 1798; F. Meine, Die vermittelnde Stellung Joachims II. . . . zu den politischen und religiösen Parteien seiner Zeit, Lüneburg, 1898; articles in the Forschungen zur brandenburgischen und preussischen Geschichte, ii (1889), 395 sqq., and vii (1894), 181 sqq., by F. Holtze, and vi (1893), 529 sqq., by H. Landwehr; and new articles of importance by N. Müller in Jahrbuch für brandenburgische Geschichte, 1904 sqq.


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