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15. století

The Decree of Kutná Hora

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The Decree of Kutná Hora was a document issued by the King Wenceslas the Fourth, which guaranteed the Bohemian academics, through the vote, power of decision concerning the Charles University.
During the first years of the 15th century, Jan Viklef´s teaching was becoming uncommonly popular, primarily because of the presence of a university master named Jan Hus. This had led to many controversies with the German part of the university masters and professors, refusing to have anything to do with Viklef. In the end, in 1408, the entire situation led to negotiations between Master Jan Hus' friend, Master Jeroným Pražský and King Wenceslas the Fourth, who finally, to the surprise of the masters, came up with a radical proposal (he was also provoked by the fact that the foreign masters declined the emperor's request to preserve neutral balance in the just happening

Papal Schism). The original designation of the votes at the university was that each nation (Poles, Bavarians, Saxons, and Bohemians) had a single vote. The emperor however implemented a radical change and gave three votes to the Bohemians, against only one single vote to the rest of the nations. This Decree of Kutná Hora was issued on January 18th 1409 in the town of Kutná Hora. As a direct reaction to this arbitrariness, the majority of foreign masters and students left the university, which then accounted for approximately 70 percent of the entire university village population and resulted in the temporary obliteration of the Charles University reputation. On the other hand Master Jan Hus was able to continue his teachings on the premises of the university, which led to the further expansion of Viklef's teachings and to the later Hussite Wars.


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