“While at Zwickau, Bebel wrote his first historical materialist work. ‘The German Peasant’s Rebellion (109). In September, he had told Liebknecht of his intention and had requested that he be sent monographs on Münzer and Luther (110). In no sense an original piece of scholarship, Bebel’s book rested mainly on Zimmerman’s history of the peasants’ rebellion and the earlier study by Engels on the same theme (111). Bebel’s book mirrored the latter’s determinist view that religious and political ideas are the result of economic development and that “persons and conditions are the natural products of material conditions of existence in society at any given epoch” (112). Conversely, Bebel rejected Carlyle’s “Great man” thesis, which contended that the whole cultural evolution of a people was closely linked to the influence of a few outstanding men of deed or mind (113). Bebel affirmed that there had never been a purely religious Reformation. This and every other world-historic revolution had had its origins in social oppression. “One may not ascribe to a wolf a desire to spare the lamb…”, he wrote. “Similarly, one cannot expect a ruling class to destroy itself by helping an oppressed class to achieve the rights of man” (114). The Reformation was for Bebel merely “the appropriate religious expression of the social-political movement”, which finally achieved a revolutionary but catastrophic issue in the great Peasants’ Rebellion of the most numerous class of the nation” (115). With the radical Anabaptist Thomas Münzer, Bebel dealt sympathetically, because Münzer was the “true representative” of the revolutionary popular element. Conversely, Bebel berated Luther, the social conservative, for having been the “willing coadjutor of the princes” in suppressing the peasants and their leaders”” [W.H. Maehl, ‘August Bebel. Shadow Emperor of the German Workers’, 1980] [(109) ‘Der Deutsche Bauernkrieg. Mit Berücksichtigung der Hauptsächlichsten sozialen Bewegung des Mittelalters’ (Brunswick, 18769; (110) Bebel to Liebknecht, NL, IISH, F. 65/6-7; (111) Engels, ‘Der Deutsche Bauernkrieg’ (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1875). See also Mayer, ‘Engels’; (112) Bebel, ‘Der Deutsche Bauernkrieg’; p. iv; (113) Ibid., p. 2; (114) Ibid, p. 11; (115) Ibid., p. 4]