Mühlhausen was a free imperial town from 1180 and belonged to the Hanseatic League. Its prosperity was based on manufacture and sale of drapery, leatherwork and woad (a blue dyestuff). The town took its place in history in 1525, when the preacher Thomas Müntzer fomented a revolt of the peasants against their feudal lords. They overthrew the town council and created an «Eternal Council» to administrate in its place. The insurrection was put down and Müntzer was beheaded.