The Council of Constance is the 15th century ecumenical council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418. The council ended the Western Schism, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V.
The Council also condemned Jan Hus as a heretic and facilitated his execution by the civil authority. It also ruled on issues of national sovereignty, the rights of pagans, and just war in response to a conflict between the Kingdom of Poland and the Order of the Teutonic Knights. The Council is important for its relationship to ecclesial Conciliarism and Papal supremacy.
Sigismund arrived on Christmas Eve 1414 and exercised a profound and continuous influence on the course of the council in his capacity of imperial protector of the Church. An innovation at the Council was that instead of voting as individuals, the bishops voted in national blocks. The vote by nations was in great measure the work of the English, German, and French members. The legality of this measure, in imitation of the "nations" of the universities, was more than questionable, but during February 1415, it carried and thenceforth was accepted in practice, though never authorized by any formal decree of the council. The four "nations" consisted of England, France, Italy, and Germany, with Poles, Hungarians, Danes, and Scandinavians counted with the Germans. While the Italian representatives made up half of those in attendance, they were equal in influence to the English, who sent twenty deputies and three bishops.