In September of 1483, the Hussites of Prague (which, at the beginning of the century, had been a center of support for Jan Hus) rose up to protest Vladislaus’s attempts to strengthen Catholic power in the nation. Catholic aldermen and clergymen were forced to leave Prague, if they were lucky; if they were unlucky, they were murdered. Jews were persecuted, as were Germans. Vladislaus himself was forced to leave Prague. Hradec Králové, Žatec, and Nymburk were the sites of similar ferocity. Vladislaus dropped his efforts to Catholicize the country, and confirmed the appointment of Hussite aldermen in 1484.
Interestingly, these rebellions cleared the air between the Hussites and the Catholics. Vladislaus seized on this fairly amiable relationship, urging both sides to agree upon certain religious issues. Yet another agreement was signed, this one at the Diet of Kutná Hora in March of 1485. This agreement allowed all people, whether peasants or nobles, to follow their own religion – either Utraquism (a Hussite faction) or Catholicism. The agreement was meant to last 31 years.
On February 16, 1486, Frederick III’s son, Maximilian, was elected King of the Romans at the Imperial Diet at Frankfurt. Frederick neglected to invite either Vladislaus or Matthias, much to their anger. The two met at Jihlava on September 11 to unite against Frederick, who had given Vladislaus so much support in his battles with Matthias. Vladislaus now sided with Matthias, promising to send troops to him to fight Frederick; however, his advisers talked him out of it. In June of 1487, the Diet of Bohemia also encouraged him not to attempt to wage war against Frederick. That same year, Pope Innocent VIII recognized Vladislaus as King of Bohemia, invalidating the previous excommunication.
It wasn’t long before Vladislaus and Matthias were at odds again. Matthias wished to make his son John Corvinus his heir, so he helped himself to various estates in Bohemia (ruled by Vladislaus) to give to John. Vladislaus and his father, Casimir, made a formal alliance against Matthias on April 23, 1488. The following year, Matthias wrested the Duchy of Głogów from Jan II, Duke of Żagań, and promptly gave it to John Corvinus. While Vladislaus made a peace agreement with Emperor Frederick III, Frederick’s son Maximilian began to hold peace talks with Matthias.
Matthias Corvinus, who had been ill with gout and unable to walk for a few years, died suddenly and unexpectedly in Vienna on April 6, 1490. Some historians believe that he was poisoned; others, that he had a massive stroke. Four men came forward to claim the throne. One was, of course, John Corvinus. Another was Vladislaus. The third was Maximilian of Habsburg, and the fourth was John Albert, Vladislaus’s younger brother. John Corvinus was supported mostly by noblemen living along the southern border of Hungary. Maximilian claimed that the 1463 Peace Treaty of Wiener Neustadt guaranteed that the throne would go to the emperor or his heir if Matthias died without legitimate issue (John Corvinus was illegitimate). Vladislaus’s claim was that he was the oldest son of the sister of Ladislaus the Posthumous, King of Hungary before Matthias. John Albert was put forward as a candidate by their parents, who wanted each son to have his own kingdom.