All through the second half of the year 1529, John the Constant, the Elector of Saxony, played a double game with the Evangelical towns of southwestern Germany. In April of that year at the Diet of Speier, John had led a united Evangelical party in a protest against the recess of the Diet and in an agreement to form a military alliance of all the Evangelical governments in the empire. A few weeks later, John began to regret that he had allied with cities suspected of Zwinglian heresies, a step which could only aggravate his relations with the emperor. John and his advisers searched for the proper instrument by which to win favor from Charles V by abandoning their Zwinglian associates. That instrument was the Schwabach Articles, an uncompromisingly Lutheran statement of doctrine which flatly excluded the disputed Zwinglian interpretation of the sacrament of the Eucharist. John kept the southwestern towns dangling in expectation until the meeting at Smalkalden in December, 1529. There he informed Jacob Sturm of Strasbourg and Bernhard Besserer of Ulm that his conscience forbade him to ally with the southerners so long as they supported the errors of Zwingli. Sturm and Besserer, who now began to understand John's duplicity, announced that their governments would not sign the Schwabach Articles. At the year's end, nothing remained of the solidarity the Evangelical estates had displayed at Speier.