The Decline Of The Reformation Essay

The Decline Of The Reformation Essay

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When most people think of the Protestant Reformation, they think of it in terms of the change that took place in religion in the sixteenth century in Europe. However, there were many more aspects of the Reformation that may have been related to religion, but probably should not have been, at least not in the same sense as we believe today that religion and politics (or just about any other part of life and society) should be kept separate. When the Reformation occurred, life changed in more ways than just in terms of religion. Martin Luther may have nailed his 95 Theses on the door of a church, but he also started a change in the way Europeans lived their secular lives too.
After several hundred years of the Catholic Church being the dominant political force in Europe, the Reformation changed that. For those hundreds of years, what we call the medieval period, the Church also imposed social and economic order as well as religious order on the people who looked to them for religious guidance. The Feudal system, described by Gayle Olson-Raymer as “a political, social, and economic system in which every man was bound to every other man by mutual ties of loyalty and service” (Olson-Raymer). This meant that there was a hierarchy or ranking system during the Middle Ages where everyone knew their place. The landlord who had earned his land by serving the king as a knight owed his loyalty to the king. The peasant rented his land from the landlord and gave him some of the return or profit made from the land. This structure insured that no one from the lower ranks would be capable of working their way across the social rankings and become a landlord. There was also a guild system to which craftsmen belonged and it set is own wages, prices...


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...fter. Boleyn did not like Henry’s minister because he knew her secrets, such as that she was in love with another man. So, her manipulation of Henry caused Henry to commit drastic acts, all in the interest of having sex with Boleyn, such as break from the Catholic Church and establish the Church of England, which established a new way of regarding religion. One of the major changes was that the king was the head of the church in England after that and that is still the way it is although the Queen is just a figurehead and has really little authority in politics or religion.
When Luther took his bold steps, he may not have known that he was changing the course of history for the better, but he did. His courageous actions made it so that the individual became the focus rather than the institutions such as the Church and the Crown. That made life better for everyone.

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