Europe after the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter Reformation

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Europe after the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter Reformation The period immediately following the Protestant reformation and the Catholic counter reformation, was full of conflict and war. The entire continent of Europe and all of it's classes of society were affected by the destruction and flaring tempers of the period. In the Netherlands, the Protestants and the Catholics were at eachother’s throats. In France it was the Guise family versus the Bourbons. In Bohemia, the religious and political structures caused total havoc for over thirty years; and in England, the Presbyterians thought that the English Anglican Church too closely resembled the Roman Catholic Church. Religion was the major cause of the widespread turmoil that took place throughout Europe between 1560 and 1660. One example of a battle in Europe that was caused by religious conflict took place in the Netherlands, between the Dutch citizens and their ruler Phillip II of Spain. When he tried to gain control of the catholic church there, the Dutch rebelled. The Protestants began to assault the Catholics, destroy their churches, and revolt against Phillip and his strict Catholic codes in 1572. The conflict ended in 1579 with a twelve year truce, when seven of the seventeen provinces united under Calvinism and William of Orange, and formed the United Provinces. The remaining ten remained under the rule of Spain. Another example of religious turmoil was the thirty-six year civil war in France, where the Huguenots were increasing in number despite the power of their enemies, the Catholics. The French Catholics, led by the noble family, Guise, faced off with the leading family of the Huguenots, the Bourbons. "The feuds which separate... ... middle of paper ... ...h the freedom to choose religion), and the Presbyterians (who wanted a strict Calvinist system controlled by a strong central power). The Independents dominated the war with their New Model Army, and became an unstoppable force in England. They were led by the influential and militant Oliver Cromwell (whose nickname became "Lord Protector")of the House of Commons, and captured Charles, removed the House of Lords and the Presbyterians from Parliament, and executed the "holy anointed." Although politics did play a major role in the conflicts that occurred in the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries; it was religion which was the major cause of the wars and devastation that occurred in this time period, and many times throughout history weather before or after the seventeenth century. Bibliography: The Western Experience;Chambers. pg505-535. 1997

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