The Historical Impacts of the Protestant Reformation

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The Protestant Reformation and European expansion have both left political, social and economic impacts throughout history. The Protestant Reformation which was started in the 1500’s, by a Catholic man named Martin Luther caused political instability and fragmented the Holy Roman Empire. It economically caused the church to go bankrupt and socially allowed for the rise of individualism among the people; Luther gave the people of Europe the long needed reason to break free of the church. The Protestant Reformation and the need for new converts lead to the rise of European expansion. European expansion into the west resulted in a political increase of power for Europe, the social increase in slavery, disease and racism, as well as the economic rise of inflation, mercantilism and capitalism. The political, social and economic effects of European expansion top those of the Protestant Reformation, making it more fundamentally influential on both western civilization and today’s world.
With regard to political changes and effects, there are three major events that occurred as a result of the Protestant Reformation and one major effect as a result of European Expansion. Catholic Reformation, the Peace of Augsburg and the Thirty Years War all arose with the Protestant reformation and increased power arose with European expansion. The Catholic Reformation was the Catholic Church’s response to the Protestant Reformation. It involved the founding of the Jesuit Order also known as the Society of Jesus, the Reformed papacy which pushes out liberal cardinals who want the Catholic Church to respond to the Protestant criticisms and the Council of Trent which was created as a result of the Catholic Reformation in order to reaffirm Catholic Teac...

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...s profits to the shareholders. The Dutch East Asia Company was the biggest multinational cooperation during that time, for over 200 years they were able to pay out 18% dividends to their shareholders (McKay). Europe benefited greatly from expansion into the Americas their economy became stronger and robust.
In conclusion all of the effects that came about as a result of the Protestant Reformation and European Expansion have had an impact on western civilization. The Protestant Reformation created many new religions most of which are still around today. If it were not for European Expansion into the Americas the world might have been very different. The Americas got most of their basis for law, government and economy from Europe, making is strong. European Expansion impacted the world greatly and it had the most influence on today’s world in more ways than one.
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