When Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of his local monastery in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517, Europe was plunged in political and social turmoil. With only a few notable exceptions, a wave of political unity and centralization swept across the Western world. Papal power was perhaps not at its height, yet its corruption and increasingly secular values could be seen from St. Peter's in Rome to John Tetzel in Germany. Furthermore, in the economically prospering towns and cities, the middle class was facing an increasing volatile political situation with the growing national monarchies. All of these factors were to only catalyze the reactionary religious movement which would begin to sweep across Europe by the 1520's. The Protestant Reformation, as it would soon be called, set back years of national centralization by strengthening the aristocracy and dividing countries and regions religiously. Moreover, the strict religious and ethical guidelines of the new Protestant sects forever changed the culture of cities and town across Northern Europe; thereby bringing drastic social reform along with widespread religious fervor. In the first half of the sixteenth century, however, these Protestant movements were only beginning to form, yet their impact has had a lasting effect on the politics of Europe and the rest of the world well in the 20th century.
The Reformation spurred a wave of political devolution throughout Europe in the early 1500s, the most obvious example being that of the Holy Roman Empire. Although the nobility of the Holy Roman Empire had managed to keep hold of its power throughout a time of political unification, the Reformati...
... middle of paper ...
...h century historian, claims these strict, hardworking philosophies of puritanical Protestantism laid the foundations of the capitalist society we have today.
In conclusion, the Reformation brought about a wave of political devolution counteracting the surge of political centralization sweeping through post-Medieval Europe. The new religious sects which formed in the first half of the sixteenth century continued to separate themselves from the doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church, effecting not only the spiritual lives of the laity, but the social institutions of Europe for years to come. The war these religions will create will be a major part of European history in the years to come, with the conflict between Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinist, and other protestants defining the political landscape of Western Europe well into the 17th and 18th centuries.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Great Issues in Western Civilization A great issue can be defined in many ways; one way is how it effects people and how many people it effects. Of course it is based on the fact that it is great; and it wouldn’t be great unless people were affected by it. Then the question is what is an issue, and what makes an issue. First of all, every issue has to have more then one side, and each side has their own point of view. This point of view is usually very ethnocentric as well. Secondly, every point of view is seen with a different perspective, which no one else can see.... [tags: essays research papers]
1146 words (3.3 pages)
- The Protestant Reformation began in the early 16th century, and was a religious, political, and cultural movement to expose the corruption of the Catholic Church. It all began in Germany with Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. Luther didn’t like some of the things that the Catholic Church were doing such as selling indulgences, and being the middlemen between God and the people. Therefore, Luther posted his 95 Theses, which were tweaks to the way the church operated. Luther never wanted or expected it to become a major religious revolution against the church, rather he simply wanted the church to make the changes.... [tags: Protestant Reformation, Catholic Church]
1083 words (3.1 pages)
- Introduction The Protestant Reformation was developed in the 16th century is the schism of the Roman Catholic Church. Which claims goes back to the pope, from Apostles Peter, which has given it a special position to have authority over all the churches. The debate was over music in the church. The Roman Catholic and the Protestant (The Great Schism) came about because of how each denominations quote the Scriptures, whereas the claim that the Pope follow the scriptures thoroughly than the Protestant Priest, it is claimed that Protestant do not follow the Scriptures apostolically.... [tags: Protestant Reformation, Christianity]
1349 words (3.9 pages)
- The 16th century was a time of social, political, and religious change in Europe. The Protestant Reformation was a major European movement initially aimed at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; later, it reformed the political and social aspects of Europe as well. The Counter-Reformation, also known as the Catholic Reformation, had the intention of eliminating abuses within the Church and counteracting the Protestant Reformation. While the Protestant Reformation hoped to change the practices of the Church, the Catholic Reformation hoped to reform the abuses that the Church practiced rather than the beliefs and practices of the Church.... [tags: Protestant Reformation, Catholic Church, Pope]
1405 words (4 pages)
- Reformation in Europe In the early 16th century, the church was the most powerful institution in Europe, even stronger than government; however, in 1517, Martin Luther, a professor in Northern Germany, posted criticisms of the church on a chapel door which would cause profound reformation of the religious system in Europe. When the dissent spread out to the world, the Catholic religion was shattered and many people of high social rank, such as king and princes, either defended or opposed Luther’s argument.... [tags: Protestant Reformation, Christianity]
1065 words (3 pages)
- As western civilization evolved, change has influenced the landscape of many civilizations. The German Reformation of the early 16th century, inspired great amounts of change throughout parts of Europe. In Michel Baylor’s book, “The German Reformation and the Peasants’ War,” Baylor focuses on the roles of rebellion, violence, Christianity, and most importantly, the misinterpretation of reformation teachings during the Peasants’ War. The change caused by the Reformation and the Peasants’ War led to a decrease in religious practices and a violent rebellion.... [tags: Christianity, Protestant Reformation]
929 words (2.7 pages)
- The Protestant Reformation, also known as the Reformation, was the 16th-century religious, governmental, scholarly and cultural upheaval that disintegrated Catholic Europe, setting in place the structures and beliefs that would define the continent in the modern era (Staff, 2009). The Catholic Church begun to dominate local law and practice almost everywhere starting in the late fourteenth century. The Catholic Church held a tight hold on the daily lives of the people invading just about every part of it.... [tags: Protestant Reformation, Catholic Church]
1989 words (5.7 pages)
- Protestant Reformation The Protestant Reformation is often referred to simply as the Reformation, was the schism within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli and other early Protestant Reformers.The Reformation happened during the 16th century.Although there had been significant earlier attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church before Luther — such as those of Jan Hus, Peter Waldo, and John Wycliffe — it is Martin Luther who is widely acknowledged to have started the Reformation with his 1517 work The Ninety-Five Theses.... [tags: Protestant Reformation, Protestantism]
1279 words (3.7 pages)
- A reformation can be described as the action or process of making changes in the social, political, or economic institution to improve it, according to the Google dictionary. Martin Luther and the “95 Theses” started a chain of events throughout Europe that would be known as the Protestant Reformation. During the 16th century, the authority and power of the Church was challenged. This led to other denominations being created such as, Lutheranism. Martin Luther and the Reformation influenced the religion in the West and the culture.... [tags: Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther]
854 words (2.4 pages)
- The Reformation Religious ideas have developed from every society known since the Sumerians, with theological ideas evolving as communities progressed and changed. Throughout recorded history there have been dissenters and revolt to every religious institution. However, the Reformation of the sixteenth century religious institutions led to changes in social, political and cultural life that have profoundly effected Western Civilization (McKay, Hill, Buckler, A History of Western Society, page 451).... [tags: Papers]
535 words (1.5 pages)