During the sixteenth century, regions slowly became more religiously diverse and tolerant of one another. This newfound tolerance was a result of treaties which ended religious warfare between nations. The ideals of Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Henry VIII, made all of that possible.
Before the ideals of Luther, Calvin, and Henry VIII transformed Christianity, Catholicism was the dominant religion in most of Western Europe. “In the sixteenth century the practice of religion remained a public matter. The ruler determined the official form of religious practice in [their] jurisdiction.” Therefore, within each region, there was little, if any, religious diversity. During this time, the Catholic Church was an affluent and dominant institution. Reformers sought to change this, they wanted to eliminate corrupt priests and Church officials who often controlled many offices and sold indulgences to line their own pockets, rather than assisting those who were poverty-stricken.
During the onset of the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church began to fracture as reformers, such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Henry VIII sought to purge the church of corruption. These individuals also gave rise to new religious ideologies, resulting in a more diversified Europe. Ma...
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... years of bloodshed, the territories that comprised Germany were, to a certain extent, allowed to practice their own religion. Although the leaders or princes of each territory selected the religion of their subjects, it brought about a more tolerant Europe.
Despite the widespread violence and persecution that stain the Reformations, this time period brought about great changes for Christianity. Luther, Calvin, and Henry VIII introduced new ways of practicing Christianity throughout Western Europe. Which ultimately resulted in the divide of Christianity. However, in the end, these divisions exposed nations to new ideas regarding religion, resulting in a more diverse Europe. Religious tolerance, although it did not come quickly, became more prevalent in Europe towards the close of the Reformations as rulers of each region could select the religion of their subjects.
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