During the 16th Century Catholicism was the mainstream religion to be it defined many characteristics of the people and their way of life The church offered many social and spiritual services such as preaching last rights giving confessions orphanages education and giving to the poor The church owned over a third the land in Europe which made it the most powerful political economic being on the continent and the Pope assumes authority over every king as the heir to the Roman emperor One day a German monk named Martin Luther stapled a list called the 95 thesis that questioned and challenged the Catholic church's beliefs and teachings However before all the chaos that aroused about the 95 theses what started it all was a man named Johann Tetzel This man was a priest selling indulgences a promise from the pope that giving the church money would shorten their time in purgatory in Europe for money Its estimated that indulgences costed around half a year's wages for peasants This raised a huge red flag for Martin and began the Protestant Reformation Among Martins teachings there were 4 major doctrines
The first doctrine pointed out that man is a sinner but also at the same time a justified sinner through Christ The second is a simple statement that says the Father of Christ is now man's spiritual Father The third doctrine that Martin says is that our lives are life s under the cross meaning that since we are united with Christ so are our sufferings and hardships in Christ The fourth and final is instead of believing that you must work for your salvation physically through good works you instead believe that you are already saved and thus relieving you It is to give you joy and celebration that you have found the savior of the world During these times of the Church only the Priests were able to read the bible and preach about it because the bible was written in Latin Martin Luther translated the bible into the German that the people spoke so that others could read it for themselves Although most people couldn't read the handful that could preached about what it said and word flew fast Luther s theory was that if everyone is capable of seeing the scripture themselves then everyone can agree that there is one true truth This way of thinking went horribly wrong because people developed different opinions regarding different things which caused the creation of many denominations
All of the dispute caused an uprising in Europe which included the raiding of churches to not even paying taxes Luther responded by saying that his ideas were supposed to be a spiritual reformation rather than applying it to reality Along with people taking Luther s ideas too far were also the leaders of lands that exploited it An example is a Monk named Albert that was the 37th Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights broke away from the Catholic church to secure everything that was owned by the church in his land for himself Breaking from the church also allowed him to take his own taxes and establish wealth for his new Prussian court along with his own Duchy called Prussia This inspired other areas to convert which is why some lands were protestant and others Catholic France Germany Sweden Norway Switzerland Netherlands England and Northern Italy were all some form of Protestant However Protestantism was considered illegal in France and other implications happened to some countries as well Parts of France Poland and Spain either remained or turned back to Catholicism The aftermath of this effort was major in European politics There are two arguments that talk about the changes in politics from the Reformation The first is capitalism
According to Weber s book entitled The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism says that in order for some to feel worthy of god's grace he first must have lots of wealth This led Weber to believe that this mindset played a role in making a capitalistic society The second argument is the development of democracy thanks to the Reformation This argument uses what Luther had stated that secular and religious power shouldn't be together there is no religious law meaning that there is no lead person that governs the church Luther suggested independence in terms of how a single church operates The Protestant Reformation literally meaning Protest and Reform was first a challenge upon who Luther disagreed with the church then lead to a political crisis This then lead to the breaking of land and violence using Protestantism as a valid excuse Luther never intended Catholics to break away but instead change Catholicism itself and Protestants did believe that their way of thinking was right and everyone else is wrong The tearing apart of land was an unforeseen event taken advantage of by kings Dukes and the like Many events happened to lead to where Europe is now regarding not only religion but politics and sociology This movement affected different people in different ways and not everyone benefited or was hindered which is why it changed history for better and worse
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