Martin Luther's Reformation Movement

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Have you ever done something, or watched something happening that entirely snowballed out of control? Its starts of as small or unknown but soon, has gained so much momentum or support that it is getting out of hand. This is what happened to Martin Luther, his movement gained so much support that more than a century years later it was a far cry from a man’s opinion in 16th century Germany. The protestant reformation was a big event in the church’s history that changed the way that people all over the world, even today practice christianity. In this essay I will cover main causes, effects as well as the event itself, and also why it’s considered an important event in the church’s history.

There are a few things that caused this event to come
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The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440 was revolutionary. For the first time messages could travel further than word of mouth. If a message was to get around previously it could be written out or the town crier would tell those who were present, but it usually didn’t go far. But by the time Luther started to have his own ideas about Christianity a printing press could be used to print a few thousand sheets a day, and it was. Meaning it took merely weeks to get a message round Germany and a matter of months to spread through greater Europe.

This great invention also led to a subsequent cause of the reformation. At this time the literacy rate wasn’t very high especially when looking at lower class people. But with a incentive and a growing need to be able to read and write many people learned to. People, now rather than being told what to think, were thinking for themselves and forming their own opinions based off newly available information. Ordinary people were now ready to challenge authority, and these new found voices were getting out there, with help from the printing
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The church taught its followers that they way to get to heaven (salvation) was to do good works and give money otherwise you would spend a long time in purgatory, or go to hell.
Purgatory is the place you go between this this world and heaven or hell. It is uncomfortable and unpleasant and the church capitalised on this. The theory goes that almost everyone will go to Purgatory for at least a small time to pay for the sins they have committed while they were on earth, even the most holy had something to be ashamed of. But there were ways to lessen your time there or in extreme cases possibly bypass it altogether. The first was to do good works, help the sick the poor and the elderly etc. Then you would be presented with a piece of paper, which was certificate or receipt

Another was to buy an indulgence. An indulgence was a slip of paper that granted you access into heaven. It cost about 3 marks which was at the time almost half a years wages. And this money wasn’t even being put to good use. At a time when there were a lot of poor, it was used to buy fancy clothes for the church and sent to Italy from countries such as France, Germany to pay for St Peters Basilica which was being built in Rome, this understandably cause a bit of

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