The Protestant Reformation And The Protestant Reformation

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At one point in history the church, and even more so the Pope, was the primary power in Europe. The church was said to have control over all of people’s destiney, due to their direct link with God. People honestly believed that the Pope had a hand in their fate to either go to Heaven after death or to go to Hell. Therefore, they would seek the word of the church in almost every matter. However, this way of thinking would change for many people around 1517 with the birth of the Protestant Reformation. The protestant reformation was a religious movement that sprung forth after the Babylonian captivity of the Papacy and the Great Schism. The Babylonian captivity occurred from 1309 until 1377, during which seven successive popes maintained residence …show more content…
While many people were encouraged to accept Protestant beliefs because of their distrust of the church many rulers of the time were encouraged by political reasons and not religious reasons. For example many German Princes during the time only became Protestants because it opened new opportunities to strip the Catholic believer’s land and money. This would increase the wealth of the Prince and would also help to give him more power over his region. One of the biggest examples of a Protestant king is King Henry VIII. This English King created his own church after the Pope would not allow him to annul his marriage. Due to Henry’s great desire to have a son through marriage to another women he created a Protestant religion centered around the Church of England. This new religion was basically the same as Catholicism except the head of the Church was not the Pope it was actually King Henry VII. The King saw this as a way to increase his own power in his country. The King also believed that through changing religions he could also experience a huge monetary gain. Therefore, the King stripped the land of Catholic’s away and he shut down the monasteries. These decisions resulted in the English Crown become much wealthier and in turn resulted in a stronger military. Although, the decision made by Kings and Princes to become Protestant’s was a leading cause of the Protestant reformation, they were still criticised by other Protestants for changing their beliefs for non-religious reasons. For example, Luther called these rulers out, arguing to the rulers that “In your government you do nothing but flay and rob your subjects in order that you may lead a life of splendor and pride, until the poor common folk can bear it no longer” (Document 5). This criticism brought about the creation of new debates on the connection of church and state. The Protestant reformation is similar

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