Causes Of The Protestant Reformation

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The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century religious movement that took place in the Western church. Having far-reaching political, economic, and social effect, the Reformation became the basis for the founding of Protestantism, one of the three major branches of Christianity. Without the changes caused by the Renaissance during the fifteenth century, the Reformation would not have been possible (Haigh). Reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Henry VIII challenged the Catholic church. These reformers’ disruptions triggered wars, persecutions, and later the “Counter-Reformation.” The Reformation ended the unity imposed by medieval Christianity. Many events in the years leading up to the sixteenth century caused individuals…show more content…
Scholars, upper class, and middle class were able to get their hands on the Bible and understand what it said (“The Reformation: An Overview”). Many other factors played a part in the process such as the decline of feudalism (a combination of legal and military customs), the rise of nationalism, and the rise of the common law (Kerr). All of these factors led to great individuals putting their foot down and telling the Catholic Church that enough was enough, and they were no longer going to stand idly by while the church abused its power.

As the Catholic Church’s grievances were brought to light more and more people started to move away from the church. There were three main people that are credited for helping to start the Protestant Reformation in each of their own countries -- Martin Luther who was an Augustinian monk who nailed his “95 Theses” on the church door in Germany, Huldrych Zwingli who started the reformation in Switzerland, and Henry VIII who caused England to leave the church because of his quest for a male heir (“The Reformation: An Overview”). These four people, although from completely different backgrounds, helped the Protestant Reformation move throughout Europe.

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483. In 1505, Luther received his master’s degree from the University of Erfurt. Following his father’s wishes, Martin enrolled in law school at the same university, but dropped
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