Reformation in Continental Europe and England and Its Consequences

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Reformation is the religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th century. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church, loss of papal authority and credibility as well as other societal, political and economical issues of the time. This revolution had a major impact on Europe and it gave way to short term and long-term consequences, which still can be seen today. There were many causes of Reformation, some go as far back as the fourteenth century. One of the main ones was that the papal authority and credibility were damaged. This was done through, Avignon papacy, - a time where the headquarters of the Holy See had to be moved from Rome to Avignon, it brought uncertainty to the people,…show more content…
There were many consequences that were results of the Reformation. An immediate and unfortunate effect was intolerance to other denominations that were founded during Reformation, which was expressed through many persecutions and religious wars. In Spain, Portugal and Italy those who were not Catholic suffered death or imprisonment during the Inquisition. Similarly, the Protestant princes of Germany punished their Catholic citizens. This intolerance was also shown by civil wars in Switzerland, Germany, France (between Huguenots and Calvinists). The civil wars were a hindrance to security, material prosperity and cultural advancement. Also as a result of the Reformation, revolts and wars broke out around Europe, causing loss of life, property, prestige and power. There were wars between Spain and Netherlands, the Anglo-Spanish War, but the most devastating at the time was the war in 1618 in Germany between the Catholics and the Protestants, which lasted for thirty years. Hence it is known as the Thirty Years War. Various treaties that brought an end to this war in 1648 are called the Peace of Westphalia, which stated that Calvinists were equal with Lutherans and Catholics. Another immediate effect was the development of new ideas in the economic field. People were free from medieval restrictions and started to pursue economic activities such as money lending, which was
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