Reflection: Politics in the Reformation
The Protestant Reformation changed Europe. During the 1500s religion became extremely persuasive in the lives of people living in Europe. By 1500 the church as an institution looked a lot like a state. Throughout medieval history there are currents of anticlericalism which was feelings of mistrust towards the church. The clergy in the church was often accused of wealth, corruption, and self indulgence. But these were all things that the religion preached the opposite of. However, the church was given a tremendous amount of power. Religion became something that was encouraged by new states. It had become something so big; nation-states were beginning to identify themselves by it. Then the Counter Reformation was very huge in by a political aspect. This began in the 1540s and defined the modern day nation-states. Martin Luther sought the support of local German authorities, the princes of Holy Roman Empire, in order to institute his reforms. Thus, the Reformation quickly became a political matter. Very soon it has spread all over Europe in countries including German states, Switzerland, the Scandinavian lands, and in England and Scotland. The church had control of Rome. The church had farm land, tax collectors, and lots of money. The Pope was also very powerful. The reformation had a noticeable impact on political and economic implications. Rulers were passionate about the creation of churches that sustained their political authority. The money gathered in the church was spent locally rather than used outside like the Roman Catholicism. This reflected on nation-states because this was their reality, it was their lifestyle. The new states encouraged a religion that would be subject to and protected by political authority. Yet, the element of individual conscience Protestants- the sects that continued to reinterpret the gospel- was always present and could manifest itself in protest and action. In such areas where...
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