Using the elementary line of thought, which dictates that a single event caused the Reformation, is fruitless. It is important to elucidate the various events that are actually attributed to causing the Reformation. To summarize, it was Luther's activities, the number of supporters he gained, the papal control of the Church, their corrupt "sales of indulgences," the invention of the printing press, emerging social forces, Charles V's dilemma, the internal conflict between the papacy and the council, and the rise of the national state over the Church, that worked in tandem with one another to cause the outbreak of the Reformation. The point of stringing them together in a list is to solidify the evidence. Not one of these causes could have, on its own, caused such a monumental event. With any historical event, the causes can operate on several planes to instigate a situation. Essentially, these operations are examples of causation.
One such example is the "domino effect," where one event sets off another, and then another, and the chain will continue until an event, or conclusion, occurs. Yet another frequent concept is the "powder keg" theory. Events continue to swirl tumultuously together, and additional incidents continue to fall into the keg, or, literally, to be added into the fray. Sooner or later, a spark, in the guise of a law, an event, or a person, will set off a larger and more impacting historical event. These are prime examples of causation,... [continues]
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