Holy Roman Empire: the Lutheran Revolt

Topics: Martin Luther, Protestant Reformation, Holy Roman Empire Pages: 2 (533 words) Published: October 30, 2012
Before the Lutheran Revolt the Holy Roman Empire is a weak confederation of over 360 separate political units. The Holy Roman Empire, like any society, is a mix of political, economic and social states that are inseparable, with emphasis on religion and morality. When we put the Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, was added to the mix, it leads to a severe weakening of the society. The Holy Roman Empire was a result of political, economic, and societal controversies that consequently lead to the Lutheran revolt. The social tensions mirrored the discontent in the world of religious institutions. Facilitated by a worldly and greedy papacy, contradictions in the doctrines they worshipped (how surprising), poorly educated priests, and the abuses like simony, pluralism, absenteeism, and sale of indulgences, leads Luther to write the 95 Thesis (1517) which will inevitably lead to the splitting of the church. This is heavily tied in with social problems as individualism and the desire to worship one’s own religion really threatened the papal influence in the area. The society that the church would favor is one with few educational opportunities, no mobility, and no power for the emerging middle class, which is what was happening. It was extremely easy to trigger peasant revolt during these times, leading to Luther’s popularity, and contributing to the Lutheran Revolt. The economic concerns were again brought on by the church exercising crooked behaviors. They burdened these already unfaithful and apprehensive peasants with more taxes, service obligations, and sale of indulgences, that was extremely abusive to the laboring class. With such a huge imbalance of power and wealth distribution, it was easy for the peasants to become disheartened. It was also the princely states and nobility that felt the 10% of their wealth transferred to Rome was a burden. There was then a rise of merchant class and a “money” economy, which the church liked to hinder the growth of, which...
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