Economically, there were certain issues that allowed the Protestant Reformation to grab hold and take off. For example, one of the very first complaints with the Church was that of indulgences and their sale to fund the goals of the Pope, particularly with St. Peter's Basilica. On the other hand, states were eager to align themselves with the Protestants, as they supported state confiscation and control over church lands, and all the profits that that confiscation entailed. The spread of the Reformation itself was supported by the printers' guilds, who stood to profit from the production of propaganda. However these motives could have easily been done away with and the Reformation would have lived on. Luther's complaints extended well beyond the issue of indulgences, and the political motives that could encourage state participation were more compelling than the economic ones.
These political motives, in fact, were much more important than the economic ones. It was the rejection of the authority of the Church that convinces many of the German states to join,... [continues]
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