Reformation: Martin Luther

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In 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a church. This was the start of the Protestant Reformation, and the schism in the church. The major causes of the Reformation, which were political, social, and ideological circumstances had led to the dividing of the church. From this revolutionary beginning came new ideologies that evolved from the cons of the catholic views on. By the tenth century, the Roman Catholic Church had dominated religious life in Northern and Western Europe. Still, the church did not have the approval by many. Over the centuries, many people criticized its practices. They felt that the Church leaders were too interested in worldly pursuits, such as gaining wealth and political power. Even with the reforms made in the Middle Ages the church was still criticized.  This criticism would lead to rebellion. Being that there are many aspects that played a role in this Reformation, there are three major influences. The first one would be the social impact of the printing press. The Renaissance emphasis on the secular and the individual challenged the Church authority. The printing press helped spread these secular ideas like wild fire. The next cause would be the political impact of the towns local rulers opposing increasing political centralization. In Germany, it was difficult for the pope or the emperor to impose central authority. As a result, northern merchants stopped paying church taxes to Rome. A new religious reform began in Germany and swept through Europe. Critics of the Church felt that its leaders were corrupt. The popes who ruled during the Renaissance patronized the arts, spent extravagantly on personal pleasures, and fought wars. Pope Alexander VI, for instance, confessed of having several children. The lower clergy were criticized and priests as well as monks, were so poorly educated that they could barely read. This would make them inadequate, not being able to read let alone teach the bible. Others broke their...
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