History and Its Effects on the Future

Topics: Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, Isaac Newton Pages: 6 (2143 words) Published: April 17, 2006
History and Its Effects on The Future

According to definition, History is a narrative of events in the order in which they happened with their causes and effects, a record of past events. Throughout history many events have further evolved the human race, providing different ideas, policies, political laws and ways, and even scientific advances that further pushed the boundaries of human life to where they are today. The future is very much affected by the past and this is clearly present throughout the later Middle Ages all the way to the 18th century. The achievements of this time period in religion, exploration, science, culture, and arts are some of the most important achievements throughout history.

In the 1400s the demand for foreign trade and goods was at a high for Europeans. Voyagers traveled to new lands such as the coast of Africa to pursue gold and to also find an alternative route to India and China because of the Ottoman Empire, which was pushing into the Mediterranean after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, blocked the traditional trade routes through the Middle East and across the Black and Red Seas. Europeans relied on Asian sources for medicines, spices, and all kinds of luxury goods, which were unavailable elsewhere. Enormous profits were achieved to those who gained access to the source of these goods. The desire for these profits pushed men to take great risks to find an alternative route to East Asia. One certain voyage that has affected the world we live in today greatly was the travels of Christopher Columbus. Columbus believed that he had been predestined to fulfill biblical prophecies. If he could reach China, he could outflank the Ottoman Turks and recapture Jerusalem from the Muslims who had held it since 1187, and achievement that would usher in the Second Coming of Christ. As he set sail on August 3, 1492 he came with a crew of ninety men and boys on three ships, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Because of these voyages across the Atlantic further expansion into the Americas was possible and is now the land that we call the United States of America. This was a very important event that changed the future because without such travels and explorations there would have been no Europe in the Americas and further expansion of the land of the United States would not be found and colonized by the settlers.

An important set of events that has affected the future greatly was the Protestant Reformation. The Protestant Reformation was the culmination of nearly 200 years of turmoil within the church. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the Church owned vast amounts of property, maintained a far-reaching judicial bureaucracy to enforce Church law, and was headed by the pope, who was also the territorial price of the Papal State in central Italy. The Church was being corrupt but that was not the only problem, the problem was that they were unable to respond effectively to the demands of ordinary people who were increasingly concerned with their own salvation and the effective government of their communities. Three developments, in particular, contributed to the demand for religious reform: the search for the freedom of private religious expression; the print revolution; and the Northern Renaissance interest in the Bible and sources of Christianity. The Protestant Reformation began with the protests of Martin Luther against the pope and certain Church practices. In 1517 Luther became caught up in a controversy that led the separation of him and his followers from the Roman Catholic Church. In order to finance the building of a new St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Pope Leo X had issued a special new indulgence. These special indulgence could apply not only to the purchaser but also to the dead already in Purgatory. Frederick the Wise, the Elector of Saxony and the patron of Martin Luther's university, prohibited the sale of the special indulgences in Electoral Saxony, but...
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