The Protestant Reformation... an Economic Event???

Topics: Catholic Church, Protestant Reformation, Pope Pages: 2 (644 words) Published: October 26, 2008
The Protestant Reformation was primarily a religious event, not an economic one. However, there were several economic motives that allowed the Reformation to spread, such as the confiscation of church lands, these were relatively unimportant in view of the other motive. Politically, the rejection of the authority of the Catholic Church convinced many states to join the Reformation. However, the issues of the Reformation were based on religious problems. From the problems with the sales of indulgences, to arguments over the validity of each of the sacraments, to the debate over who had authority in religious issues, what sparked the Reformation were issues of faith, not money or power. If the opposite had been the case, then the Reformation would have ended at Luther and wouldn't have continued past him. 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 the indulgences and their sale to fund the goals of the Pope. 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 the confiscation caused. The spread of the Reformation itself was supported by the printers' guilds, who stood to profit from the production of publicity. However these motives could have easily been crushed 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 convincing than the economic ones. These political motives 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 and it was Henry VIII's need for an heir that pushed him to cut ties with Catholicism. External forces also affected the struggle. Charles V's...
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