The Reformation

1500s-1600s

The Reformation

The Reformation was a Catholic/religious rebellion that emerged in the 1500s, and brought forward the idea that the Catholic church wasn't perfect. The Reformation was led by both John Calvin and Martin Luther. The rebellion started when Martin Luther saw the deep corruption in the Catholic church. The priests were having children and taking the church's riches. This angered Luther, and he protested the corruption. Luther was excommunicated by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, but had already set the Reformation Movement in motion. Out of this movement rose many new branches of Christianity. Some of the branches were Protestantism, Anabaptists, Calvinism, and Lutheranism. Martin Luther had written many works, but they only really started to spread when the printing press was invented. Protestantism started to spread further.

John Calvin was a major part in the Reformation after Martin Luther. Calvin was a ruthless Protestant that ruled over Geneva unofficially. He believed that people were already destined to go to Hell or Heaven even before they were born. Calvin tried to make sure that everyone in Geneva was Protestant, and sometimes banished and killed those that weren't. Until his death, Calvin continued to work to try and convert people to his religion. Those who followed him were called Calvanists. A strong supporter of Calvin was John Knox, who worked to spread out Calvinism, which turned into Presbyterianism.

Even King Henry the 8th stepped into the Reformation. It is well known that he divorced Catherine of Aragon, but he had to go through quite the religious process to do so. It was against Catholic law to divorce, so King Henry split away from the church. King Henry the 8th was then considered Protestant, even though he didn't follow Protestant rules or see himself as one. He was only considered to be a Protestant because of this breakaway. Henry probably never meant to become a part of the Reformation, only to marry Anne Boleyn. His actions helped Calvinism and Lutheranism spread throughout the English people. When Henry's daughter, Mary, took the throne, she slaughtered the Protestants. After Mary died, his other daughter, Elizabeth, took the throne and ruled as a Protestant, definitely pressing forward the Reformation.

The Reformation brought forward the idea that the ones in power were not always right. People had believed the word of the Catholic church for so long, thinking of them as an unchanging way of life. Although it did have its setbacks, the Reformation set the stage for many religious changes in the Renaissance period. Who knows? Maybe the events of the Renaissance period set today's religious acts in motion!

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Horrible Histories Song - Henry VIII starring Rowan Atkinson - CBBC

Sources


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"The Reformation Era." Christian Today. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-21/reformation-era.html>.

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"Timeline of Reformation History (1517-1685)." Timeline of Reformation History (1517-1685). N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2016. <http://protestantism.co.uk/timeline.html>.