The Protestant Reformation

Change Among the People

What was it? What change occurred?

The Protestant reformation was a radical change of the church because of the rise of a new type of religion, Protestantism. People no longer were relying on the Catholic church so much, as they had for so long because the Church gave them something nothing else had, a sense of belonging. The people received security from the Church and felt no reason to betray it, for that was their belief system. Through exploration of faith, people like Martin Luther and John Calvin created Protestantism and separated from the only Church there had ever been. People were no longer depending on the Pope and his regulations. The power of the Catholic church promptly decreased. More people felt the ability to break away and adjust their beliefs to their own ideas. In addition, inventions such as the printing press, improved by Johannes Gutenberg, allowed the widespread availability of the Bible.

Who was involved?

Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a monk who created a form of Protestantism called Lutheranism. Martin became a monk because he was in a big storm and made an agreement with God that if God would save him, he would become a monk. He discovered that one only needed faith to reach salvation, not the good works that the Pope tells you to do. He also thought that heresy should be encouraged instead of relying on the pope for the "correct" interpretation of the Bible. Martin also posted his famous 95 theses or formal statements against the authority of the Pope, on the doors of the All Saints Church in Wittenberg. People began questioning the Church. They had never thought this way, always assuming that the Pope's interpretation was the correct and only interpretation there should be. All of Martin's followers became known as Protestants.


John Calvin

John Calvin was one of these Protestants, except his beliefs were slightly different. He created a new branch of Protestantism, Calvinism. He believed in Predestination, or the belief that God knows who will be given salvation already, so humans cannot earn their salvation. This further altered the beliefs of people who were once Catholics.


Johannes Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg was a printer who improved the invention of the printing press by making it faster and easier to use. By doing so, Gutenberg made books, such as the Bible, cheaper and therefore easier to access for the majority of the townsfolk. Not only that, but this new printing press allowed texts to be printed in the peoples' vernacular language so it wasn't necessary to know Latin to read. This revolution in itself spread the popularity of heresy and Protestantism because it allowed for personal connections to the Bible, and therefore even less reliance on the Pope and his word.


King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII was the king of England and a devout Catholic. As king, he felt the need to have a son so his family would continue in power. He married very young to an older woman, who continuously failed to deliver a son, or to deliver at all. She soon became too old to bear children and Henry wanted a divorce to improve the chance of him having a son. However, such an action was prohibited by the Pope especially to a devout Catholic. So Henry went against the Pope, all in the name of politics, and created a new protestant religion called Anglicism and tried to end the Pope's power with the Act of Supremacy. The Act passed and he was named head of the Church of England.

What impact Did it Have?

Immediate changes

Not all change was bad for the Catholic church. The Catholic church went through a purification, by getting rid of all the insincere Catholics to Protestantism, unifying the religion. The Catholic Church still lost power as Protestantism spread, becoming more and more popular. People could finally speak against the Church and interpret for themselves. Once people became separate from the Pope, all of his rules and proclamations became irrelevant, as seen in the example of King Henery VIII and his new religion.

Modern Day Revolution Effects

Because of the effects of the Reformation, people continued to branch off from Catholicism and create the many different protestant religions we have today. Before, when there was just Catholicism, peoples' opinions and ideas didn't matter. What the Pope said was law, and the people just assumed he was correct. People now can freely interpret and believe most of whatever they want to, without the threat of social disapproval.
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This wordle is a compound of Reformation vocabulary terms.