The Protestant Reformation
Change Among the People
What was it? What change occurred?
Who was involved?
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 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 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.
A Pope from the Reformation Period
Johannes Gutenberg and the printing press that impacted the publishing books forever
Martin Luther posting the 95 theses on the church door