Dbq On Protestant Reformation Essay

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September 25, 2011
Reformation DBQ

During the Protestant Reformation in Germany around the 16th century chaos ensued. This was lead by Martin Luther, who brought the churches lie out in the open for all to see. He told the people of the corruption within the Vatican, and how they shouldn’t have to pay indulgences. Secularism spread throughout the lands, people began turning on the church. This all went on while the Renaissance was still affecting the European nations.

The Roman church fell into a great deal of corruption, under Pope Leo X who began spending more money than the church had in its treasury. The German people had grievances, brought before the diet, they felt that the church was heartless using people’s…show more content…

Luther is most known as the leader of the Reformation, and for this he was called a heretic. In response to this Luther attacks the Pope in stating that, he has twisted the word of the scripture, reminding him of the bloodshed under Julius II, the horrible tyranny under the late Pope Boniface VIII who ‘came in as a wolf, resigned as a lion, and died as a dog.’ and lastly telling the Pope that the German people would not stand for this kind of leadership. (D7) This is around the time when Martin Luther wrote his 95 Theses and nailed it to the church door, declaring the church as a ‘fraud.’

Not only did the Reformation affect the church, but it affected the arts of the time, Renaissance art to be exact. Myconius, a German Protestant reformer, spoke of how in two weeks Martin Luther’s 95 Theses had spread through Germany, and months later through the Christian world.(D3) His thesis would have never gone so far, so fast without Guttenberg’s printing press. One of the ages most famous Dutch Renaissance humanists Erasmus, used the Reformation as a theme in his writings. In his play Julius Excluded Erasmus tells of how the laws seems not to apply to the Pope, ‘for he can cancel any canon he does not like.’ (D2) He writes about the Reformation again in The Annotations on The New Testament claiming that the church is so busy with other matters that it no longer has time to understand

Life in Europe during the Renaissance was an incredibly dangerous time.   Peasants leaved under heavy taxes, constant warfare, and the spread of deadly diseases.   In short people lived in constant fear of death.   This preoccupation with death that existed amongst the people also resulted in a similar preoccupation in religious salvation.   As the people watched the church decay morally through the Renaissance they became more and more worried about what this meant for them in the afterlife.   Thus the Reformation was a direct result of a buildup of social, economic, religious, and political problems that manifested itself into a general animosity towards the Catholic Church.  
The most important figure of the Reformation is without a doubt Martin Luther.   Luther created the rally cry that thousands across Europe answered by criticizing the Catholic Churches practices and carrying on the work of other Christian Humanists like Erasmus.   We see an example of one of Luther’s critical writings in Document 8.   In this Document we see Luther take a strong anti Catholic stance and even go so far as to condemn the Pope.   Document 9 also serves as another example and shows Luther’s being critical of the Churches officials and the need for priests by clamming “every baptized Christian is a priest already.”   This last point struck a major cord with the peasants in Europe.   Luther was telling them they could gain their own salvation by studying the bible for themselves.   No longer would they need to be dependent on the Church.   Both of these Documents come from Luther’s point of view and thus have a fairly large bias in favor of the Reformation.   Document 3 is also a look at Church corruption but from a pro Catholic point of view.   It serves as more a realization of Church Corruption than a straight critique like Luther’s.   The one thing that all these Documents have in common is they highlight the corruption and inept leadership that was rampant in the Catholic Church and...

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