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Global Essay on Luther's Theses and Protestant Reformation

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Important events in history are often caused by political, economic, and social causes, and often have effects beyond their initial impact. Two such turning points in history are Luther’s Posting of the 95 theses and the Protestant Reformation.

Luther’s Posting of the 95 theses was a result of many things. The primary cause was the corruption in the Catholic church. one example of this corruption is sales of indulgences- basically a pardon. Someone would sin and then they would just give the church money and they were forgiven. Not only that, you could even say that you would like to sin tomorrow and then pay before even committing the sin and still get pardoned. Another example of Catholic corruption is nepotism- they would give away all the important clergy positions to friends and relatives instead of the best candidate. When they weren’t busy giving jobs to their friends, church officials would sell the rest of the positions to the highest bidders, an act known as simony. Another reason Luther posted these theses is that he wanted to show everyone that the clergy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He thought this because Bibles were translated into the vernacular, and because of the printing press, ideas were able to spread quickly. Luther read the bible for himself and realized he doesn’t even need clergy. Add that to the corruption and you’ve got your theses.

According to legend, Luther put his 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg. Of course, he was excommunicated and declared an outlaw and heretic. Luther ran for his life to the north of the Holy Roman Empire. He translated the New Testament into German, spreading his ideas even further. A major long term effect of this is the protestant reformation.

The Protestant Reformation was also a result of many things. Luther’s theses were a main cause of the Reformation since it showed people, all the corruption in government. Another cause of the Reformation is that bibles were translated into the vernacular. People realized that the clergy aren’t doing anything they can’t do, and they no longer listen to the pope when he says jump. A third cause of the reformation is the printing press. Since everything was so readily available, and there are many copies of everything, it was hard to stop ideas from spreading. These three ideas together launched the Reformation.

During the Reformation, many new sects of Christianity started. The first one was Lutheran created by Martin Luther. Another is Calvinist created by a follower of Martin Luther, John Calvin. A third sect is Anglican, Created by Henry VIII. He wanted to divorce his wife, but his wife didn’t want a divorce. His wife’s nephew, Charles V, was the pope’s best friend, and he told the pope not to do the divorce. Since new sects were popping up right and left Henry VIII decided to create his own sect in which divorce was allowed. A major long-term effect of the reformation is that there



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