The Protestant reformation was a time when Martin Luther, a theology teacher and concerned Catholic, began speaking out against the Church. His primary discrepancy was with the indulgences that they were selling. By speaking out against the Church Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Church. The German princes that gave him refuge because the saw advantages in setting up the new protestant religion in Europe. Though they werent religious advantages.
The Protestant Reformation was primarily an economic event. I disagree with this statement on the ground that there was more to it then just economics.. The Protestant Reformation began as a religious motivated movement; but was taken advantage of in political, economic, and religious aspects.
Being that the Church controlled most of Europe, Luthers new ideas could be used against it politically. When the German princes took Luther in to their homes, they knew that if they could incorporate the Protestant religion they would be able to take away some of the churchs power over Europe. One of Luthers main ideas was that the Pope was not infallible, in fact, he shouldnt even exist.
The princes new that if the Pope was not the supreme ruler then they would gain power in Europe. One of Luthers writings was the Address to the Nobility of Germany, which basically stated that the nobility should join the movement and go against the Pope. In doing this, many important people would join the Reformation and help take away the Popes power and give it to the nobility. Through all these events, the Peace of Ausburg was written. This stated that the German princes may choose the religion of their own states. Northern Europe became mostly Protestant and the southern half was mainly Catholic.
There was economy based reasons for the Reformation as well. Some of Luthers other beliefs consisted of issues on money and the church. Indulgences were being sold and taxes were also being paid to the church. Luther believed in a somewhat strict interpretation of the Bible. Paying money to the church as an obligation where to be found in the scriptures. When the ideas were applied to a city of Protestants, the church would not receive money but the Royalty and nobles would. One the same token, the Church couldnt own land. Monasteries were built on large plots of land. Monasteries were taken over and the land then became open for whatever the rulers saw fit. Money and land came to the rulers of Protestant countries.
As much as the Reformation was taken advantage of, people did believe his religious thoughts. Luther only believed in two sacraments; Baptism and Eucharist. These were the only two he believed in because they were the only two performed in the Bible. He also believed that all vocations of the church were of equal merit and that priests could marry. Most of his ideas were attractive because his reasoning behind them made sense. Anyone who was unhappy with the church now had a reason and a place to break away from the church.
The Protestant Reformation began as a religious motivated movement; but was taken advantage of in political, economic, and religious aspects. The Reformation began with Religious intentions but some saw advantages in joining it, other then religious, and exploited the reformation.