Make your own free website on

Reformation 1500-1600

Main Idea: Martin Luther’s protest over abuses in the Catholic Church led to the founding of Protestant churches. John Calvin and other Protestant leaders began new protestant churches. Catholic Church also makes reforms.


I.                 Reformation

A.   Causes

1.    Past practice: domination of Rome

2.    Renaissance: promoted secular & the individual

3.    Printing press

4.    Ruler v. pope

5.    Taxation

6.    Early reforms failed

B.   Martin Luther—German monk—Reformation begins

1.    Protested indulgences

2.    95 Theses: formal statement attacking “pardon merchants”

3.    His teachings

a      Salvation—God’s gift of forgiveness

b      Bible—basis of Church teachings

c       Equality among believers

4.    Response

a      Excommunicated by pope

b      Edict of Worms: declared heretic & outlaw

c       German peasants revolt (1524)

d      War waged against Protestant princes; Peace of Augsburg

C.   England becomes Protestant

1.    Henry VIII: annulment denied

a      Asks Parliament to end pope’s power in England

b      Act of Supremacy passed: English king, not the pope, head the Church of England

2.    Clashes over religious reform when his heirs take throne

a      Elizabeth I returns throne to Protestant


D.  John Calvin—France

1.    Created system of Protestant theology—Calvinism

2.    Geneva: run as theocracy

3.    Scottish, Dutch, & reformers adopt a Calvinist form of church organization

E.   Other Reforms

1.    New Protestant groups formed over differences in belief

2.    Anabaptist: baptize adults only

3.    Women: key role in early Reformation

F.    Catholic Reformation

1.    Goal: strengthen & spread Catholic religion

2.    Ignatius of Loyola: forms Society of Jesus—Jesuits

3.    Reforms by popes: Paul III & Paul IV

4.    Council of Trent: met to improve church gov’ts & clarify beliefs

G.  Legacy

1.    Protestant churches flourished

2.    Religion did not unite Europe

3.    Monarchs & states gained power

4.    Set stage for modern world