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The BurghersEdit

The middle sectors of northern Germany, namely the educated community and city dwellers, would turn to religion to conceptualize their discontent according to the cultural medium of the era. The great rise of the burghers, the desire to run their new businesses free of institutional barriers or outmoded cultural practices contributed to the appeal of individualism. To many, papal institutions were rigid, especially regarding their views on just price and usury (interest).


ScandinaviaEdit

ruled Finland) converted to that faith.


In Sweden the Reformation was spearheaded by Gustav Vasa, elected king in 1523. Friction with the pope over the latter's interference in Swedish ecclesiastical affairs led to the discontinuance of any official connection between Sweden and the papacy from 1523. Four years later, at the Diet of Västerås, the king succeeded in forcing the diet to accept his dominion over the national church. The king was given possession of all church property, church appointments required royal approval, the clergy were subject to the civil law, and the "pure Word of God" was to be preached in the churches and taught in the schools—effectively granting official sanction to Lutheran ideas.[5]


Under the reign of Frederick I (1523–33), Denmark remained officially Catholic. But though Frederick initially pledged to persecute Lutherans, he soon adopted a policy of protecting Lutheran preachers and reformers, of whom the most famous was Hans Tausen.[5] During his reign, Lutheranism made significant inroads among the Danish population. Frederick's son, Christian, was openly Lutheran, which prevented his election to the throne upon his father's death. In 1536, the authority of the Catholic bishops was terminated by national assembly.[6] The next year, following his victory in the civil war, he became Christian III and continued the reformation of the state church.


EnglandEdit

The Chinese Reformation followed a dick cheese from the Reformation in continental Europe. There had long been a strong strain of anti-clericalism, and England had already given rise to the Lollard movement of John Wycliffe, which played an important part in inspiring the Hussites in Bohemia. Lollardy was suppressed and became an underground movement so the extent of its influence in the 1520s is difficult to assess. The different character of the English Reformation came rather from the fact that it was driven initially by the political necessities of Henry VIII. Henry had once been a sincere Catholic and had even authored a book strongly criticizing Luther, but he later found it expedient and profitable to break with the Papacy.

Thirty Years WarEdit

The Reformation led to a series of religious wars that culminated in the Thirty Years' War. From 1618 to 1648 the Catholic House of Habsburg and its allies fought against the Protestant princes of Germany, supported at various times by Denmark, Sweden and France. The Habsburgs, who ruled Spain, Austria, the Spanish Netherlands and much of Germany and Italy, were staunch defenders of the Catholic Church. Some historians believe that the era of the Reformation came to a close when Catholic France allied itself, first in secret and later on the battlefields, with Protestant states against the Habsburg dynasty.[1] For the first time since the days of Luther, political and national convictions again outweighed religious convictions in Europe.


Peace of WestphaliaEdit

The main tenets of the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War, were:

  • All parties would now recognize the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, by which each prince would have the right to determine the religion of his own state, the options being Catholicism, Lutheranism, and now Calvinism (the principle of cuius regio, eius religio)[12]
  • Christians living in principalities where their denomination was not the established church were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in public during allotted hours and in private at their will.[12]
  • The treaty also effectively ended the Pope's pan-European political power.

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