Reformation Cause/Effect

  • Period: Jan 1, 1265 to Dec 21, 1375

    Fathers of Humanism, Intellectual-Social

    Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Dante are considered the Fathers of Humanism. Humanism was the first post-medieval idea to successfully challenge the church. Up to this point, the church was the answer to every problem; however, the humanists sought the answer in humans, no God. They gave the precident that the church is not always the answer to everything, and questioning the church is not a always a matter of heresy.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1300 to

    Renaissance, Social-Intellectual-Religious

    The Renaissance removed the Catholic church from its overlord position. It used to be unequivical answer to everything. By making the church a more personal experience, it opened the door for peeople to take religion into their own hands and subsequently question doctrinal issues. The Reformation could not happen without the Renaissance personalizing religion. The Renaissance also promoted individualism. New individualism empowered people to stand up for themselves and form their own groups
  • Period: Jan 1, 1309 to Jan 1, 1378

    Avignon Papacy, Religious

    The Avignon Papacy was the "Great Schism" of the Catholic Church. The French set up their own pope in Avignon. This created two leaders of the church, or more accurately, two churches claiming to be the true church. This reduced the peoples faith in the church-system as a whole. It caused people to be confused by the church and, therefore, question the church. It along with many of the other parallel events lowered the church from Medieval Overlord to a more personal experience.
  • Jan 1, 1328

    Valois, Political

    The Valois Family managed to unite France and built it into a military power. Having the sense of Nationality long before many other nations in Europe, their loyalty as Catholics. Like the Spanish, the French were strong Catholics, but they become Frenchmen long before the Spaniards became Spanish. The French thus followed their national political desires more than the Catholic Church's desires. Without this division in the Catholic Nations, Protestantism may have been wiped out in infancy.
  • Jan 1, 1347

    Bubonic Plague, Social-Economic

    The plague killed a third of the continent. The people began to look more to themselves for answers then to the church which could not heal the plague. This was futher impetus to the humanist movement away from church-power to a belief in the ability of man. It also devastated the economy in the short term, but regeared it in a whole for prosperity. New money soon poored into the public and private coffers, futher reducing the Church's power.
  • Jan 1, 1397

    Medici Bank, Economic

    The Medici family built their great bank in Florence. They become the first prominent bankers of the new Banking Class. They supplied money to those who needed loans for greater endeavors. The banking system slowly crept northward. The new ability to borrow money allowed the emerging merchants to quickly grow in numbers, bring "new money" where ever the banks popped up.
  • Jan 1, 1409

    Council of Pisa, Religious

    The council attempted to heal the Great schism but ultimately failed, instead creating a three-way papal split. It futher broke down the church's lore of infalibily and respect. It served to further open the door to questioning the authority and doctrine of the church.
  • Jul 6, 1415

    Jan Hus, Religious

    Jan Hus was the spiritual forerunner of Luther. He brought up many of the same issues that Luther did, but the church-climate was not ready for the Reformation as of yet. He was burned at the stake by the Council of Constance. His ideas and example would go one to tutor the Protestants to success.
  • Jan 1, 1440

    Gutenberg's Printing Press, Technological

    Before the press, books were scarce and valuable. As a result of its invention, books could be distributed en masse. Both Luther and Erasmus would make use of the press to spread their message. Most importantly, though, the Bible could be mass produced and purchased by the masses who could then interpret God's Word for themselves. This would spark massive refellion from the blatantly incorrect Catholic doctrine, but would also cause much of the Protestant divisions for the same reasons.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1440 to Jun 28, 1519

    Habsburg Assent, Political

    The Habsburgs were the ancestral leaders of the Austrians, but in 1440, Frederick III was elected Holy Roman Emperor. His son Maximillian I added the Low Countries (Belgium and Netherlands) to the tally. Then Charles V added all of Empiral Spain to the Habsburg Dynasty. The Habsburgs quickly rose to rule everything but France, as it seemed to the French. The French thus sought to undermine the unity of Atomized Germany to keep from being invaded. The French supported unrest.
  • Jan 1, 1449

    Council of Basel, Religious

    This council marked the end of the counciliar movement. The movement had began in an atempt to limit corruption add in some of common sense to the church. It had constantly battled the popes who did not want their power undermined. It was the failure of the Council of Basel that gave the popes free reign to do what ever they pleased. The pope now had the ability to do anything, even if it went agaist the teachings of the church--the church would change for the omnipotent pope.
  • Jan 1, 1450

    Northern Renaissance, Social

    After 1450, the Renaissance spread beyond Italy. But, instead of making religion a side-act to humanism as it was in the Southern Renaissance, the northerners maintained much of the relgious position of the Middle Ages. This caused the natural conflict of secular and religious ideals to clash directly for the right to be pursued. This brought religious corruption under the spotlight of men like Luther who wrote about the problems and the printing press which would soon ignite the masses.
  • Apr 15, 1452

    Da Vinci, Social

    Da Vinci was not a cause himself, but he is an example of the Ideal Man. He was not just good at one thing; he was a master of all things. This idea of being good at everything made for some turmoil in the religious realm of society. People who used to simply accept what the church's doctrine now had the skill and calling to question it. Common people could become activists because they had knoweldge to fuel their fervent beliefs.
  • Oct 28, 1466

    Erasmus, Religious-Intellectual

    Born, here, and died in 1536, he would be a prominant figure in the Reformation. He was a middle-of-the-roader who frustrated people on both sides. He believed in reforming the church from the inside. He had great respect for Luther and vice-versa though they had significant differences. He offered a needed amount of level-headedness to the reformation. He kept the Catholics in reform, and the Protestant out of revolt, or so he tried.
  • May 3, 1469

    Machiavelli, Political

    Machiavelli is the first influencial political scientist of the modern era. He basically laid the foundation for totalitarian monarchies in his works. The Prince (1532), aimed at the Italian princes, essentially said that the only way for a prince to rule, is to be intelligently ruthless. It was important not to spur uprisings by being too harsh to their subjects, but always to rule with a judicious iron fist. The power-hungry European princes took it and ran.
  • Jan 1, 1485

    Tudors, Political

    Henry VII ended the Wars of the Roses which had plagued England. The wars had left England fractured and incoherent. Henry VII ended the Wars and unified England under himself and the House of Tudor. This political union allowed for the comming relgious changes in England to be relatively peaceful. Without the divisions, everyone followed the monarch. The result was almost no resistance to the Religious whims of Henry VIII, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, and unified resistance against Mary Stuart
  • Jan 1, 1492

    Ferdinand and Isabella, Political

    This marriage finally unified most of Spain. Before this, the only sense of being part of a group was in Catholicism. The Spainish where thus strong Catholics who were then united under stong Catholic Monarchs. As such, Catholicism reigned supreme. Their universal faith would eventual create the sense of nationality, but in the short term, they were simply the Defenders of Catholicism. They was never at risk of Protestantism--there was no shaky faith in the Church.
  • Period: Oct 8, 1492 to

    Iberian Monopoly. Economic

    Though it began before the Reformation, the Age of Exploration was definitely shaped by it. The Reformation quickly caused internal problems for the other European Powers. They quickly focused inward and dropped the extraneous expenditures that were the expeditions. This allowed the Iberians such a great headstart, they became the foremost economic powers in the world. But, the Spanish attempts at the Counter Reformation with costly wars, afforded the powers a chance to catch up.
  • Apr 18, 1506

    St. Peter's Basilica

    St. Peter's itself is just a cause to a cause. The Church simply did not have the money to build its grand church, so they turned to indulgences for financing. The idulgence had been around a long time, but the demand for cash caused the indulgence to be abused. The church quickly pushed extravagant promises on the laymen if only they bought an indulgence. These abuses would be one of the first things Luther saw as incorrect in Catholic doctrine. The indulgence simply got Luther going.
  • Jan 1, 1510

    Luther's Trip to Rome, Religious

    In an attempt by his superiors to quell Luther's shaky faith, they sent him to the devout heart of Catholicism--Rome. But, what he found in the Holy City was nothing but corruption, manufactured relics, and a general circus. He returned home with more doubt and troubled mind than ever before. What was supposed to correct Luther only strengthed his dissent. He soon began unraveling the Catholic mystique.
  • Oct 31, 1517

    95 Theses

    Luther officially starts the reformation in his official questioning of the Catholic doctrine. Though others had done so in the past, Luther would go on to be successful, though only by severing Christianity into Catholics and Protestants
  • Period: Oct 31, 1517 to Jan 1, 1555

    Protestant Reformation, Religious

    Begining with the Theses and ending with the Peace of Augsburg, the Reformation was only partially successful. It did not fully reform the Catholic church; it only reformed and separated a part of it. But, Protestants did gain the right to exist alongside the Catholics. This period was a direct result of Martin Luther's dissension, though it was not just Luther's doing. The storm had been brewing for a long time; it just needed someone to get it going.
  • Jan 1, 1519

    Charles V, Political

    Charles V is a cause of the Reformation, or at least fuel to the fire. His dominance of Europe caused France to fear his rule. If Charles V could create a more unified Germany, France would be surrounded by Charles V on all sides save England to the north. The French set out to keep Germany unstable by supporting the civil unrest that was the Protestant Reformation. Charles V's domination caused France to favor the Protestants for political reasons instead of uniting under Catholicism.
  • May 24, 1521

    Diet of Worms, Religious

    The Diet, with Charles V presiding, marked the apex of the Reformation. The Catholics pressed Luther to recant; he refused. The Chuch officially labeled him a heretic. The princes of Germany stole him away into hiding. In this, other men took up Luthers role. Here, Protestantism split amoungst the varied leaders, and here, the Catholics truly found a movement, not just a heretic. The 95 theses lead Luther to divide the whole of Europe into Catholic and Protestant. Let Havoc Ensue
  • Jan 1, 1529

    Ottomans in Viena, Political

    This is an example of the cause that was the Ottomans to the East. Their advance into Europe put pressure on the Holy Roman Empire to strength for the comming encounter which was sure to be bloody. The empire was forced to bind together in their relgion; however, the closer ties with religion would only work to intimately expose the abuses of the Catholic Church. With the church's dirty laundry ever closer to keen minds, it didn't take long for people to start questioning
  • Oct 4, 1529

    Marburg Colloquy, Religious

    The big-name Protestants met in Marburg in an attempt to disolve their differences and form a unified faith. It would allow them to better ward of the Catholic front. It ultimately failed, just barely. The trouble was that people had the ability to think for themselves after Luther broke the ice. As such, everyone interpereted the Bible differently. Quickly, the Protestants began infighting which weakened the cause. Thanfully, the Catholics did not act before the Protestants dug in.
  • Feb 27, 1531

    League of Schmalkald, Political

    The League was officially formed on this day as an alliance against the Holy Roman Empire. The League greatly grew in size over it's lifespan with many leaders joining and some leaving. The members allied themselves to protect their religious right to be protestant but also to protect themselves from being politically dominated by the Emperor Charles V. The Reformation afforded the French in particular an opportunity to defy Charles V by opening a door of division in the Catholic Block.
  • Jan 1, 1534

    Church of England Fiasco, Politcal-Religious

    From Henry VIII to Mary I to Elizabeth I, the English reformation was a mess. Henry VIII did not want to change the relgion, just get a divorce; Mary I killed everyone just to get the pope back. It was not until Elizabeth that there was really a Reformation. The Reformation simply tied Romes hands--dealing with the unrest in Germany and the power of Spain. England was more-or-less let go by Rome instead of being put to the test by the Spanish or the pope. England was just to far away.
  • Jan 1, 1534

    John Calvin, Religious

    John Calvin gave birth to the denomination, so to speak. He was the first to gain wide support for a Protestantism that was not Lutheran. His influence was first felt in Switzerland. Along with establishing Geneva as the Rome of Calvinism--legalistic, absolutely Calvinistic--the Swiss Reformation under Zwingli was largely Calvinist. Calvinism would go on to influence both the French Civil Wars and Dutch Revolt. Calvin grew up during the Reformation, allowing him to find his own beliefs.
  • Jan 1, 1535

    Thomas More, Intellectual

    Thomas More had been a defender of Catholicism all his life. He was among the foremost intellectual opponents of the Reformation calling it dangerous to both the faith and civil order. He was highly respected by Erasmus buth bitterly clashed with Luther. His defense of Catholicism continued when Henry VIII separated from the Catholic Church. He was consequently executed in 1535 for betraying the king. The Reformation inadvertantly killed one "whose soul was a pure as snow" --Erasmus.
  • Jan 1, 1535

    France Joins Schmalkald, Political

    This single event may have been the most critical in the survival of protestantism and maybe even European nationhood. The French totally broke the bonds of Catholicism to pursue their national interest--undermining Habsburg domination and the threat it posed. The Reformation was finally strong enough for the French to "come out of the closet" and face the Habsburgs outright. The religious unrest of the Reformation gave the French their chance to split.
  • Sep 27, 1540

    Jesuits, Religious

    Militaryman Ignatious of Loyola founded "God's Marines" in one of the first roots of the Counter Reformation. The Reformation did expose much of the corruption of the Catholic church. Many in the Church thought to correct the problems. Ignatious simply did so ahead of schedule, as it were. The Counter Reformation officially got under way when the Council of Trent convened a few years later.
  • Dec 13, 1545

    Council of Trent, Intellectual

    The Reformation caused the Catholic church to take a long look in the mirror. They realized they were doing some things wrong instead of standing by their current dogma. The Coucil of Trent lasted until 1563 and sought to rectify many of the issues inside the church. They emerged most definitely Catholic, but a more refined entity. This was a big step for the Catholic Church, especially wiht many people being strong advocates of Catholicism. It marked a turning point in dogma--fallibility
  • Sep 25, 1555

    Peace of Augsburg, Political

    The Peace ended the Schmalkaldic War between the Catholics and Protestants and their respective allies. It was a full victory for the protestant right to exist (end of Reformation). Most important, though, was that the states in the HRE could choose Catholicism or Lutheranism. Although the original aim of the Refomation was just to change the church, it ultimately broke down the church's dominance, allowiing nationalistic concearns to fill the void. Europe became much more fractured.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1562 to

    French Civil War, Religious-Political

    The war was between two families--Guise and Bourbon--for royal succession. However, the religious element added fuel to the fire, making it a war between Catholics and Huguenots (Calvinists), respectively. Complicated by Catherine de Medici's flip-flopping, the religious fighting went on until the Bourbons took control with Henri de Navarre. The Reformation's religious split caused a family feud to become a full civil war despite the overwhelming Catholic majority. Level heads never prevail.
  • Jan 1, 1566

    Sea Beggars, Technology

    The Sea Beggars were a way of raiding ports and slipping out before being caught. Dressed as merchant marines, they could go anywhere they please without being suspect. They were used against the Spanish in the Dutch Revolt. It was one of the first great uses of guerilla warefare, all thanks to a Religious war.
  • Jan 1, 1566

    Dutch Revolt Begins, Religious

    The Dutch Calvinists began the revolt by sacking several Catholic Churches in Flanders as an action against the Catholics who would presumably join the Spanish in the comming Inquisition and Counter Reformation. Here, the relgious divisions were still the foundation of political alliances. The Calvinists made a "preemptive strike" against the coming Catholics. The relgious division would lead to 80 years of bitter war.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1566 to

    Dutch Revolt, Social

    The Dutch Revolt was what would now be called a "popular uprising." The Low Countries were of mixed religion--More Catholic south and more Protestant North. Being under the rule of the HRE, they petitioned the Spanish king Phillip II to keep the Inquisition out like Charles V did. When he refused, the people went berzerk. The people would continue to defy all attempts to be dominated. The Reformation caused the division in society which the Spanish tried to crush, but a new people arose.
  • Aug 22, 1567

    Duke of Alba-Council of Blood, Relgious

    The Duke entered the revolting Low Countries with 10000 men and laid waste to it. He brought with him the Inquistion and the Counter Reformation. He successfully occupied the South with it's more Catholic population. But, he did not just occupy the land; he set out to purge it. The Spanish passion for Catholicism cashed with the Nothern European ways of cohabitation. Needless to say, the ruethless Spaniards had an advantage in cruelty compared to the Reformation-Calmed Dutch.
  • Aug 22, 1567

    Spanish Inquisition, Social

    Despite being around since 1480 and used extensively to purge Spain and the Americas, the Spanish Inquisition's greatest contribution to Europe was in the impact it had on the Spanish people and the Dutch it was used against in the Revolt. The Spanish simply through recent history grew accustomed to the atrocities of their absolute Catholic warfare. The Dutch, used to divisions, rose up and united against the SI's brutality. It was not Spanish or Catholic rule the Dutch hated, but the Cruelty
  • Jan 1, 1568

    William of Orange, Social

    The northern entities of the Low Countries formed a league against the marauding Duke of Alba. Despite the relgious differences of those in the north, they felt the atrocities were more egregious than siding with those with differing religion. They would fight together against the Duke in the south. This was one those events that turned the tide from religious unity to national unity. The response to the Reformation was to pitt neighbor against neighbor. In this case, brotherhood won out.
  • Mar 1, 1571

    England Overt, Political

    England's Elizabeth had been secretly helping the Dutch all along, but with the Spanish beginning to win, she could wait no longer. The Spanish planned to conquer England using the Low Countries as a launching point. Banding with Northern Protestants, she launched an open attack on the Spanish in the Low Countries. Victory in the Low Countries would keep Protestantism alive in England. Without the bond of Protestantism against the Spanish, the Dutch may have been overrun.
  • Aug 24, 1572

    St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, Social

    An assasination attempt on the eve of the wedding that was supposed to end the civil war caused the Guise to go nuts. They destroyed the wedding and killed thousands. However, the bulk of the deaths came at the hands of the masses across France. The people were killing for no good reason. The religious division broke down the normal inhibitions of being a member of society. People were ready to kill people almost at will now. Total War was beginning to take shape because of the Reformation
  • Protestant Wind, Poltical

    In an attempt to crush the English and Dutch, the Spanish sent their Armada northward. Harried by small, quick English Ships under the command of men like Sir Francis Drake throughout the English Channel, they were forced Eastward. After the Battle of Gravelines, the English out of gunpowder, the winds pushed the Armada North to its destruction on the Northwest of the Isles. The religious wars destroyed Spanish power. The littlemen who Reformed were beginning to come out on top.
  • Edict of Nantes

    Henri of Nevarre, now IV, gave this edict as a first step in rebuilding France. It guaranteed both the Catholics and Calvinist Huguenots the right to exist. The Reformation's religious divide began to build relgious tolerance in Europe through this and other end-of-war acts. They only gave the tolerance to Catholics and Protestants, not Jews, Muslims, etc. but it is the first foundations of religious tolerance and credit must be given to the Reformation for providing the impetus for it.
  • East Indie, Economic

    While the Iberian's were running their state expeditions, the reformed countries could not afford such expenses. Innovative businessmen founded government backed joint stock companies like the Dutch East Indie Trading Company which would sell stocks in expeditions and return the profits to the people who would certainly reinvest. With the backing of the government, the companies were unstoppable, quickly becomming more effective than the Iberians. All thanks to Reformation Religious Wars.
  • Period: to

    30 Years War, Relgious-Political

    The war began over the succesion of a prince in Bohemia, whether he would be a Catholic or Lutheran. The war spread to all manner of countries threatened by a Catholic or Holy Roman Germany. The went from a relgious war to a political war, marking a turning point in all European wars. Certainly, the war was caused by the Reformation's religious division, and the Peace of Augsburg which created a system of contentious succession Germany's many thrones due to the provision of State Relgion.
  • Defenestration of Prague, Relgious-Political

    The Catholics in Prague stripped the Lutherans of their rights, so the Catholics were thrown out a window. It inited the Bohemian Phase of the War. The Peace of Augsburg set up a system which determined state religion based on the prince. That made for very contentious times when the prince died. The two relgious groups continuous fought over who would succeed the prince, in this case, causing a war. The Reformation established as system which caused perpetual tensions.
  • The Danes, Religious-Political

    The Danes decided to come to the Bohemians' rescue in 1625. Unfortunately for them, they were countered with military genius Albrecht von Wallenstein. They were all but crushed over the next five years in their attempt to save Protestantism in Germany. Wallenstein was able to push the Protestants back against the North Sea in the Northwest and the Baltic Sea in the Northeast. The Catholics had finally all but won back what they lost in the Reformation.
  • Edict of Augsburg, Religious

    The Pope was so confindent of the Catholic victory in the hands of Wallenstein, he issued this Edict essensially destroying the Peace of Augsburg. It proclaimed that all the Catholic lands lost in the Peace would be returned and deprived the Lutherans of all of their hard-fought rights. It seemed to everyone that the Catholics had finally won the Reformation.
  • Gunpowder Warfare, Technology

    Gustavus Adolfus gave the word the gun. He employed a rotational system for the firing of guns which allowed near constant volleys from his lines, decimating any and all resitance. He also gave us the mobile cannon--field artillery. His cannons could fire on the actual lines of the Catholics. The "big guns" were no longer just for the navies. The involvement of his genius in the continent were driven by a Reformation Religious War. In his time, the Swedes were the greatest power in Europe
  • THE SWEDES! Political-Religious

    Feeling the heat of the HRE just across the Baltic, the Swedish Empire attacked the Catholics in Germany. Under the Military Genius Gustavus Adolfus, the Swedes took back almost all of the land Wallenstein (now dismissed) had taken in just two thundering years. Compeled by the threat of a Catholic invasion of their staunch Lutheran lands, the Swedes put all their effort behind the war with great success. Without their support, the Catholics would have wiped Protestantism from history.
  • Lutzen, Political

    Wallenstein and Adolfus, the greatest military men of the day, met at Lutzen for their great epoch. This could be called the most important day in the war. Adolfus and the Swedes trounced the Wallenstein's Catholic forces, but being a good Swede, Adolfus fought alongside his men and was killed. The Swedes would soon falter once new Catholic forces were brought up. Without their leader, the Swedes began losing. The Catholics were once again winning the Reformation.
  • French Total War, Political-Social

    With the war drawing to a close and the Habsburgs again on the brink of surrounding France, the French launched their against in Germany. They had supported the Swedes, but now took matters into their own hands. In the French tradition, they annihilated everything that stood. As in the Schmalkaldic Wars, the French saved Protestantism for political reasons, but they did so by completely destroying Germany. Roughly 1/3 of Germany was dead by the time the French were done with it.
  • Peace of Westphalia, Religious-Political-Economic

    The Peace ended the Religious Wars with the Protestants winning the Reformation. New Boaders were drawn--Holland and Switzerland gained official independence; Sweden grew. The Calvinists gained official protections and private worship was now allowed. The French became more important than Spain, and The Dutch and English ruled the economy. Westphalia became the fundemental foundation of Europe for Centuries. The Reformation sparked the processes which lead to Westphalia--and on.