The Reformation

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The Reformation
As the Italian Renaissance movement spread to northern movement a movement began called the Christian humanists. This movement believed that humans, by reading and educating themselves could bring about greater piousness. The church leadership at the time often seemed more interested in material affairs then affairs of the spirit. Martin Luther had been born in Germany in 1483. He became a monk and received a Doctorate in Bible study. Luther came to the conclusion that humans were not saved by their good deeds but by their faith in Gods promises. The selling of indulgences particularly upset Luther. On October 31, 1517 Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. His statement was a strong attack on the granting of indulgences. He did not want to break with the church, but wanted to convince the Pope to end the indulgences. The Pope however, referred to Luther as "some drunken German who will change his ways when he sobers up" In January 1521 the excommunicated Luther. Luther's religious movement soon became a revolution and a movement began that demanded that German states could become Protestant, thus began the German religious War that ended in 1555 with the Peace of Augsburg which granted the right of German states to choose between Lutheranism and Catholicism. The Protestant revolution spread to Switzerland where there were two major strains, the first led by Ulrich Zwingli. A war broke out in the Switzerland between Catholic and Protestant states, in it Zurich army led by Zwingli was routed and he was killed. John Calvin then became the leader to Swiss Protestantism. He believed that mans future was preordained and thus what they did not could not change whether they were saved, but rather their good actions were indications that they were those already preselected. Calvinism soon became the dominant Protestant sect. In England the Reformation began when King Henry VIII wished to divorce his first wife, normally the church would grant an annulment to a king, but due to political concerns stopped the pope from issuing the annulment. The King forced the archbishop of Canterbury to grant him an annulment; he then forced the English parliament to pass the Act of Supremacy in 1534 declaring him the Supreme head of the Church of England, thus separating England from the Catholic Rome.