Ch 2: The Protestant Reformation

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons to learn about the power of the Catholic Church, the causes of the Protestant Reformation and the impact the time period had on religion and society in Western Europe. Ensure you understand important Reformation material by taking self-assessment quizzes.

The Protestant Reformation - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Before the Protestant Reformation began in the 16th century, the Catholic Church had a firm grasp on the people of Western Europe and used its belief system to maintain that power. These practices were so firmly engrained among the Church's followers that there was little resistance; after all, who wants to be excommunicated or kept out of heaven? This all changed once the Reformation began. In this chapter, you'll learn about key topics like:

  • How the vernacular Bible undermined the Church's authority
  • What the Catholic sacraments were
  • What Martin Luther's opposition to the Church entailed
  • How the Protestant Reformation spread throughout Europe
  • What ways the Reformation impacted France, Germany and Switzerland
  • How Protestant beliefs influenced society

VideoObjective
The Rise of the Vernacular and the Decline of LatinSee how the vernacular Bible played a role in spreading the Reformation.
The Catholic Church Before the Reformation: Beliefs and PracticesGet details on Catholic sacraments and the role of the Church in followers' lives.
Martin Luther, the 95 Theses and the Birth of the Protestant ReformationFind out who Luther was and examine his opposition to the selling of indulgences.
Art in the Protestant Reformation: Albrecht Durer & Northern European ArtistsDiscover how Northern Renaissance art was influenced by the Reformation.
The Spread of the Protestant Reformation Across EuropeExplore the factors that contributed to the spread of Reformation ideas throughout Europe.
The Reformation's Impact on Germany: The Peasant WarsExamine the causes of Germany's Peasant Wars and the Reformation's influence on the event.
Religious Reform in Switzerland: Calvin & Zwingli's Teachings in the ReformationLearn about the Reformation ideals held by Calvin and Zwingli and how they impacted their followers in Switzerland.
The French Wars of Religion: Catholics vs. the HuguenotsFind out what spurred conflict between Catholics and Protestant Huguenots in France.
The Council of Trent: The Catholic Church Survives the ReformationExamine the purpose of the Council of Trent and how the Catholic Church changed as a result of the Reformation.
Life After the Reformation & Protestant Influence on SocietyDiscover how the rise of Protestantism impacted multiple aspects of daily life.
The Reformers & the Catholic Church: How Religious Beliefs Transformed During the ReformationTake a look at the different beliefs among Catholic and Protestant reformers.

11 Lessons in Chapter 2: The Protestant Reformation
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Rise of the Vernacular and the Decline of Latin

1. The Rise of the Vernacular and the Decline of Latin

Latin was spread around Europe under the Roman Empire, but interest in the language fell alongside the empire. Explore the rise of the vernacular and the decline of Latin, including Latin's place in the Dark Ages, the emergence of popular languages, the role of the printing press, and how Latin briefly survived.

The Catholic Church Before the Reformation: Beliefs and Practices

2. The Catholic Church Before the Reformation: Beliefs and Practices

Prior to the Protestant Reformation in the year 1500, the Roman Catholic Church dominated the beliefs and practices of the vast majority of Christians. Explore how the Catholic Church exerted its dominance over the followers of Jesus Christ.

Martin Luther, the 95 Theses and the Birth of the Protestant Reformation

3. Martin Luther, the 95 Theses and the Birth of the Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther, a prominent religious leader, published his '95 theses' piece as a way to try to discipline the Roman Catholic Church. Learn more about his contributions, the birth of the Protestant Reformation, the Diet of Worms, and the Peasant Revolt.

Art in the Protestant Reformation: Albrecht Durer & Northern European Artists

4. Art in the Protestant Reformation: Albrecht Durer & Northern European Artists

The influence that the Protestant Reformation created made a significant impression on Northern European art. Learn more about prominent artists such as Albrecht Durer, along with more Northern European artists and their importance in history.

The Spread of the Protestant Reformation Across Europe

5. The Spread of the Protestant Reformation Across Europe

The 'Protestant Reformation' was a lash back against Catholic beliefs by Christians in the 16th century as at the time the Catholic Church had a strong hold over it's people. Learn more about the spread of the protestant reformation across Europe and it's importance.

The Reformation's Impact on Germany: The Peasant Wars

6. The Reformation's Impact on Germany: The Peasant Wars

The Protestant Reformation led to a split in Christianity between Catholicism and Protestantism. Explore the Reformation's impact on Germany, including the Peasant Wars. Learn about Luther's role in igniting a revolt and review the Peace of Augsburg.

Religious Reform in Switzerland: Calvin & Zwingli's Teachings in the Reformation

7. Religious Reform in Switzerland: Calvin & Zwingli's Teachings in the Reformation

The Protestant Reformation led to religious reform across Europe, including Switzerland. Examine religious reform in Switzerland; explore teachings by Calvin, Zwingli, and Luther; and understand their views on government, baptism, and communion.

The French Wars of Religion: Catholics vs. the Huguenots

8. The French Wars of Religion: Catholics vs. the Huguenots

One outcome of Europe's Protestant Reformation was war. Explore the French wars of religion and understand the disagreements between the Catholics and the Huguenots. Review Calvinism, the Catholic League, and the Edict of Nantes.

The Council of Trent: The Catholic Church Survives the Reformation

9. The Council of Trent: The Catholic Church Survives the Reformation

The Council of Trent convened to address the exodus of people from the Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation. Explore the Council of Trent, religious orders, and the counter-Reformation. Understand how the Catholic Church survived the Reformation.

Life After the Reformation & Protestant Influence on Society

10. Life After the Reformation & Protestant Influence on Society

The Protestant Reformation was a significant movement that led to many societal changes in Europe, including an exodus of many people from the Catholic Church. Learn about life in Europe after the Reformation and explore the Protestant influence on society, including its impact on education and family life.

The Reformers & the Catholic Church: How Religious Beliefs Transformed During the Reformation

11. The Reformers & the Catholic Church: How Religious Beliefs Transformed During the Reformation

The Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation challenged the Catholic Church's beliefs and positions. Learn about the Reformers and their relationship to the Catholic Church. Explore Protestant beliefs and understand how religious beliefs transformed during the Reformation.

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