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History

The Reformation

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Overview

Attempts to reform [reform: Make changes to something, especially an institution, to improve it. the Catholic [Catholic: The Church in Western Europe before the Reformation. The Pope was head of the Church. A member of the Roman Catholic Church. Church and the development of Protestant Churches in western Europe are known as the Reformation.

The Reformation began in 1517 when a German monk called Martin Luther protested about the Catholic Church. His followers became known as Protestants.

Many people and governments adopted the new Protestant ideas, while others remained faithful to the Catholic Church. This led to a split in the Church.

The Reformation in England

In England, people must have become quite confused about what religion they were supposed to be following:

  • Henry VIII split the English Church away from the Pope, but this was an argument about the succession and power and not a move towards Protestantism. Henry remained a Catholic [Catholic: The Church in Western Europe before the Reformation. The Pope was head of the Church. A member of the Roman Catholic Church. to the end of his life.

  • Edward VI was a Protestant.

  • Mary I tried to restore the Catholic Church.

  • Elizabeth I at first tried to follow a 'middle way' in religion, but later began to persecute Catholics and by the end of her reign England was a Protestant [protestant: Christians who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation. They reject the authority of the Pope and believe in the teachings of the Bible. country.

  • James I was tolerant towards the Catholics, but introduced strict anti-Catholic laws after the Gunpowder Plot.

  • Charles I tried to introduce Arminian [arminian: Anglican clergymen wanted to return church services to a more Catholic style of worship. changes. Arminianism is a form of Protestantism that has a lot in common with Catholicism. Charles ended up fighting a civil war against Oliver Cromwell – who was a Puritan [puritan: Strict Protestants who wanted to get rid of ritual in church services and lead a plain and simple life..

  • Charles II and James II were Catholics. They tried to relax the laws against Catholics.

  • William III was a Calvinist [Calvinist: A follower of the teachings of John Calvin, who believed that Christians should live life according to a strict moral code as found in the Bible. Protestant from Holland. He took England to war to stop the Catholic [Catholic: The Church in Western Europe before the Reformation. The Pope was head of the Church. A member of the Roman Catholic Church. French King Louis XIV from increasing his power.

You can track the impact of religion through time by comparing Early Modern times to the Middle Ages, and also to the 19th century and the 20th century.

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