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PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History

4.8  Points To Remember


  • Reformation was a revolt against the authority of the church, represented by the Pope. The activists that opposed Roman Catholicism were called ‘Protestants.’

Importance of the Reformation

  • The church enjoyed an overall supremacy, controlling political institutions, economic activities, literary and artistic developments.

  • Blind faith in the church was questioned and this heralded the modern times.

Causes of the Reformation

  • The Spirit of inquiry was brought down from the Renaissance movement was strengthened with geographical discoveries that brought in a secular outlook.

  • The French King Philip IV established the right to tax church property and forced the Pope to live in France instead of Rome. Hence the authority of the Pope was greatly reduced.

  • The clergy faced stiff opposition from the people as some of them were involved in immoral activities. John Wye declared that the Pope did not represent Christ but in fact was anti-Christ.

  • The Pope’s interference in non-religious matters was highly resented and this made the Pope unpopular not only among monarchs but also among the people.

  • As the Clergy became more materialistic, church property and rare relics were sold off.

  • Martin Luther questioned the sale of indulgences in 1517 by the agents of Pope X. He was excommunicated but could not be punished as he enjoyed the support of the people, the priests and the monks.

Spread of Protestantism

  • In Germany the north turned Protestant while the south remained Catholic.

  • Lutheranism was adopted in Scandinavia.
  • Switzerland became partially Protestant influenced by the Reformed Church of Zwingli.

  • The French Protestants were Calvinists and were called Hugeunots.

  • Through the Act of Supremacy, King Henry VIII of England made the King of England the head of the Church instead of the Pope.

  • The Anglican Church was established during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

The Counter Reformation

  • Ignatius Loyola founded the Society of Jesus and its followers were known as Jesuits. Their contribution earned back substantial respect for the Catholic Church.
  • The Pope tried to retain Catholicism in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Austria by entering into various treaties.

Consequences of the Reformation

  • The Catholic Church, first split into the Orthodox Church, suffered another split: Protestantism.
  • Religious persecution was an undesirable effect of the Reformation.
  • Civil wars broke out in Switzerland, France and Germany.
  • Kings gained supremacy at the expense of Popes.
  • New trades like money lending were no longer frowned upon by the clergy.
  • As the economic authority of the church decreased, it paved the way for capitalism.


4.0 Introduction
4.1 Meaning
4.2 Importance of the Reformation
4.3 Causes of the Reformation
4.4 Spread of Protestantism
4.5 The Counter Reformation
4.6 Consequences of the Reformation
4.7 Dates & Events
4.8 Points to Remember

Chapter 5


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