• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Cities were the main driving force of the Reformation in Germany(TM) " explain whether you agree or disagree (15 marks)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Cities were the main driving force of the Reformation in Germany' - explain whether you agree or disagree (15 marks) There were many factors contributing to why Lutheranism spread in Germany. One of the main reasons is that Luther's message was flexible and therefore had a broad appeal. Other features that acted as a driving force of the Reformation in Germany are the use of the vernacular, Martin Luther's message itself and Charles V. However, the towns and cities can be seen as the main driving force as vast amounts of people heard of the Reformation and Luther's ideas in a short period of time. The cities were the main driving force most notably from 1521 to 1525. 51 out of 65 imperial cities became Lutheran however, the main driving force was taken over by the Princes after 1547 e.g. the Battle of Muhlberg. The cities played a major role in the spreading of the Reformation as a large and disproportionately high number of literate people could be found in them, among whom the method could be spread. The urban population was more likely to understand the more advanced points of Luther's theology. The cities were also the Humanist centres of learning, as this is who originally Luther had wanted his teachings to be aimed at ( e.g. ...read more.

Middle

Secularisation of lands previously owned by the Church brought even more revenue and supremacy, demonstrated by Albrecht of Hohenzollern, which attracted many Princes. Once the Princes themselves had become Lutheran, they converted their subjects to the new faith, thus spreading Lutheranism. Even though the Princes seem to play a major role in the spreading of Lutheranism, without the flexibility of the message and the towns and cities enabling the easiness for Lutheranism to spread, many Princes may not have converted at the risk of being in part of a failing reformed religion. However, Frederick the Wise backed Luther from the start and Philip of Hesse also converted in 1520. Therefore, the Princes cane to play a much bigger role in the spreading of the Reformation and be seen as taking over the main driving forces after 1525. The peasants themselves played a key role in the spreading of Lutheranism, in order for Luther's message to be successful and popular, it would have to spread from the original home in the cities. As it was flexible, accessible and appealing, it instantly made an impact in the countryside amongst the peasants. The scriptures which Luther so eagerly based his religion on were opened up to the rural districts by using woodcuts, rhyming passages and visits from Lutheran missionaries from the towns and cities. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a result of Charles not being present at such a crucial and changing time, Lutheranism was able to develop and spread without control or guidance of the Emperor. The importance of the Princes can also be seen as Charles V could not fight the Schmalkaldic league and be triumphant. Even when Charles did beat them in a battle, he still could not beat them, as the Princes can be viewed as semi-autonomous. However, even though Charles V was not present at this crucial time, the Reformation was inevitable to occur. With the rate at which Lutheran publications were being produced and the easy spread throughout the towns and cities, it can be seen that Lutheranism would unavoidably spread. In conclusion, many factors contribute to the spread of Lutheranism, yet the town and cities can be seen as the initial first main driving force of the Reformation, as without the large impact they played, the spread of Lutheranism may have been limited and not gained such a large following. However, it can be seen that the Princes over took the cities status of the driving force for the Reformation in the late 1520's, as the cities alone did not have the political clout to stand against Charles, whereas the Princes did. Without the Princes, the Reformation would not have succeeded to the extent that it did, as the Reformation needed someone to stand up to Charles V, and these were the only people who had the political power. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alexandra Reeves History AS ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Extended Essay: Bismarck and The Unification of Germany

    5 star(s)

    By making the tales available to all Germans, ideas spread this brought the states closer together. The view that the German states should join together was expressed in books, newspapers and magazines. One place where these views really caught on was in the universities.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    How important were the events at Mnster 1534-5 in causing the failure of the ...

    4 star(s)

    Another branch of extremism going into a town, Wittenberg, and preaching apocalyptic messages that the world would end. This was one of the causes of the Peasants' Revolt of 1525 and all because of a few people going in with extreme views and giving the rest of the people a bad name.

  1. Revision Table - Tudor Rebellions

    risen there by outstanding ability - one host had a nine-year-old noble as its leader. It would be unsurprising if such strict adherence to the Chain of Being had produced some very mediocre leaders, weakening the rebellions potential to threaten government.

  2. Why was Charles V unable to prevent the spread of protestantism?

    Charles delegated increasing responsibility for Germany to his brother Ferdinand whilst he concentrated on problems elsewhere in 1531. However Ferdinand was also distracted by issues which he deemed in greater need of his attention, such as the threat from the Ottomans.

  1. In this essay, I shall use primary sources to measure the short term significance ...

    However, the setting up of the factory system which would mean the Native Americans were dependent on the United States' for trade and gave the government control over the Native Americans with Jefferson writing to Lewis that 'Commerce is the great engine by which we are to coerce them [the

  2. How the Inca adapted and strived in their environment

    Within the three zones elevations the fields or areas were divided into thirds. (1/3 for the gods, 1/3 for nobles and 1/3 for the farmers). They fertilized their soil with guano, which is from bat droppings. The size of the plot for each family depended on how many people were in the family.

  1. Missionary activity was the main reason for the growth of British interest in Africa ...

    This would allow easier access to India, saving traders 6,000 miles in travelling expenses. India was illustrated as the ?jewel in the crown of empire? and Britain had been dependent on 80% of India's exports. North Africa allowed a faster trade route and thus strategy and economics go hand in

  2. Why was Luther able to challenge the Catholic Church so successfully in the years ...

    The nobility also joined the reform movement as they believed it would strengthen their political position and remove papal influence in their territories. His popularity is shown by the fact his publications were of the most popular at the time.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work