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


Extracts from this document...


WHY WERE THE WEAKNESSES OF THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY CHURCH SO DEEPLY RESENTED IN GERMANY IN 1517? There were widespread feelings of anticlericalism throughout Germany in the early 16th century, this was not necessarily because of clerical abuses, although these may have been a contributing factor, but it was the heavy taxation that was imposed on Germany by the Church that made it quite so unpopular. Germany's lack of a centralised government meant that the Pope was able to tax the German states to a greater extent than anywhere else in Europe. This resentment, coupled with growing feelings of German proto-nationalism, increased the general unhappiness about the Church and helped to create an environment in which Martin Luther's anti-Papal message and criticisms of indulgences would be very much welcomed. Within the Catholic Church abuses by the clergy were quite common, especially amongst the higher ranks many of whom committed offences such as clerical marriage, nepotism and pluralism. ...read more.


Germany was the perfect source for this due to the lack of a centralised government, the Pope was paid by ruling German families seeking positions in the Church and from others areas over which the Church had control, for example matters relating to marriage and inheritance. The impact of this on the laity was an increase in the extraction of money from them. The heavy taxation was therefore a real and major concern for all in Germany, and one of the main causes for the resentment felt towards the Catholic Church. It seemed as if the Church's focus was on money rather than the spiritual wellbeing of its followers, the major interest of the clergy, especially higher up where the entering the Church was often a career choice rather than a result of religious conviction. This widespread feeling of anticlericalism was the main reason for the deep resentment felt towards the Catholic Church in Germany in 1517. ...read more.


Erasmus' work was published in Latin in the early 16th century and intended for a scholarly audience, they would have mainly influenced the ruling classes rather than all of Germany but would still have made the idea of speaking out against the Church and anticlericalism much more acceptable ideas in German society as a whole. When Martin Luther pinned his Ninety Five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg in 1517 he was presenting his ideas to a very receptive audience. Heavy Papal taxation of Germany and the resulting increase in anticlericalism and proto-nationalism combined with minor concerns over abuses within the church created a real and deep resentment towards the Church. The works of humanist scholars, which were generally accepted and indeed welcomed by rulers in Europe, meant that feelings of anticlericalism and anti-Papalism were an accepted reaction and enabled the spread of resentment caused by intense taxation by a foreign power and abuses within in the Church resulting in the deep resentment felt towards the Church in 1517. ?? ?? ?? ?? 20/10/09 ...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. 19th Century Nationalism

    The most famous of Italian nationalistic leaders were Cavour and Garibaldi. Garibaldi was the major conqueror throughout the unification if Italy. His forces conquered the forces opposed to the unification of Italy, and forced southern Italy into a unified political unit.

  1. Asses the contribution of the Jesuits to the Catholic revival in the Sixteenth Century

    An example of their acts of influence to the powerful leaders during the 1500's was when the Jesuits went from France to Rome in 1535 to present their Charter foundation to Pope Paul III to look after the sick and poor.

  2. Immigration During the 16th Centruy

    The King or Queen would send a priest out regularly to tell the people in their land what they wanted them to know. Since the monarchs and the church were forcing them to do certain things, people moved to other places around the world, such as North America, Africa, and the Bahamas.

  1. Education in the 19th Century

    The two sources also shows separate sex education, males and females were sometimes split up often to help them concentrate. Overall these two sources can tell us a lot about early 19th century education. 2. Sources A and C both point out that parents weren't that interested in their children's education.

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

    This was significant as it ran parallel to his beliefs and helped in the development of his own ideas, as well as making them more relatable to everyday Germans, therefore having a similar effect to that of intolerance towards anticlericalism.

  1. Why was there a reformation in Germany in the 16th century?

    This was apart of the medieval economy and the spiritual power of the mass was valuable. Another major issue was powerful politics ? bishops were in competition with lords and kings for benefices, which when a bishop/lord/king died, it would not be passed down in their family as they tended not to have kids (celibacy)

  2. Evalute the importance, strengths and weaknesses of the Spartan Army

    They were taught ?never to retreat in battle, however great the odds?[10] and many fought with the belief that a ?noble death was preferable to a dishonorable life?.[11]This encouraged a fearless approach to the battle field as warriors fought

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