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

Why was Germany such fertile ground for Luther's message?

Extracts from this document...


Why was Germany such fertile ground for Luther's message? On 31st October 1517, All Saints Eve, Martin Luther (a monk and lecturer at the University of Wittenburg in Northern Germany) took the fateful step of nailing a sheet of 95 Theses, or arguments against indulgences, to the door of Wittenburg Castle Church. Following this simple act, there came massive repercussions; indeed, a reformation of the entire German Church followed. The news of Luther's act of rebellion spread through Germany rapidly, and caused an almost immediate response. This is surprising because the theses were written in Latin, a language in which very few of the German population were educated. Despite this, Luther had a following that ranged from the educated German nobility to the uneducated peasants. Some historians say that the peasants only supported Luther because they misunderstood his message and his grievances. However, some of Luther's grievances linked to the lower classes. ...read more.


The time that luther decided to voice his opinions, was a time of a growing sense of German nationalism. He was seen as a national hero. People saw it as a chance to have their grievances voiced. Luther was obviously not going to back down to Roman pressure, he was a strong character. In 1500, Conrad Celtis re-published a text by Tacitus called Germania. The text was about a great Germany fighting an oppressive Rome and became a bestseller. It was helped pride against foreign powers grow in Germany. Luther stood against Rome and became a folk hero. Peasants made up a majority of the population, and these were not rich or educated people. They feared economic problems, as they could not afford to buy indulgences and pay tithes. Many of the laity did not necessarily understand what Luther's message was, but he appeared to be speaking out against a large, rich Roman power, who used Germany for money and interfered in political matters that held no great importance to them. ...read more.


This was merely theological and intellectual exploration. Though Erasmus was Dutch and so did not suffer from the degree of papal interference as the German people, he had laid the foundations for Luther. The printing press provided accuracy and an easier way of getting news across a wide area. Luther had his 95 Theses distributed within two weeks. There were woodcuts within the pamphlets for the illiterate as well as Luther's Theses and other writings. This was an excellent way for propaganda to be published and distributed. In conclusion, it can be seen that the reason Germany was such fertile ground for Luther's message was the widespread resentment of Rome. The German people could not understand why their money was being taken away from them and their political affairs interfered with by a power they could not see. Most of Luther's supporters were peasants, and these were the people to whom money mattered the most, because they had so little of it. It would seem that the reformation was based on economic and political grounds rather than spiritual beliefs. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Prejudice and Discrimination 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 GCSE Prejudice and Discrimination essays

  1. Martin Luther and Phillip Melanchthon's Contributions in Educational Reform in the Protestant Reformation.

    the Reformation at the University of Wittenberg, becoming the professor of theology there and standardizing the constitutions of the reformed German churches. Melanchthon then, "as the leading representative of the Reformation at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, presented the Augsburg Confession, consisting of 21 articles of faith that he

  2. Using the poems- 'Telephone conversation' by Wole Soyinka and 'Nothing Said' by Brenda Agard, ...

    Although, 'Nothing Said' is not as specific, not exposing any particular person. Brenda Agard uses many stanzas, with much structure, as the message "loops" round, with the last stanza being very similar to the first. The main point in the structure is repetition.

  1. Women and Man are Equal in Gods Eyes

    on the views that society holds of women in church and in a women's daily life. Paul's teachings may were also influenced by teachings that were around him at the time, the Genesis account which is available to us today and is often misinterpreted today was also available to Paul.

  2. The writings of Nicolas Barré.

    An addition to the " Statutes and Rules" (1685), a few pages called " A Memoir of Instruction", placed the young Institute in its historical context. We find there the reasons for the foundation, its aims, and the means of achieving them.

  1. Examine the theological arguments for and against the ordination of women to the priesthood.

    Jesus did not have the sexist view of his time and realised the need for equality between men and women. However his teachings were bogged down by the culturally prejudiced views of his time. During this period a woman's place was considered to be in the home, inferior to man,

  2. King, Martin Luther, Jr

    They flee to the Netherlands in 1933. Anne is then four years old. Until she is eleven she grows up without a care in relatively safer Holland. In 1940, the Netherlands is occupied by Germany and the protection that Holland provides comes to an end.

  1. Study of parables taken from Luke's Gospel

    The donkey he rode was the church, and the innkeeper the Apostle Paul. The two silver coins that were paid are the commandments to love God and our neighbour. This is an ingenious account of the story of salvation. However is quite unrelated to the story of the Good Samaritan,

  2. The Screwtape Letters: An Exploration of Christianity.

    Praying in a church or to a crucifix not only personifies God but it also creates a sense of materialism. There seems to be an attachment to that particular item to which is prayed to. A sense of duty to keep it in a particular state develops and thus materialism also takes a form.

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