Research Paper on Religious Reformation and European Rivalry

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1202 Words
Date:  2022-11-26


Although religious restructuring help in the shaping of many aspects in the European countries including the political stance, it was the source of conflict in the European nations. Beginning in the 1520s, the global relationship amid the rising European nations were predominated by battles that were principal of religious origin. The fights in central and southern Europe were between the Christians and Muslims whereas northwestern Europe experienced confessional combats which were the results of reformation. The separation that occurred between the Protestants and the Catholics instigated or to some extent intensified several wars, resulting in mighty conflicts that were highly disputed and disparaging, ( Editors, np). The reformers for these different doctrines included Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry III. They altogether confronted the papal governance and interrogated the Catholic's aptitude to delineate Christian exercise. Also, they were fighting for the religious and governmental rearrangement of power into the hands of the bible and pamphlet-reading priests and doyens. As a result, their argument activated warfare, maltreatment, and measures to counter the reformations.

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In Germany, during the period between 1524-1525, laborers rose in rebellion across western and southern regions, exacerbated by the Lutheran Reformation that was discoursed by Thomas Muntzer, a former follower of Martin Luther before he was evacuated due to his zealotry and combativeness. Some of the demands from the peasants were socioeconomic, but all were resulting from the faith that the entire humanity had to be restructured in accord to scriptural doctrines and God's law, and not only the theology and the church. This battle by the peasants was the first among the post-reformation combats of religion. Unusually, Luther condemned the fight, and it ended by the peasants being slain by both Lutheran and Catholic militias. Another thorough outburst occurred, lower-order Protestants violence in Muntzer amid 1534-1535, where Anabaptists overthrew the patriarch, who at that time made a kingdom and were led by Jan of Leiden, who declared himself the savior, (Trim, par. 8). To maintain his power, he imprisoned and killed anyone who disbelieved him. However, he managed to enjoy enough support from the hypothetical pacifist Anabaptists to retain the bishop and Catholic militias away for 18 months. After the fall of the city, he and the majority of his followers were slaughtered. Afterward, nevertheless, spiritual community conflicts involved combats inside and amongst equally the nobility and the peasants, rather than the aristocrats battling hoi polloi.

In 1531, Lutheran leaders and metropolises created a protective coalition called the league of Schmalkalden to safeguard discrete grounds from being confronted by Emperor Charles V. Nevertheless, this practice by the association helped Lutherans in other nations, thus forcefully assisting in the spreading of Lutheranism across northern Germany, (Salmon np). This resulted in the open warfare between the emperor and the league in 1546. This Schmalkaldic War continued merely till 1547, when on April 24 the monarch won at the Battle of Muhlberg, which he thought would be a catalyst to stop the religious battles in his empire. Nonetheless, Lutheranism was too strappingly engrained for a single victory to create a difference, and therefore conflicts lasted till 1552. The confessional nature of this battle was troubled since Maurice of Saxony together with other Lutheran leaders were fighting for the emperor.

Eventually, an uncomfortable harmony resumed to the kingdom as a result of the compromise and peace treaty settled at Augsburg in 1555. A principle superbly known as "cuius region,eius religion" was agreed, which dictated that the confessional association of every territory in the kingdom was to be determined by the leaders. The emperor would select his confession, either Protestant or Catholic, and that would set the indorsed faith for the entire empire. Once the leader's faith opinions were decided and declared, anyone who would have a different faith would be given some time to either move to a place where his/her religion was allowed or follow to the agreed belief, (Becker 15). Failure to do either of the above would call for tyranny, detention, penalties, or killing, yet the bordering nations would not intercede.

Despite the Protestants and the Catholics not anticipating the Augsburg agreement to last, it survived until 1618 when it was compromised by the outburst of the Thirty Years' War. Even after the war, the principle was reinstated. Calvinists prompted the Thirty Years' War. Bohemian Calvinists counterattacked efforts by Ferdinand II, who was an Archduke of Austria and a Holy Roman Emperor to confine spiritual autonomies. Calvinist's reluctance to consent religious harassment steered to Bohemians to overthrow Ferdinand. They then requested a German leader to come and take over. Nonetheless, the battle involved more than the Catholic-Calvinism faith dissimilarities since the harmony brought by the Augsburg compromise had grown progressively perturbed, (Wright np).

A novel strain of Protestantism was to create the European battles of faith further prevalent and more severely battled. Calvinism materialized from Geneva in the 1540s, conserved from its Catholic nationals principally by Bern's soldierly power. Genevan Calvinism merged with the rectification of Zurich and northern Switzerland, which had been steered by Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger, to yield Reformed Protestantism. However, it has commonly been known as Calvinism and its followers as Calvinists. Renewed doctrine and ecclesiology argued that Calvinism was somewhat established for war. Majority of its followers were bizarrely confrontational, and its governmental construction led to militarization. The characteristically Reformed dogma of predetermination and the Reformed form of the doctrine of the ecclesiastical preordained that every time there were adherents of God's designate who were foreordained for deliverance, there also existed a Reformed Church, an establishment and an association. Disparate Lutherans, consequently, the Reformed could not possess truck with the religious territoriality that had terminated spiritual combat in Germany. According to Calvinists, the freedom of ethics had to counterpart the freedom of devotion, (Maag & Pettegree 18). They also had a forbidding logic of crowd distinctiveness that exceeded imaginable cultural and countrywide individualities. This meant that when one branch of the church had a challenge, it could receive all sorts of support from the other departments.

Evaluating both sides of the religious reformation, it is clear that it established a rivalry. Although the reforms were not something new, Luther, Calvin, and Henry were the first to utilize printing to obtain a vast audience. It is evident that many people lost their lives and properties during the reformations, but again the reorganizations were necessary since they shape the European nations. The 1555 peace agreement at Augsburg is attributed to having played a more significant role in terminating religious wars. At first, the Catholic church was reluctant to be involved in the reformations, but it later joined the course, and it greatly reaped the fruits of counter-reformation since it became more spiritual, educated and erudite.

Work Cited

Becker Sascha O., Steven Pfaff & Jared Rubin. Causes and Consequences of the Protestant Reformation. Chapman University.2016. Editors. The Reformation. 2009. Available at

Maag Karin & Andrew Pettegree. The Reformation in Eastern and Central Europe. 2016. Pp, 15-32.

Salmon John Hearsay McMillan. Reformation and Counter-Reformation.2019. Available at

Trim David J. B. The Reformation and Wars of Religion.2010. Available at

Wright Antony D. The Counter-Reformation: Catholic Europe and the Non-Christian World.2017

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Research Paper on Religious Reformation and European Rivalry. (2022, Nov 26). Retrieved from

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