AP European History Chapter 2 Essay Test
The age of the Reformation in the 16th century witnessed the birth of new religions and the reforms of the old Catholic Church. Two prominent religious leaders of this period were Martin Luther of Germany and Henry VIII of France. They were similar in some ways, but different in others. While Luther and Henry both used political leverage and renounced the papacy, they differed in their motives.
For Luther and Henry, just their religious appeal did not convert the masses; politics did. Martin Luther appealed to the German princes to implement his ideas. He wrote An Appeal to the Nobility of the German Nation, in which he accused the Roman Catholic Church of exploiting the Germans wealth. This appeal to German patriotism caused many otherwise apathetic German princes to convert to Lutheranism. Consequently, the princes’ subjects converted to Lutheranism, too, and after the Peace of Augsburg, these conversions were lawfully enforced. Henry VIII in England also used his political power to set up the Church of England. He had the Parliament pass an Act in Restraint of Appeals – which forbade judicial appeals to the pope and making the state the highest judicial power in England – and the Supremacy Act – which established the king of England, Henry VIII, as the head of the Church of England. The English had to convert to the Anglican Church, and Henry beheaded dissenters. Both Luther and Henry successfully used political leverage to set up their religions.
In the act of forming their respective religions, Luther and Henry agreed again in renouncing the papacy. Luther posted “The 95 Theses on the Power of Indulgences” on the door of the church of Wittenberg to directly protest the selling of indulgences, which was authorized by Pope Leo X. Condemning indulgences was, in fact, condemning the pope, and his authority to grant pardons to the Christians. Opposing indulgences was not the end of...