The Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation is the name given to a religious and political development in the early 16th century. The reformation was led by Martin Luther, a monk from Germany. He said that the Roman Catholic church was corrupt and that it should be reformed. Luther also argued that a reformation was needed of other things. In particular reformation was required with regards: the language that the Bible was produced in: most people couldn’t read Latin; the selling of forgiveness, this was considered to be immoral by Luther but had been standard practice by some monks and priests for years. The ideas behind the Protestant Reformation were simple. The church should be changed, or reformed, so that it was less greedy, fairer and accessible to all people, not just the rich and well educated.
The protest against the church was not entirely new. In England there had been similar protests in the 14th century: although these had been crushed. Luther though gained a lot of support for his ideas. Many people were unhappy with the Pope and the church.
The Protestant Reformation in England
King Henry VIII was initially opposed to the ideas of Luther. he was praised by the pope for a pamphlet that he wrote in 1521 that criticised the German monk. However after the Split with Rome many of the things that Luther said should happen, did happen in England. Henry VIII ordered Bibles to be published in English and took much money and land from the church. However Henry did this for political gains, not because he supported the ideas of Luther. However because of his actions Henry VIII laid the foundations of Protestantism in England which under the rule of Edward and Elizabeth would transform England from a Catholic to a Protestant nation. By 1603 the Protestant Reformation in this country was complete.