Reformation's Role In The Peasants War

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Inside the Protestant Reformation's role in the Peasants' War of 1525 The sixteenth century was a time of major change. With the lower classes thriving for the first time in centuries and newly forming middle class, it was no wonder that the ruling elite were going to try to keep an iron clad grip upon the economic state of Germany. With the rise of taxes, re-establishment of feudalism and serfdom, and an already religiously focused lower class, the Holy Roman Empire was able to take advantage of the mostly illiterate peasants. By selling indulgences in exchange for forgiveness the church was able to make massive profits and ultimately become one of the most successful businesses of the era. The church, the rebellion and the violence of the “peasants' war” can be characterized as a socio-political relationship. The church sparked the rebellion; the…show more content…
Luther, once a monk, knew the church inside and out and was able to form a very educated opinion on the daily life of the religious rulers in the Holy Roman Empire. Outraged at the “greed and avarice” associated with the selling of indulgences, Luther composed the theses and nailed them to the door of the church. (p.45) He attacked the clergy for exhaling itself as a superior social order, more superior to the laity, for claiming that they had sacred attributes, and a monopoly over the sacramental channels of divine grace. This ultimately destroyed the clergy's claim to immunity from secular law and their right to special privileges. When Luther was challenged about the authority on which he was disputing so many traditional beliefs, he concluded that councils, and even popes, could do wrong. That even “those indulgence preachers are in error...” (p. 45) News of this blatant act reached every small town and village, traveling by word of mouth to the already frustrated peasant

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