Join Our Discord

Learn Moreย ย ๐Ÿ‘‡

caret down
caret up

Join our Discord

1,000s of Fiveable Community students are already finding study help, meeting new friends, and sharing tons of opportunities among other students around the world! Don't miss out!ย  ๐ŸŽ‰

group of students
group of students

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บย ap euro

ย ย >ย ย 

โ›ช๏ธย Unit 2

ย ย โ€ขย ย โฑ๏ธ2 min read

2.6 16th-Century Society & Politics in Europe

Sharii Liang

sharii liang

โฑ๏ธ May 11, 2020


The Social Ladder

Despite this period of religious upheaval, societal classes largely remained the same. In fact, religion made the lines clearer than ever. Most nobles became Protestants, and most monarchs remained Catholic. Owning land was still considered a symbol of being high class, and the aristocratic classes still received tax reductions and legal protection that was never granted to the lower classes.

Women Areโ€ฆ?

Prevailing ideas about gender still existed. Men and women still did completely separate tasks with men being the breadwinners, and women being the caretakers.ย 

Women were expected to be the bearer of children, submissive to their husbands, and responsible for educating them, no matter what class they were in. Noble women had more children than poorer women, however, due to the availability of wet nurses.

The Renaissance and Reformation raised crucial questions about educating women and what role they could play in society other than rearing children. Were women capable of being educatedโ€ฆ were they even smart? Should they be allowed to become preachers? Generally, the answer was no, but they gained a bit more education and freedom, nonetheless.

๐ŸŽฅ Watch: AP European History - Reformation

Morality Above All Else

With the Catholic Church too focused on stopping the wave of anti-Catholic sentiment, cities were left to regulate public morality. Often times, the punishments were public and humiliating for all to see. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Society was focused around being moral and acting pious every day of the year. To reinforce this, sinners would be publicly whipped, branded, or put in the stocks for all to gawk at. Citizens could even write tips for the government to investigate their neighbors or others.

Men in the Stocks

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Persisting medieval ideas and the turmoil of the time led a rise in accusations of witchcraft. As debates about women increased, so did the persecution of supposed witches which led to many deaths (Salem Witch Trials and Joan of Arc!)

Community and Leisure

For peasants and the lower classes, leisure revolved around agriculture and the religious calendar. They would usually host festivities on days that celebrated Saints (Saint Bartholomewโ€™s Day) by hosting large, public festivals. Because of how unruly some of these festivals were, cities would ban religious events like Carnival. ๐ŸŽ‰

A tent in the woods with a fire

Get your ap euro survival pack!

Download our ap euro survival pack and get access to every resource you need to get a 5.

ap euro study guides

๐Ÿงย  Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)

๐Ÿ“‹ย  Short Answer Questions (SAQ)

continue learning

Slide 1 of 10

Join Our Discord


Fiveable Community students are already meeting new friends, starting study groups, and sharing tons of opportunities for other high schoolers. Soon the Fiveable Community will be on a totally new platform where you can share, save, and organize your learning links and lead study groups among other students!๐ŸŽ‰

*apยฎ and advanced placementยฎ are registered trademarks of the college board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

ยฉ fiveable 2021 | all rights reserved.

2550 north lake drive
suite 2
milwaukee, wi 53211