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Unit 2

2.3 The Protestant Reformation

2 min readmay 11, 2020


Sharii Liang

AP European History 🇪🇺

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Learning to Read

Religion was originally a very elitist thing. While the common people were involved through prayer and going to church, they were unable to read the Bible and interpret it for themselves. 🙏 The Bible was originally in Latin, and Latin was a language that only the well-off and educated could read.
With the invention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg, the Bible could finally be printed in the vernacular.
The common people could interpret the Bible for themselves as well as Luther’s 95 Theses. This improved literacy rates and spread Luther’s ideas far and wide as well as other Protestant ideas. 💭


Image Courtesy of WIkimedia

State Over Church?

During this time, it was commonplace for the monarchy and government to control what religion its people followed. The Church was second to the State due to favors like reduced land taxes on Church property (France cough cough). Some nations could choose who the Church officials were. This led to corruption within the Church.
When the Protestant Reformation occurred, people finally sought a solution to this problem. Calvinists and Anabaptists refused to acknowledge the ability of the State to decide one’s religion. Some groups that would fight against the State were Puritans (English Calvinists) and Huguenots (French Calvinists). They faced persecution from the Catholics as a result.

John Calvin


Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

🎥 Watch: AP European History - Martin Luther and Reformation


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🎨Unit 1: Renaissance and Exploration
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👑Unit 3: Absolutism and Constitutionalism
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