REFORMATION

The Reformation was a Christian movement of the 1500s. Its followers criticized the Catholic Church for corruption and called for radical reform. These protesters became known as Protestants.

Table 45. RELIGIOUS CONFLICT, EUROPE 1517–1568

1517 German monk Martin Luther demands reform
1518 Swiss preacher Ulrich Zwingli calls for change
1541 John Calvin founds a Protestant Church, Geneva
1545 Catholics launch a Counter-Reformation
1560 John Knox founds Protestant Church of Scotland
1562 Wars between Catholics and Protestants in France
1568 Dutch Protestants begin revolt against Catholic Spain

WHO LED THE REFORMATION?

The Reformation began in 1517 when a German monk, Martin Luther, nailed a list of complaints to the church door in Wittenberg. Other preachers spread the Protestant message across northern Europe. They called for simpler forms of worship and personal faith.

WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF THE REFORMATION?

The success of the Protestants aroused fear and anger among Catholics in Rome. A period of religious strife began that tore Europe apart for hundreds of years. Each side murdered its opponents. Churches and monasteries were destroyed. Civil and national wars caused devastation and streams of refugees.

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