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Politics and the Reformation

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Politics and the Reformation

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  1. Politics and the Reformation Get your writing hand ready… But more importantly, get your mind RIGHT

  2. Confession of Augsburg 1530 - an attempted compromise statement of religious faith to unite Lutheran and Catholic princes of the HRE • Rejected by Catholic princes • Became traditional statement of the Lutheran Church • Salvation through faith alone • Bible is the sole authority • Priesthood of all believers‖: Church consists of entire Christian community • Many German states in the North accepted the Confession • Political motivation: they could now escape the authority of the Catholic Church and confiscate church lands for the state’s benefit. • The southern part of Germany largely remained Catholic • Denmark and Sweden became Lutheran states as well • Lutheranism did not spread much beyond northern Germany and Scandinavia. • This was unlike Calvinism that spread throughout western Europe and parts of the New World

  3. Emperor Charles V sought to stop Protestantism and preserve the hegemony of Catholicism • Allied with the pope in trying to stamp out heresy • Charles was preoccupied with the Turkish threat in Hungary and his dynastic struggle with Francis I of France. • a. Between 1521 & 1530 Charles was away from the HRE, much of the time spent in Italy • b. Thus, Charles could not focus his military solely Germany at a time that Protestantism was spreading vigorously League of Schmalkalden, 1531 in N. Germany a. Formed by newly Protestant (Lutheran) princes to defend themselves against Charles V’s drive to re-Catholicize Germany. b. Francis I of France allied with the League (despite being Catholic)

  4. Habsburg-Valois Wars Five wars between 1521 and 1555 involving French monarchs and the Hapsburgs • a. France tried to keep Germany divided (although France was Catholic) • b. This conflict played an important role in retarding unification of the German states • c. Catholic unity in Germany never again occurred • Charles was finally victorious over the League in 1547 a. However, by that time Lutheranism had spread and taken hold in much of Central Europe. b. Charles by the 1550s was forced to give up on restoring Catholicism in all the German states in the empire.

  5. Peace of Augsburg (1555) Temporarily ended the struggle in Germany over Lutheranism • Provisions: • Princes in Germany could choose either Protestantism or Catholicism • Cuiusregio, eiusreligio—―whose the region, his the religion. • Protestants living in Catholic states were allowed to move to Protestant states. The same was true of Catholics living in Protestant states. • Resulted in permanent religious division of Germany • Essentially reaffirmed the independence of many German states • This division stunted German nationalism; Germany was not unified as a state until 1871.

  6. France French Civil Wars (at least 9 wars between 1562-1598) • After the death of Henry II in 1559 a power struggle between three noble families for the Crown ensued • The throne remained in the fragile control of the Catholic Valois family. • Three French kings from 1559 to 1589 were dominated by their mother, Catherine de Médicis, who as regent fought hard to maintain Catholic control in France • Between 40-50% of nobles became Calvinists (Huguenots)—many were Bourbons • Many nobles ostensibly converted for religious reasons but sought independence from the crown. • Resulted in resurgence of feudal disorder in France • The Bourbons were next in line to inherit the throne if the Valois did not produce a male heir. • The ultra-Catholic Guise family also competed for the throne; strongly anti-Bourbon • Fighting began in 1562 between Catholics & Calvinists

  7. St. Bartholomew Day Massacre (August, 24, 1572) • Marriage of Margaret of Valois to Protestant Huguenot Henry of Navarre on this day was intended to reconcile Catholics and Huguenots. • Rioting occurred when the leader of Catholic aristocracy, Henry of Guise, had a leader of the Huguenot party murdered the night before the wedding. • Catherine de Médicis ordered the massacre of Calvinists in response • 20,000 Huguenots killed by early October • The massacre initiated the War of the Three Henrys: civil wars between Valois, Guise, and Bourbons

  8. “A Chicken in every pot” Henry IV (Henry of Navarre) (r. 1589-1610): became the first Bourbon king • One of the most important kings in French history • His rise to power ended the French Civil Wars and placed France on a gradual course towards absolutism • Henry was a politique • Sought practical political solutions • He converted to Catholicism to gain the loyalty of Paris • “Paris is worth a mass” • Privately he remained a Calvinist • Issued Edict of Nantes, 1598: granted a degree of religious toleration to Huguenots • Permitted Huguenots the right to worship privately • Public worship, however, was not allowed • Huguenots not allowed to worship at all in Paris and other staunchly Catholic cities. • Gave Huguenots access to universities, to public office, and the right to maintain some 200 fortified towns in west and southwestern France for self-protection. • In reality, the Edict was more like a truce in the religious wars rather than recognition of religious tolerance. • Nevertheless, the Edict gave Huguenots more religious protection than perhaps any other religious minority in Europe.

  9. Recap! From 1560 to 1648 wars would be fought largely over religious issues • A. Spain sought to squash Protestantism in Western Europe and the spread of Islam in the Mediterranean. • “Golden Age” of Spain • B. French Catholics sought to squash the Huguenots • C. The Holy Roman Empire sought to re-impose Catholicism in Germany • D. The Calvinist Netherlands sought break away from Spanish rule • E. England dealt with the Protestant/Catholic identity, eventually leading to a civil war. • John Knox est. Presbyterianism in Scotland