From a historical point of view, is the Reformation an act of religious reform or an act of political revolution?

Essay by w0011yHigh School, 10th gradeA, June 2004

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The initial purpose of the Reformation was to abolish the corruption in the Catholic Church. Eventually, due to the failure of that, a new religion was formed with a new theory upon religion, which the Catholics did not accept. However, this reformation did not only start a new religion with new ideas, it also started a political and economical revolution. It is acceptable to say that the Reformation was actually a political revolution rather than a religious reform.

The life expectation during the "Middle Ages" was around forty years and the child mortality rate was thirty-two percent . Lives in the "Middle Ages" were very short. Since lives were very short at that time period, salvation for the people was a very important factor. Since the Catholic Church plays a big role in the decision of who gets into heaven and who does not, the Catholic Church has lots of power and even more power than the State.

People did whatever they could to gain salvation including paying money to the church for forgiveness which were called indulgences. The Catholic Church had huge amounts of wealth and power, which prevented political and economical development, as everyone, even the dukes and the monarchs depended on the Catholic Church. Another reason that development slowed down during that time period was that people believed all of the answers of the Catholic Church and did not seek answers themselves. It is also the fault of the Catholic Church that common people were not educated since the priest did the interpretation of the bible. The non-educated common people lead to slow development in general.

Before the reformation, Dukes, monarchs and the state did not have much power at all. It was impossible for the Prince of each territory to have greatest degree of...