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Reformation Notes

History Notes > General History III: 1400–1650 (Renaissance, Recovery and Reform) Notes

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GIII Revision Notes.


1. How much did the Reformation change among lay people?
- The Ref was, to an extent, a popular movement.Ref was "a gloriously disorderly popular movement" (P Marshall). E.g. figure of Karsthans (cocky Lutheran peasant) pop in pamphlets.
- G Parker argues that mid-C16th to mid-C17th, the Reformers themselves believed that they had failed.Talks of "a broader framework of failure" (Parker) as a backdrop to small successes.However, many contemporary Catholics (e.g. Ignatius Loyola) felt the opposite.
- Diff in diff areas: "the Ref was an urban event" (A G Dickens).Supported by G Strauss' study of visitation records (reports e.g. first one not until 1527-8, Luther wrote of 'lamentable wretchedness' in Saxony).Not all visitation records -ve, e.g. James Kittelson - 'report from Strasbourg' shows "an enviably pious pop" (G Parker).Reformist ideals did spread more easily in towns."Germany was a land of towns" (A Pettegree) - ^polit literacy, debate, reading.V. Denmark: only 2 towns of approx. 8000 inhabs (Malmo
and Copenhagen).V. Eng: next biggest after LDN = Norwich, Bristol. Around 10,000 inhabs = same as 14 towns in Germ SW.Pettegree uses this to explain success of Ref in N'lands (35% in towns).Different political situations also contributed to this.E.g. became part of German nationalism.
- Acknowledged by Luther: 'To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation' (1520) - attack on papacy.
- "The nasty side of German nationalism was an intense Italo-phobia" (P Marshall).
- Reichstag complained about papal abuses e.g. list of 102 at Worms.E.g. in France "the ambiguous signals emanating from the court created a decade of confusion" (Pettegree) ? mid1530s (Francis I oppressed).E.g. Charles I took successful action v Ref in N'lands.E.g. Eastern Habsburg lands: powerful estates ? evang as wanted to distance from Cath monarch."The position of the authorities... was particularly important" (K Maag).

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