Western Civilization

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Describe the historical context and then outline the essential elements of the reforms Martin Luther urged upon Pope Leo X when he posted his 95 Theses on the Castle gate at Wittenberg, Germany in 1517. Then, cite specific practices to illustrate how Luther changed Christianity when he initiated his own reformed Christian church after he abandoned his original effort to have Roman Catholicism reform itself. Finally, what motivated various German princes to defy Rome, and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in Vienna, by supporting and protecting Luther? Those actions precipitated a bloody cycle of religious wars that pitted European Catholics against Protestants almost without respite between the 1520s and 1648 when the Peace of Westphalia terminated Western Christendom’s internecine, principally religiously inspired warfare.

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