Political & Social changes during the Reformation
Lesson covering how the world changed politically and socially during the Renaissance and Reformation
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Political & Social changes during the Reformation
How might the Reformation
impact politics and society.
Bell Ringer 1/26/16
• I can analyize how the Reformation impacted
social and political change in Europe.
• 7.56 Engage effectively in collaborative
discussions explaining Protestants’ new
practices of church self-government and the
influence of those practices on the
development of democratic practices and
ideas of federalism.
• The Reformation created division within
Europe. In Spain most people were
Catholic. In the northern countries most
people were Protestant. The Holy Roman
Empire was a patchwork of small
kingdoms, some Catholic and some
Protestant. These led to many political
• Many people in France became protestant.
• French Protestants were called Huguenots.
The king was Catholic and banned all
• 1562 violence broke out in France over this
• War between the French Catholics and
Hugenots continued off and on for decades.
• Religious wars caused even more
destruction in the Holy Roman Empire .
There the king of Bohemia sparked a
conflict when he forced everyone in his
kingdom to become Catholic.
• In 1618 Protestants rose up to revolt . The
rebellion spread through out the Holy
Roman Empire, starting what is known as
the Thirty Year’s War.
• The Holy Roman Emperor sought help from
other Catholic countries. The Protestants also
• The Catholic king of France agreed to help
them because he did not like the Holy Roman
• After 30 years of fighting, Europe’s rulers
worked out a peace agreement in 1648.
• Treaty of Westphalia allowed rulers to
determine whether their countries would be
Protestant or Catholic. It also made Germany
independent of the Holy Roman Empire.
• Conflict ended in 1598
• King Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes –
a law granting religious freedom in most of
France. Protestants could worship
anywhere except in Paris and a few other
• Before the reformation, most Europeans
did not have a voice in governing the
• Many Protestant churches did not have
clergy, bishops, and priest – so instead the
congregation (community of worshipers)
made their own rules and elected their
• People’s ideas began to become
• Once people began to govern their own
churches they wanted political power. In some
places congregations ruled their towns, not
just their church.
– In the American colonies of New England
congregations met to decide how their towns
would be run.
• They would have town meetings that would
serve as self-government in which people
would rule themselves.
• People also wanted to investigate the world
• As time passed some congregations
gained even more power. The power of
the congregations did not replace national
governments, but national rulers began to
share some power with local governments.
• The sharing of power between local
governments and a strong central
government is called federalism
1. Who were the Huguenots?
2. How did the war between French Catholics
and Huguenots end?
3. Who led many Protestant churches?
4. How was the new religious freedom related to
increasing political freedom?
Think – discussion
• How does war disrupt the lives of people
where the fighting is happening.
• War can disrupt the lives of people on both
sides of the conflict. For example travel
• Evaluate the travel warnings of the United
States I have given you.
• Two people in the group will create a travel
warning for the Holy Roman Empire and two will
create one for France.
• Once these are done you will show them to the
other two members in the group and we will vote
as a class on who will win France or the Holy
• A brilliant title
• Reasons for the travel warning to either
France or Holy Roman Empire – use page 574-
575 …Be very detailed in the warning!
Show Me What You Learned!
1. What was the goal of the Thirty Years War?
2. How did the Reformation lead to the growth
3. How did the Reformation impact social and
political change in Europe?