76

Well, it wasn't smooth. First of all, there was already a minority of "reform" viewpoint in England before Henry VIII. It was centered in the intelligentsia and gentry. So when Henry VIII decided to divorce the Church to marry Anne Boleyn, a significant and influential minority not only was in favor, but wanted to go further, faster. And, as always, a ...


41

Not only was it not totally smooth, but it also wasn't much of a change. At least not on personal human timeframes. You have to realize that the break in England didn't happen because anybody had any kind of doctrinal issue with Rome. King Henry VIII was not a protestant, did not like Protestantism, and did not want protestants in his Church. The only part ...


30

That Poland avoided internal wars of religion can indeed be attributed to the religious tolerance of the state at this time, a tolerance that stretches back a long time. And this has to do with it's position, where many of its neighbouring countries were not Catholic. To the east the Kievan Rus adopted Orthodoxy, and further north the areas now known as ...


23

Religion was just the tool, mostly. The real conflict was over who had the "monopoly on violence" - sovereignty. In medieval Europe, the state formed a useful alliance with the church - the church attested that the king was God's chosen (and thus the only rightful ruler of a given land), and provided a certain level of inter-national balance by keeping the ...


23

Religious war in Europe may be understood in light of the existing order. First of all, the state and the church were vitally connected. This relationship had existed for centuries. Whether Protestant or Catholic, the state exercised its responsibility to protect and promote the religion of its domain. Second, religious toleration was at first nearly ...


18

Short Answer The second one. Long Answer Many historians believe that at the very beginning King Henry VIII was driven more by personal reasons than theological reasons. Quite a lot of good sources are cited in this wikipedia article and this one. It all started with Henry's troubles with Queen Catherine --his first wife. Henry was obsessed with a male ...


15

Opposition to the monarchy was indeed a major factor. Many French nobles, a majority of whom adopted Calvinist doctrine, sought to regain and extend privileges lost to the monarchy. - Nexon, Daniel H. The Struggle for Power in Early Modern Europe: Religious Conflict, Dynastic Empires, and International Change. Princeton University Press, 2009. ...


12

One reason was that a number of these Catholic "secular" kingdoms actually derived a lot of their power from the Church. Two of these were Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain (and some of their descendants) were (in)famous for the Inquisition. They were also known as "their most Catholic majesties." Because Spain had been ...


12

Two major reasons for this : The introduction of printing through Johannes Gutenberg, and the Reformation which implied that every Christian should be able to read the Bible, which made reading accessible and interesting. The Reformation spread first among craftsmen and merchants who could read. The progressive introduction of paper in the 14th, 15th and ...


11

Poland was indeed involved in the 30 Years War, sending death squads to aid Habsburg allies in Bohemia and getting decked when Bohemia sicced the Ottoman Empire on them. At this time, Poland-Lithuania was far more unified politically under the Magnates and royalty than the Holy Roman Empire... and nobody kid themselves, the 30 Years War was a political as ...


11

According to Ivan Gobry's Martin Luther, Luther thought that Sin is undefeatable, for lust will inexorably take residencde in each of us, therefore, to condemn oneself to celibacy, intending to please God, is to engage in self-deception and hypocrisy. Gobry also says that Luther believed the requirement that priests and monks stay celibate to be an ...


9

Most of the answers have revolved around the interconnection of Church and State and power politics, which is definitely a main part of the answer. But the other factor which is very hard for a modern person to get their head around, is that people back then really believed in heaven and hell and the idea that failing to defend their faith against heresies ...


9

Have you heard of the Pilgrimage of Grace? This was a major rebellion against Henry's move to break with Rome. The execution of over 200 of the participants was probably a very effective incentive for others to accept the change. As others have said, for many the 'conversion' was a matter of convenience and survival. When Mary I came to the throne a ...


9

Summary The authoritative short answer to the question as posed is: The chance of William being a pretty decent debater would be extremely high. Born to an English mother, with half of his servants and educators at court also from English provenance, raised to speak a multitude of languages, and directly negotiate himself on a wide range of issues, among ...


8

I'm not sure I'd really describe it as either "smooth" or "peaceful", given that Catholic-Protestant rivalry can still divide families and is still capable of producing street riots in Britain today. Usually around the "Old Firm" football matches, but occasionally elsewhere. There are really two factors to the Reformation, and church practice is only one of ...


6

The last major pagan group in Europe was the Sami in northern Scandinavia. Although missionaries traveled north and churches were built aready in the 16th-17th century, the sami were predominantly pagan until forced christianization that started in the 18th century. (1720 in Norway, late 18th century in Sweden). Although officially Christian since the 18th ...


5

An answer to the question in your title would be the 14th/15th century and relate to the Duchy of Lithuania. For an account of the causes see eg. W Urban: The Conversion of Lithuania (1987). EDIT: It could be that the question is really about the end of Catholicism is Northern Europe. If so my answer is this: Catholicism was not rejected all over Northern ...


5

As you said, by the 17th century many people were literate and had a copy of the Bible. The following figure shows the literacy rate throughout the last 500 years in several countries: An interesting point for me is the sharp increase in the UK and Netherlands, both Protestant countries, compared to Italy and France which remained Catholic (Italy in ...


5

A somewhat blunt analysis, but Catholicism was hierarchical and prescriptive, Protestantism more personal and individual - the Bible etc in the vernacular. Kings were appointed by God. To oppose the king was to oppose God Himself - a pretty powerful argument! Cf the English Revolution 1688 when James II tried to claim the Divine Right of Kings'. Who is going ...


5

I'ts not about religion, it's about power and money (Disclaimer: First of all, english is not my main languaje but i'm gonna give it a try, now let's go to the point of this answer.) It's all start with the fall of Constantinople (1453), with the fall of the "horn of gold" sereval stuff trigger, but for our purposes, it also signified the fall of "Haga ...


5

William of Orange could always understand and converse in English. However he was never a polished speaker. Even Lord Macaulay, who idolised him, wrote: 'He spoke our language, but not well. His accent was foreign: his diction was inelegant; and his vocabulary seems to have been no larger than was necessary for the transaction of business.'Page 41: The ...


4

New technologies build on previous technologies, so technological growth is cumulative. The rate at which it is developed, and hence accumulated, depends upon the number of people who can work on producing new technologies. The number of people engaged depends on technologies that give a proportion of the population the time to do things that are not ...


4

God said in Genesis 2:18, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:1-2, "Now for the matters you wrote about: 'It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.' But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife..." (Ever notice ...


3

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Lollard means: "From M[iddle] [Dutch] lollaerd, lit. 'mumbler, mutterer', f[rom] lollen to mutter, mumble". This was a pejorative term to refer to a CLASS of people that held certain religious beliefs, as opposed to holders of the beliefs themselves. Specifically, it referred to "uneducated" Englishmen (in the ...


3

The name was derived from lollium, a tare, but was used in Flanders early in the fourteenth century to refer to one as a "hypocrite". Others took it to mean "idlers" and connected it with to loll. In the fourteenth century the word "lollard" was used to represent a number of terms. People who were identified as anti-clerical and wishing to disendow the ...


3

Religious sects (heresies) tend to be very heavily correlated to societies and their desires for who they want to associate with, and distance themselves from. For instance, German tribes in the late Roman period tended to take up Arianism, which quite conveniently provided them independence from Roman popes and a common sect amongst themselves. A similar ...


3

There's just more scientists around today. Population has grown tremendously over the past 200 years. On top of that, our means, tools, and time available to spend on research has grown too. And much faster communication allows ideas to spread much faster, allowing other scientists to build on what you did immediately, rather than 10 years later. At the ...


3

It wasn't smooth and there were strong undercurrents both ways. I just finished reading Ken Follett's book A Column of Fire', which although historical fiction, it covered many of the historical facts and highlighted a major difference between Mary and Elizabeth. Mary had many executed by the inquisitors because they refused to believe as Rome did, ie ...


2

Larger population means that even if the percentage of people with the necessary skills and interests is the same, the total number of people with those skills and interests is much greater. Combined with the ever increasing base of scientific data on which to build (as pointed out by Andy) this causes an increase in the potential for scientific progress (...


2

In fact, Poland had at least one internal religious war, namely, the Khmelnytsky Uprising in 1648–1657, right at the end of the 30 year war in Central Europe. Religion, ethnicity, and economics factored into this discontent. While the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth remained a union of nations, a sizable population of Orthodox Ruthenians were ignored. ...


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