Politics and Religion
Political and social struggles causes many religious uprising. Even though Religious Reformations are major breakthroughs in the Catholic Church, its premises remained strictly as a political event. Protestantism was a technique used by noble princes as well as emperors to break away from the control of the Catholic Church and also a reason to gain dominancy over other nations. However, the foremost reason that Reformations remains primarily as a political event is because it served as a reason for conflict between church and state.
The first reason that the Reformation was a political event was the alliance between religious group and the state. Protestant groups, especially Lutherans and Calvinists, sided with national authorities to create international political upheaval. One mentionable historical event was the Hapsburg-Valois War. To gain control of Italy and the Burgundian realms, Francis I of France, being a Catholic, did not hesitate to form an alliance with the Protestants in his objective to crush Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, the fall heir of the Burgundian territories. On the other hand, the Protestant card was also played by Charles when he repressed Francis with the help of the Henry VIII, head of the Church of England. Thus, this showed that Protestants during the Reformation was created ideally to and was manipulated by strong political powers in their conquest to gain dominancy over other states.
Another reason for the governmental event was its usage by the noble princes to gain political freedom for their states by breaking away from the control of the supreme governer. What was a religious struggles between the Protestants and the Church became a movement towards a politically freed state. One example would be the internal conflict between Charles V and his German princes and their states. During the disorder of the Reformation, princes were emboldened to seek autonomy for their states, thus, creating a civil war between them and the Emperor. The Peace of Ausburg was signed by Charles by which gave the princes the right to determined the core religion in his territories. However, the political side to it was the Peace of Westphalia, a reinstatement of the Asburg’s. Signed some years later by the empire, the Peace of Westphalia gave the princes the right to supreme authority over their territories. This showed that in the essence of most religious struggles, the main objective is to gain political advantage among other dominant powers.
But the foremost cause that led to the belief that the Protestant Reformation was a political event was the private issues between the king and the pope. Supremacy of state, judicial authoratives, and noble marital problems were raised to the level of national predicament. These issues were presented with the conflict between Henry VIII and the Church. During Henry’s reign, many of his marriages went down the drain because he was cursed without a healthy, male heir to the English thrown. But years later, having fallen in love with Anne Boleyn, a noble woman who promised him a son, Henry tried to get his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled. But when the Church rejected his order, Henry broke away and formed The Church of England. In his documents. The Act of Restraint of Appeal and the Supremacy Act, Henry declared himself the supreme ruler and judicial authority of England and noted that there are absolutely no political interference from the Church allowed. This showed that the biggest contribution to the Protestant Reformation are the selfish desires of kings and the Church.
Behind most religious disorder, the roots of conflict was always political struggles between church and state. These ideas were expressed by many rulers who were tangled in the web of international religious struggles. Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry VIII of England, German Protestant princes, rulers of all background manipulated Protestant Reformations and had used it to their own advantage such as to gain political powers and their other personal needs. Thus, the roots of existence of most Protestant Reformation has always been, a political event.