What were some political issues that helped lead to the Protestant Reformation?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The major political issues that helped lead to the Protestant Reformation had to do with the struggle for power between various German states and the competition for power between Church and monarchy in England.

At the time of the Reformation, Germany was made up of hundreds of little political entities rather than being the united country we now know.  These states were officially part of the Holy Roman Empire but were always trying to assert their independence if possible.  Many princes saw the Reformation as a way to break away from the Holy Roman Empire and make their own states more powerful.

In England, the major political issue was Henry VIII's desire to have more control over the church in his kingdom.  This came in part from his desire for a divorce, but also from the fact that Henry wanted more control over the Church with its wealth and political power.  Henry's wish for more power helped lead him to break with Rome.

In these ways, the Protestant Reformation arose to some extent because of political issues and political needs.

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