The Protestant Reformation, French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution are some of the
most important periods in human history.It is important to realize what the outcome of these
events were.Almost everything we do, buy and see is a direct result of these revolutions.In
this essay, I will discuss the causes and consequences of these three time periods.
The protestant reformation was an interesting time for most of Europe. Reformation was
sweeping across Europe during the 1500s transforming just about everything within society. The
way (and where) people worshipped, politics, social statuses and general cultures were all
affected by the Reformation. There are likely many causes of the protestant reformation, but it
was Martin Luther’s statements and critiques of the doctrines of churches in Germany in a piece
he published called, ‘The Ninety-Five Theses,’ that started the protestant reformation
(Reformation Podcast). Luther argued that the bible could be interpreted differently by different
people and that God’s salvation was a gift to be accepted by his followers, rather than something
attained through Catholic rituals (Backman, 394). This brought about conflict within the church
and escalated to the point where it took on a political and social stage outside of just the Catholic
Church. Luther then published, ‘Address to the Christian Nobility of The German Nation,’
which spoke about his views and the organizational layout of his reformed church. He argued
that the protestant church needed only secular administration and guidance to worship freely, so
he turned his attention to gathering support from the princes (Backman, 397).In his publication,
Luther wrote, ‘A prince who formally broke with Rome and converted to Lutheranism was
entitled, Luther wrote, to confiscate the Catholic ecclesiastical lands, properties, and wealth
within his principality and to lead the administration of the new re-formed churches’ (Backman,
398). However, the princes feared these actions would spur Charles V to run to the Catholics
Church’s aid. Eventually the princes did openly support Luther, and Luther responded by
directing the princes to appoint religious leaders to the new churches (Backman, 400).
The Reformation brought upon several consequences.First, the Reformation spawned
four divisions of Protestantism: Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, and Anglican.An effect of this
was that the Catholic Church was forever fractured. The Reformation also brought about the rise
of Protestantism and many people were divided between Catholicism and the Protestant Church.
Once the Protestant Reformation went international, this had a major impact on world religions.
There are many causes of the French Revolution. One of the major contributors was the
fact that France was imposing harsh taxation on its citizens to help relieve some of the country’s
debt problems (Backman, 596). This action nearly led to riots, and caused the people to begin
losing faith in their government. The French economy was crumbling from earlier events such
as the Seven Years’ War. The different social classes in France at the time were severely
skewed, and people of low economic standing were treated unfairly and even taxed much more.
Another cause was that Louis XVI was considered to be a very ineffective and harsh ruler.
Between the steep taxes imposed on the lower and middle class, his revoking of the Edict of
Nantes and the Glorious Revolution in England in 1688, and him trying to flee his own country;
Louis and the royal family played a major role in events leading to the French Revolution as well
(French Revolution Podcast).
While the French Revolution doesn’t appear to have changed much of anything, there
were many widespread consequences of the French Revolution (Backman, 592). One of the
main results was the abolition of the French monarchy. Another effect of the French Revolution
is that it placed Napoleon in Dictatorial charge of France (Backman, 592). The class system was
also improved. No longer were lower class citizens discriminated against, and people of all
classes saw economic and social status growth.
The Industrial Revolution is arguably the most important movement worldwide. During
the late 1700s, there was a distinct need for more machine-powered technology. Originally, the
Industrial Revolution was seen as a very positive thing, leading to great technological advances,
more job opportunities and advancements in areas such as food production and medicine
(Backman, 627-628). While manufacturing was coming along in Europe, there were still limits
on production. Water powered devices began making their way into manufacturing, eventually
being replaced by steam powered engines. The invention of the steam engine was one of the
biggest causes of the Industrial Revolution. It was also realized that with products being made so
quickly, the distribution of goods was becoming just as important. Roads and waterways were
needed to provide the framework for the Revolution. Without new infrastructure, there would be
no way to move new materials (raw or produced) to factories or new markets. This would
essentially stall the Industrial Revolution in its tracks (Backman, 632).
One of the consequences of the Industrial Revolution was that, for the first time, human
labor no longer defined national economies. Steam engines and large factories allowed for
products to be created and moved at speeds that once could only be imagined (Industrial
Revolution Podcast). The Industrial Revolution led to remarkable advancements in just about
every area of society. Farms produced more food per acre, textiles were being produced very
quickly and transportation was making huge strides (Backman, 632-633). Europe saw huge
population growths due to the Industrial Revolution as well. This was due mostly to medicine
and food production growths. During the Industrial Revolution, people were now able to buy
what was once typically made for themselves. A capitalist market was created, and provided
economic growth for European nations (Backman, 630). There were, however, negative
consequences as well. Laborers worked in increasingly harsh conditions. Wages also declined,
due to the huge increase in the amount of workers available to factories and other employers.
Overall, however, the Industrial Revolution is seen as a good and necessary step for Europe and
the rest of the world. It has led to the society that all of us live in today, and is arguably the most
important revolution of in history.in here…
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