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The Perfect Storm

The Reformation was, in many ways, the result of a perfect storm of events. The Reformation is considered to have started on October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany.

But why did this get things started? There had been reformers before Luther, like John Wycliffe in England, or John Hus in Bohemia who had spectacularly failed to get any real reform started.

Luther had three advantages.
  1. The Renaissance had promoted a spirit of enquiry and examination. This meant that people were willing to second guess the church's teaching.
  2. The perfection of the printing press had made it possible to widely circulate ideas to the general population. Luther could get his ideas out in a way that Wycliffe or Hus hadn't been able to.
  3. Luther was urging his reforms while sitting in the midst of the Holy Roman Empire which was "neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire," but was a very loose collection of prince-states itching for greater freedom and autonomy. Led by the unpopular Emperor Charles V, some of these princes took Luther's attempts at reform as a chance to gain greater control over their own territories.

The Style

What you are going to do it write a summary of how the Reformation got started in the style of a community newspaper such as the Winnipeg Free Press.
  • Paragraphs tend to be very short (one or two sentences). 
  • The article actually starts with the conclusion. The very first sentence normally tells you what the author wants you to remember. The rest of the article goes on to prove it
  • The details that are least important to proving the main point tend to come towards the end of the article.

What to do

Your article should follow the style described above and incorporate each of the three points at the top.

Incorporates references to the Renaissance in an intelligent, thoughtful way. Incorporates the effects of the printing press in an intelligent, thoughtful way.Incorporates the effects of the Holy Roman Empire in an intelligent, thoughtful way. Uses good, newspaper style to tell the story. Starts the article with an appropriate, relevant headline.
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James Dykstra,
Oct 29, 2018, 7:19 AM
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