- What were some of the signs of disorder within the early 16th century
church? What impact did church wealth have on the condition of the church?
- What were some of the signs of religious vitality in 15th and early
16th century society?
- What circumstances prompted Luther to post his 95 Theses? Why was he
criticizing the practice of selling indulgences? What authority did he
question? On what basis?
- What were Luther's positions on major theological issues? How were
they different from those of the Roman church?
- What did Luther consider the proper relationship of church, state,
and individual? What consequences did these ideas have in Germany?
- Luther's religious rebellion didn't come out of nowhere,but started
against a backdrop of problems. What were the intellectual, social, political,
and economic factors that led Luther to challenge the church and help explain
the rapid spread of his beliefs?
- Although the Protestant Reformation is usually interpreted as a religious
movement, it had a profound impact on every aspect of European civilization.
Discuss the political, social and economic consequences of the Reformation.
How did it affect women?
- The response of the Catholic church to the Protestant Reformation had
two primary components: the Catholic Reformation and the Counter-Reformation.
Describe each of these components and how they overlapped. What efforts
were made to incorporate the Protestant leadership into the process? What
role did the Jesuits play? Ultimately, how successful were the Catholic
Reformation and the Counter-Reformation at achieving their goals?
- According to the text, Luther did not ask new questions, but offered
new answers to old questions. What were these questions? What were Luther's
answers, and how did they contradict Catholic answers?
- Calvinism quickly became the most dynamic Protestant movement. How
can we account for this success? Why was it more threatening to established
European authorities than the Lutheran reforms?
- According to the text, the English Reformation was an act of state,
initiated by the king's emotional life and political concerns. Is this
a complete explanation? Describe the ecents that culminated in the separation
of the English Church from Rome. Were there any reformist elements in England
before this? What were the long-term consequences of the English Reformation?
- Some scholars argue that the Protestant Reformation was an extreme
example of the ongoing reforming nature of the Christian church. On what
do they base their argument? How do events after 1521 support or weaken
their argument? If they're right, why and how did Luther's 95 Theses create
- How do the actions of both Protestant and Catholic leades exemplify
the basic political creed of uniformity prevalent in Europe in the 16th
- What were the factors leading to the European exploration and expansion
that began in the mid-15th century? What were the motives of the explorers?
- The 16th and 17th centuries were characterized by long violent wars,
including the revolt of the Netherlands, the War of the Three Henrys, and
the Thirty Years' War. What were the common characteristicsof causes,
tactics, ideologies, doplomacy, and resultsof these three conflicts?
What was distinctive?
- The revolt of the Netherlands had a profound impact not only on the
Low Countries and Spain but also on England. Discuss the changes in these
countries that resulted from the Netherlands' conflict.
- The situation of upper-class women in Europe changed dramatically as
a result of the Reformation. Discuss these changes. How did the situation
of these women compare to that of lower-class women at the time?
- The European witch hunt is one of the more bizarre and troubling episodes
in Western history. How do historians explain the witch craze? How did
this phenomenon reflect European attitudes, anxieties, and understanding
of the universe in the 16th and 17th centuries?
- The 500th anniversary in 1992 of Christopher Columbus's first voyage
to the Americas aroused much debate about the impact of Columbus on the
history of the world. What are the facts about the role of Columbus in
the European incursion into the Americas? What sources have historians
used to ascertain the motives and actions of Columbus? How do they interpret
his role? Was Columbus a typical European explorer? In what ways does his
own description help us to understand Columbus and his own understanding
of his achievements? How would you interpret Columbus and his actions?
- What was the impact of European expansion on both the indigenous peoples
of the Americas and on European civilization? Explain.