According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the era of reformation was the one of the significant revolution in religion which affected the most part of Western Europe countries. The reformation revolution had a real social, economic and political effect on Western societies. The result of Reformation times was, in particular, the foundation of one of the Christianity branches – Protestantism (“Reformation”).
The beginning of the Reformation was laid in October 31, 1517 by a speech of Martin Luther with accusations against the Catholic Church. End of the Reformation account for the time of signing the Peace of Westphalia (1648). As a result, after the Reformation, the church ceased to play a significant role in the politics of Europe (Darby, “Westphalia, Piece of 1648”).
There were several causes of the Reformation. In the first place, an important role was played by the religious factor. Church owned vast lands and wealth and had a significant influence on the policy of the Middle Ages. The Catholic Church has taken over all the features of the feudal system, so it could exist in this form only as long as society is preserved feudal system. Since the end of the fifteenth century in Europe was formed the bourgeoisie - a new social class, with exciting influence in the economy and politics. The bourgeoisie needed a new ideology, so it was necessary to reform the religion and convert the current concept of Christianity. In addition, the Church was too expensive to handle, that’s why there was a growing dissatisfaction with this fact in society. The society has matured a request for reformation of the church (“Reformation”).
However, apart from economic and religious crisis, the cause of the Reformation is also in an attitudinal change in the society's elite. This is largely due to a change in the culture of the Renaissance. Critical views of the Renaissance allowed reviewing the structure of the Church, society has to pay attention to the profound difference the beginning of Christianity, and the present situation of the Church.
Darby, Graham, "Westphalia, Peace Of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed.. 2014, and "Westphalia, Peace Of." World Encyclopedia. 2005. "Westphalia, Peace of (1648)." Encyclopedia.com. HighBeam Research, 2004. Web. 13 July 2015. <http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Peace_of_Westphalia.aspx>.
"Reformation | Christianity." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 13 July 2015. <http://www.britannica.com/event/Reformation>.