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    The Age of Confessional Division,16th Century

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    What conflict and outcome was most significant during the Age of Confessional Division which produced wars in France, Spain and the Netherlands?

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    The religious controversies of the age of confessional division redefined the West. During the Middle Ages, the West came to be identified with the practice of Roman Catholic Christianity. The Renaissance added to that identity an appreciation of pre-Christian history going back to Greek and Roman Antiquity. The Reformation of the early sixteenth century eroded the unity of Christian Europe by dividing the West into Catholic and Protestant camps. This division was especially pronounced in Western Europe, but less so in Eastern Europe because it did not create confessional states [1].

    Probably the most serious consequence was the "Price Revolution" which caused the hidden force of inflation due to widespread human suffering. During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, people felt their lives threatened, but they did not know the source and so they imagined all kinds of secret powers at work, especially supernatural ones [2]. The suspicion of religious differences created by the Reformation provided handy, if utterly false, explanations for what had gone wrong. Catholics suspected Protestants, Protestants suspected Catholics, both suspected Jews, and they all worried about witches [3]. Authorities sought to relieve this widespread anxiety by looking in all the wrong places; disciplining the populace, hunting for witches, and battling against enemies from the opposite side of the confessional divide [4].

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    Sources:

    [1] , [3], [4]: http://www.pearsonhighered.com/assets/hip/us/hip_us_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0132132869.pdf

    [2]: http://www.sgtbkhalsadu.ac.in/colleges/tutorial/112706112009204808.pdf.pdf

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