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    I wrote a history essay in class under timed conditions last week and am wanting to know what people think of it/ if anyone can suggest any improvements. It's the first history essay I've done for the Germany module so I've struggled quite a bit with it so it's a pretty poor attempt, be warned. Any criticisms would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    How accurate is it to say that the Catholic Church was unpopular and corrupt in the years leading up to the German Reformation?

    During the years leading up to the German Reformation, the Catholic church was fairly unpopular and corrupt. People had an issue with the advantages the clergy had, absenteeism, pluralism and simony were rife and educated groups such as the humanists had also began to challenge the church and it’s authority.

    One way in which the Catholic church was shown to be unpopular and corrupt in the years leading up to the German Reformation is that the fact that people were unhappy with the privileges that the clergy had and disliked them interfering in their everyday lives. Although they could mostly put up with small discrepancies of their local parish priest, providing he met their religious needs, people deeply resented the fact that the church owned and controlled ⅙ of German land and the financial demands the church made in the form of indulgences and tithes. They also had an issue with the fact clergy were tried in separate courts and the reduced tax rates that they benefited from, as can be seen with the ‘Grievances and Demands’ of Cologne’s burghers in 1513, when the merchants rebelled against the city council. This suggests that the Catholic church was unpopular and corrupt as the general population did not support the papacy and had issues with the way the church was involved in everyday life; a church cannot be considered popular if the people within it think the church itself demands too much financially, whilst giving its clergy unfair advantages. Therefore, it is accurate to say that the church was unpopular and corrupt in the years leading up to the German Reformation as there is deep rooted resentment amongst the public.

    Another way in which the Catholic church was shown to be unpopular and corrupt was with the rebellions of the humanists, who actively demonstrated their unhappiness. They openly made fun of and criticised the church, with Ulrich von Hutten co-authoring the satirical work “Letters of Obscure Men” which made fun of clerical ignorance and immorality. Erasmus himself believed that faith should be based on a deep, personal understanding of the bible and that people not should just be dictated by the church. He wanted everyone to read the bible. Furthermore, humanists pioneered the art of translating the bible purely, uncovering several mistakes in current translation, causing the Church to condemn their New Testament. This suggests that the church was unpopular and corrupt in the years leading up to the German Reformation as the humanists heavily disagreed with some of what the church said and made it very clear through public works that they were unhappy. The fact the church ignored the fact old translations were wrong suggests corruptness, for they did not want to have to change scripture which may also change meaning and doctrine. However, even within the humanists some respect and popular opinion for the church remained. Many, such as Erasmus, did not wish to challenge the church and simply wanted reform from within.

    Finally, it is accurate to say that the church was unpopular and corrupt due to the poor and immoral behaviour of the papacy. The church was riddled with abuses, such as simony, pluralism, absenteeism and generally a lack of moral values. Cardinal Albert of Brandenburg got the position of Archbishop of Mainz through bribery, an example of simony. Brandenburg was also a pluralist, holding the title of Archbishop of Magdeburg also. Pope Alexander VI received his position through bribing the college of Cardinals and had several mistresses, whom he had children with whom benefited from titles he gave them. There is plenty of evidence of simony, pluralism and absenteeism with the Catholic church. Further immoral and poor behaviour was shown through Tetzel’s sales of indulgences from 1514 onwards- selling eternal salvation was perceived by many people, such as Luther, as a terrible corruptness and massive lie simply to gain money to build St Peter’s basilica. This suggests that the church was unpopular and corrupt for the papacy were not behaving in a moral manner and showing many abuses within the church. Furthermore, the selling of indulgences was extremely controversial and perceived as a big abuse by some. However, the situation was not uniformly bad- about half the priests in Southern Germany had a degree, a high rate considering the shortage of universities. Furthermore, many people did not mind minor abuses such as their local priest drinking and having mistresses, as long as their religious needs were met successfully.

    Despite the general unhappiness with the papacy and their behaviour, there is some evidence to suggest that the majority of the population were happy with what the church taught. The majority of the population- illiterate peasants- could not understand Latin and official doctrine and were much more concerned with their temporal life. As long as their priest could help them to ask God for help with everyday things, they were content and their basic religious needs were met. They also enjoyed the religious celebrations, such as the 12 days of Christmas. The higher, educated elite were more concerned with eternal salvation and had higher religious needs. There is little evidence to suggest that even the higher, educated elite were unhappy. Few heretics had been tried since the 1470s and the high sales of humanist books which taught people how to be a better Christian shows that interest in religion had never been stronger. This suggests that it is not entirely accurate to say that the church was unpopular and corrupt as although there was some unhappiness with the papacy what the church taught does not appear to be a direct issue as the overall majority of people appear to be content with what the church is teaching.

    Therefore, it is fairly accurate to say that the church was unpopular and corrupt in the years leading up to the German Reformation. People disliked the fact the clergy had better rights than civics and they resented the way the church was too involved in everyday life. The wide range of abuses amongst the papacy, absenteeism, pluralism and simony, show a high level of corruptness. The active rebellions of the humanists show that not everyone was happy with doctrine and the papacy, hence they felt the need to attack the church. However, there was some level of support for what the church taught. Aside from issues with the papacy, people respected what their local parishioners taught and most people felt their religious needs were being met. Hence it is accurate to say that the church was certainly corrupt and unpopular in terms of feeling towards the papacy, yet there was support for teachings and doctrine.
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    (Original post by madzxox)
    I wrote a history essay in class under timed conditions last week and am wanting to know what people think of it/ if anyone can suggest any improvements. It's the first history essay I've done for the Germany module so I've struggled quite a bit with it so it's a pretty poor attempt, be warned. Any criticisms would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    How accurate is it to say that the Catholic Church was unpopular and corrupt in the years leading up to the German Reformation?

    During the years leading up to the German Reformation, the Catholic church was fairly unpopular and corrupt. People had an issue with the advantages the clergy had, absenteeism, pluralism and simony were rife and educated groups such as the humanists had also began to challenge the church and it’s authority.

    One way in which the Catholic church was shown to be unpopular and corrupt in the years leading up to the German Reformation is that the fact that people were unhappy with the privileges that the clergy had and disliked them interfering in their everyday lives. Although they could mostly put up with small discrepancies of their local parish priest, providing he met their religious needs, people deeply resented the fact that the church owned and controlled ⅙ of German land and the financial demands the church made in the form of indulgences and tithes. They also had an issue with the fact clergy were tried in separate courts and the reduced tax rates that they benefited from, as can be seen with the ‘Grievances and Demands’ of Cologne’s burghers in 1513, when the merchants rebelled against the city council. This suggests that the Catholic church was unpopular and corrupt as the general population did not support the papacy and had issues with the way the church was involved in everyday life; a church cannot be considered popular if the people within it think the church itself demands too much financially, whilst giving its clergy unfair advantages. Therefore, it is accurate to say that the church was unpopular and corrupt in the years leading up to the German Reformation as there is deep rooted resentment amongst the public.

    Another way in which the Catholic church was shown to be unpopular and corrupt was with the rebellions of the humanists, who actively demonstrated their unhappiness. They openly made fun of and criticised the church, with Ulrich von Hutten co-authoring the satirical work “Letters of Obscure Men” which made fun of clerical ignorance and immorality. Erasmus himself believed that faith should be based on a deep, personal understanding of the bible and that people not should just be dictated by the church. He wanted everyone to read the bible. Furthermore, humanists pioneered the art of translating the bible purely, uncovering several mistakes in current translation, causing the Church to condemn their New Testament. This suggests that the church was unpopular and corrupt in the years leading up to the German Reformation as the humanists heavily disagreed with some of what the church said and made it very clear through public works that they were unhappy. The fact the church ignored the fact old translations were wrong suggests corruptness, for they did not want to have to change scripture which may also change meaning and doctrine. However, even within the humanists some respect and popular opinion for the church remained. Many, such as Erasmus, did not wish to challenge the church and simply wanted reform from within.

    Finally, it is accurate to say that the church was unpopular and corrupt due to the poor and immoral behaviour of the papacy. The church was riddled with abuses, such as simony, pluralism, absenteeism and generally a lack of moral values. Cardinal Albert of Brandenburg got the position of Archbishop of Mainz through bribery, an example of simony. Brandenburg was also a pluralist, holding the title of Archbishop of Magdeburg also. Pope Alexander VI received his position through bribing the college of Cardinals and had several mistresses, whom he had children with whom benefited from titles he gave them. There is plenty of evidence of simony, pluralism and absenteeism with the Catholic church. Further immoral and poor behaviour was shown through Tetzel’s sales of indulgences from 1514 onwards- selling eternal salvation was perceived by many people, such as Luther, as a terrible corruptness and massive lie simply to gain money to build St Peter’s basilica. This suggests that the church was unpopular and corrupt for the papacy were not behaving in a moral manner and showing many abuses within the church. Furthermore, the selling of indulgences was extremely controversial and perceived as a big abuse by some. However, the situation was not uniformly bad- about half the priests in Southern Germany had a degree, a high rate considering the shortage of universities. Furthermore, many people did not mind minor abuses such as their local priest drinking and having mistresses, as long as their religious needs were met successfully.

    Despite the general unhappiness with the papacy and their behaviour, there is some evidence to suggest that the majority of the population were happy with what the church taught. The majority of the population- illiterate peasants- could not understand Latin and official doctrine and were much more concerned with their temporal life. As long as their priest could help them to ask God for help with everyday things, they were content and their basic religious needs were met. They also enjoyed the religious celebrations, such as the 12 days of Christmas. The higher, educated elite were more concerned with eternal salvation and had higher religious needs. There is little evidence to suggest that even the higher, educated elite were unhappy. Few heretics had been tried since the 1470s and the high sales of humanist books which taught people how to be a better Christian shows that interest in religion had never been stronger. This suggests that it is not entirely accurate to say that the church was unpopular and corrupt as although there was some unhappiness with the papacy what the church taught does not appear to be a direct issue as the overall majority of people appear to be content with what the church is teaching.

    Therefore, it is fairly accurate to say that the church was unpopular and corrupt in the years leading up to the German Reformation. People disliked the fact the clergy had better rights than civics and they resented the way the church was too involved in everyday life. The wide range of abuses amongst the papacy, absenteeism, pluralism and simony, show a high level of corruptness. The active rebellions of the humanists show that not everyone was happy with doctrine and the papacy, hence they felt the need to attack the church. However, there was some level of support for what the church taught. Aside from issues with the papacy, people respected what their local parishioners taught and most people felt their religious needs were being met. Hence it is accurate to say that the church was certainly corrupt and unpopular in terms of feeling towards the papacy, yet there was support for teachings and doctrine.
    Hello! I just read through this briefly - your paragraphs are pretty good. You've used relevant terminology but I think you need to include more facts! Also, with regards to your paragraphs, I think you should put finally in your final sentence in the conclusion. When arguing both sides, use 'On the one hand...' and 'On the contrary...' to state clearly that you're arguing for or against the given topic! On my essays, I have gotten As and Bs so far (with a plan lol)

    I suck without a plan so need to solidify and consolidate the content haha...
    Hope I helped, feel free to message me!

    Matt

    Are you doing the GDR (Edexcel History) by any chance?
 
 
 
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