Wednesday, February 13, 2008
In the early 1500’s, Johannes Gutenberg had brought the printing press to Europe. The invention of the printing press brought considerable improvement and changes to the world. Before this invention, monks had to hand copy everything and few people outside the clergy could read. With this invention there was a new hunger for knowledge. When printed material became widely available, a greater number of people learned to read. Access to information and books was expanding and helped to open the door to the Renaissance. The churches had held power with the people knowing that as long as they followed the churches rules they would make it to eternity. The church had been a safe place for the people in the times of war and plague. With all the printing of books and excessive learning people was beginning to take on their own views of life. The people were starting to question the church. Humanism was causing the power the church held to weaken. Martin Luther was a monk in the Catholic Church and he had begun to question many of the churches tactics and was telling them that their beliefs were wrong. Through extensive study Luther started to believe that the intercession of a priest was not necessary to reach heaven, all that was needed was God. Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door and he published them also. Through the use of the printing press his proclamation had spread throughout Europe and helped to start the Protestant Reformation.