Lead Up to the Catholic Reformation

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Date Submitted: 06/04/2008 02:34 AM

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In the sixteenth century the Catholic Church went through a series of events known as the Reformation which transformed the Catholic Church completely. In this essay I will be talking about the causes leading to the Reformation and the effects that this had on the Church causing it to reform.

In 1347 Europe was struck with what was known as the Black Plague. The Black Plague was a deadly disease that wipes out a third of Europe’s population. It began in the Gobi Desert and it spread throughout Europe from routes of trade. The plague first struck in the Italian seaport of Genoa, where the disease was carried by rats a boarded many ships. The rats were infested with fleas which then infected the humans that were living in Italy at the time. Many Europeans suffered horrific and painful deaths, but it was their families watching their loved ones who suffered the most, as they did not know of a cure for the disease. People that fell sick with the disease, would fall dead within three to four days, with dreadful symptoms. These included, high fevers, aching of limbs, vomiting of blood and it caused the organs of an infected person, including their tongue, to swell up. Many would simply die of starvation because it would be impossible for them to swallow food. Many villages and towns fell into ruin, as there was no structure for organisation, government or service. European life was never the same.

The Black Plague caused many people to act immorally. Many acted as if each day was their last. They amused themselves by eating drinking and having fun. Others became very anti social, as they tried to stay away from each other to prevent them from catching the disease. Because of these two events, many fields and lands were unattended causing a shortage of food and in some cases starvation. In addition, exporting and importing systems came to an end as this helped to spread the disease to many countries. Because of this there was a lot of ethnic hatred amongst...