The Counter-Reformation, 1550-1600

The Counter-Reformation, 1550-1600

The Counter-Reformation, 1550-1600

The Counter-Reformation, 1550-1600

Excerpt

THE REVIVAL OF RELIGION IN ITALY AND SPAIN, 1520-80

§ 1. The Reformation, by the middle of the sixteenth century, had taken firm root in all countries north of the Alps, except France and the Netherlands. In the Empire, religious differences had reached a temporary equilibrium by the Peace of Augsburg,1 1555, on the principle of Cuius regio, eius religio. This privilege, in Germany, was accorded only to sovereign princes; but in Poland the same year saw it conceded by the Diet2 to the nobility, who thenceforth enjoyed upon their estates freedom from ecclesiastical jurisdiction and full religious liberty, subject to conformity with the Scriptures and to subsequent confirmation by a national synod. In Scotland, the old order was destroyed and the new Confession and Discipline set up3 in 1560. The English Reformation attained its goal in the Elizabethan Settlement,4 1563; and next year, the death of Calvin 5 brought to an end in Switzerland the period during which the separation between Catholic and Reformed had been drawn, on lines that were destined to be permanent. The Scandinavian lands had arrived at their settlements a generation earlier: Sweden61527-9 and Denmark and Norway7 1537. Only in the Netherlands and France was the issue still uncertain. But in each of these countries strong forces were making for Protestantism; though the contest issued in their victory only in Holland and in no more than their toleration in . . .

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