Chapter 18, Section 4
The Political Impact of the Reformation
Standard: 7.11.6
  • Discuss how the principles and the Magna Carta were embodied in such documents as the English Bill of Rights and the American Declaration of Independence.
Standard: 7.9.3
  • Explain Protestants' new practices of church self-government and the influence of those practices on the development of democratic practices and ideas of federalism.
The Political Impact of the Reformation


absolute monarchy: In an absolute monarchy, a ruler had complete power over the government and its subjects.

divine right of kings : a theory which states that a king's right to rule comes directly from God

Louis XIV: Louis XIV exerted his power in almost every area of French life

constitutional monarchy: a form of government in which the king's or queen's power is limited by a constitution

federalism: a form of government in which power is shared between local and national levels

  1. Royal Rulers Increase Their Power

      Changes in Warfare

    • in the Middle Ages, small armies were supplied by Lords
    • Strong kings created large armies with tax money

      Growing Power of Secular Rulers

    • rulers gained control over the religious affairs in their kingdoms
    • rulers ignored the pope

  2. New Ways of Governing

      Absolute Monarchy in France

    • absolute monarchs made laws and declared new taxes
    • France's monarchs believed they ruled by divine right of kings
    • Louis XIV exerted his power in almost every area of French life

      Constitutional Monarchy in England

    • England had a long history of limiting royal power
    • the Parliament protected rights created in the Magna Carta
    • the Parliament executed the king and for 11 years England was the Republic
    • When a new Catholic King was going to take the throne, Parliament invited Protestant leaders to take over as long as they accepted the English Bill of Rights.

      Experiments in Self-Government

    • In Geneva, Calvinist church members elected their own leaders.
    • more common people participated in in politics
    • John Althusius was the first to write about federalism
    • federalist ideas influenced those who wrote the Constitution of the United States.

Summary: Following the religious wars, the power of secular rulers grew while the power of the Catholic Church diminished. Some European nations established absolute monarchs. Others limited the king's power.

Study Guide Questions

  • CP 522. How did the religious wars alter Europe's power structure?

  • CP 525. What new forms of government grew out of the practices of Protestant churches?

  • CYP 525, 1a. How to Europe's religious wars strengthen the power of secular rulers?

  • CYP 525, 1b. How did the Thirty Years' War affect the power of the pope?

  • CYP 525, 2a. Compare the governments that arose in France and in England?

  • CYP 525, 2b. How did Calvinist ideas on church organization and religious practices encourage self-government?

    Practice Test

  • Homework: Read chapter 18, section 4, and choose one assignment;
    1. Workbook Chapter 18, section 4 (Page 233)
    2. Answer three of the study guide questions using complete sentences.
    3. Draw a picture of something important from this section and summarize this section of the text (three sentences minimum).