1. Many histories present Martin Luther’s critique of the Catholic Church as a radical catalyst for the fundamental reordering of the political and

1.Many histories present Martin Luther’s critique of the Catholic Church as a radical catalyst for the fundamental reordering of the political and religious environment of Europe and, by extension, the Western world. Yet, in the decades after Luther’s death in 1546, Catholicism endured and even strengthened, while Luther’s followers called for moderation as often as they called for reform. How radical and “reformative,” then, was the Protestant Reformation in the roughly century-long period surrounding Luther’s 1517 critique? Was, for example, Luther’s initial action radical in and of itself, or did the Reformation only become radical once others embraced and/or modified Luther’s ideas? Or, perhaps, did the Reformation have limited goals of theological rather than political liberation from the outset? Please advance a clear thesis supported by examples from lectures and the text.2.During the course of the 17th and 18th centuries British leaders sharply reduced the power of the monarchy and developed perhaps the most economically prosperous and politically progressive society in Europe. Similarly, parliament governed its equally prosperous North American colonies with a minimum of control and interference. Meanwhile, the Bourbon monarchies of France, and Spain after 1713, developed a model of political and religious absolutism at home and drastically expanded mechanisms for controlling their American colonies. Given its relative commitment to liberal politics, individual liberty, and local autonomy, why did Britain face a colonial rebellion in the 18th century, rather than the absolutist governments of France or Spain? What lessons, in other words, had British leaders learned during the upheavals of the 17th century, and how were these legacies interpreted by leaders on both sides of the Atlantic in the 18th century? A successful essay will demonstrate a basic awareness of French and Spanish politics on both sides of the Atlantic, but will focus primarily on the British Atlantic empire. Please advance a clear thesis supported by examples from lectures and the text.3.In general, the natural philosophers and Enlightenment thinkers of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries complemented rather than challenged the religious and political status quo with regard to the operations of the universe and the relationship between the government and the governed. To what extent do you agree with this statement? A successful essay may discuss the scientific revolution and Enlightenment together, in relatively shallow depth, or may choose to separate the intellectual movements and discuss one or the other in greater detail. Whatever the case, be clear on the goals and ideas of your innovators, and discuss “why” or “how” it was that these movements reinforced or undercut existing wisdom on mankind and nature. Please advance a clear thesis supported by examples from lectures and the text.