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Alternate History: If The Protestant Reformation Never OccuredTurkeyasylum Throughout history, religion has played a key role, anywhere from the Crusades, to World War 2. Religion is also the cause of new empires, and even rebuilding of government. The Protestant Reformation is one of the best examples of how religion shapes the world.
The Protestant Reformation was started by Martin Luther. Luther used to be a lawyer, but eventually became a priest. He, while making new copies of the Bible in Latin, realized the Catholic Church was bending the rules of Christianity. Since then, they have fixed their reputation (that is another story). One common tale of the Reformation is the ninety-five theses. The story goes, where Martin Luther put 95 slips of "paper" (not the type today) on a church door, all with complaints about the Catholic Church. The story goes on, yadda, yadda yadda, and he eventually converts the Bible to German. This lets people read the Bible for themselves, and it also resulted in people branching new forms of Christianity across western Europe. But, what if it never happened?
One key part of the Protestant Reformation was the new sects of Christianity had abandoned their former leader, the pope. The pope owned a network called the Holy Roman Empire in western Europe. He also gave land to kings, and set up a feudal society. The whole point of feudalism was to exchange goods for political guidance. Without the Reformation, which sparked the ideas of the Renaissance, and the Enlightment, feudalism would still be the primary government in western Europe. Monarchies like the UK or France would never exist, as well as a few other key events.
Imagine an alternate world, where the New World (The Americas), and the Old World (Europe, Asia, and Africa) had never seen each other face to face. The Aztec, Mayans, and Incas would be isolated from China, European countries, and Africa, as well as Arabia. This may have led to a few scenarios, the first is where the New World accidentally discovers the Old World, and pushes back Africa and even Europe after they developed more. Another possibility would be where a central Asian empire, such as the Delhi Sultanate or India would discover the New World somehow, maybe looking for another civilization. Or, the African kingdoms may have developed more and discovered the New World. There would be endless possibilities for who, and if, links the two worlds together.
Not only would Europe still be the feudalist society of the Middle Ages, but they would also miss out on the development of the world, as they aren't linked well with Asia or Africa. Of course, inventions we have known to change the world (printing press) may have been invented elsewhere, or not even at all. But, is it possible other events would lead to the end of feudalism?
The Crusades was a factor that helped connect Europe to Asia. But, there may have been other events, too, that would instead bring the rebirth of a strong threshold in Europe. Maybe, another war, with Europe against Asia. Or, eastern Europe becomes imperialist and attempts to take over west Europe, and fails. Or, they could succeed, and bring back systems of slavery. Or, they could again succeed, but west Europe gets influenced by East Europe, and the Eastern Orthodox church becomes widespread throughout the world. Or, the entire area may convert to Islam, possibly creating a Muslim world.
We can also guarentee science would be less advanced if the Protestant Reformation never happened, because science had to agree with the churche's teachings in that time frame. Science would be simpler, and we may still be developing the periodic table today!
But, what about the political ideologies from the Enlighment period? Would they be invented, and would we see democracy again, republics, or new ideologies like communism, socialism, or fascism? Would there be amy world wars, now that the entire history of Europe would be altered? Would the united states be mostly African or Asian, unlike the maimly European demograpic we have today?
Just goes to show how much religion affects us all.