Catholic–Protestant schism  

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This page Catholic–Protestant schism is a part of the protestantism series.  Illustration: The image breakers, c.1566 –1568 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder
This page Catholic–Protestant schism is a part of the protestantism series.
Illustration: The image breakers, c.15661568 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder

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The Catholic–Protestant schism resulted in northern Europe being predominantly Protestant and southern Europe mostly Catholic. The various Protestant faiths are primarily popular in northern Europe (above the Moerdijk), whereas Catholicism remained dominant in southern Europe. Religious hostility was to continue, one example being the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648).

The Low Countries as faultline

During the 16th century , the northern region of the Low Countries, now known as the Netherlands became increasingly Protestant (i.e. Calvinistic), while the south remained primarily Catholic. The schism resulted in the Union of Atrecht. When Philip II, son of Charles, ascended the Spanish throne he tried to abolish all Protestantism. Portions of the Netherlands revolted, beginning the Eighty Years' War between the Netherlands and Spain. For the conquered Southern Netherlands the war ended in 1585 with the Fall of Antwerp. This can be seen as the start of Belgium as one region. That same year, the northern Low Countries (i.e. the Netherlands proper) seized independence in the Act of Abjuration (Plakkaat van Verlatinghe) and started the United Provinces and the Dutch Golden Age. For them, the war lasted until 1648 (the Peace of Westphalia), when Spain recognized the independence of the Netherlands, but held onto the loyal and Catholic region of modern-day Belgium which was all that remained of the Spanish Netherlands.

Difference in mentality

There is said to be a difference in mentality between Northern Europe (Calvinistic) and Southern Europe (Burgundian).

"The Low Countries roughly refer to the current countries of The Netherlands and Belgium. The region forms the dividing line between northern Europe, with its Germanic culture that has fostered Protestantism, and Southern Europe, traditionally characterized by a 'Burgundian lifestyle', rooted in Catholicism. The Low Countries are caught between these two opposing cultures, which can be characterized rather effectively as on the one hand the people of Southern Europe who 'live to eat' and the people of northern Europe who 'eat to live.'" --The History of Erotica (2011) by Jan-Willem Geerinck

See also

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