How Successful Were the Cities in the Spread of Lutheranism

The cities also had higher literacy numbers than in the countryside, therefore articles by Martin Luther could be understood by more numbers of people .   This made the printing press quite effective thus making it a important factor, which contributed to the success to the spread of Lutheranism. Elizabeth Eisenstein, a historian states that   that printing did not just spread Protestant ideas but helped to shape the Reformation in the first place, she stated that, ‘no printing press, no reformation’, which shows how significantly important the printing press was in the contribution to the spread of Lutheranism. It was also easy to reach the peasants through the use of woodcuts. Scribner likened these as homemade gin, ‘cheap, crude and effective’. However it did not ensure total control over the Reformation, as others could use the printing press to go against his ideas.
Individual people such as Philip Melanchthon and not to mention Martin Luther himself were also important in the success of Lutheranism. Martin Luther initiated the challenge to the existing Catholic Church through his condemnation of its practices and doctrine. He displayed great courage in maintaining his position and was able to deal with accusations and threats made by Cardinal Cajetan, John Eck, the papacy and the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. Also his great display of energy and creativity resulted in a mass of literature and it would be fair to say that by 1521, Luther had laid down his theological agenda on paper and woodcuts for the illiterate.
Philip Melanchthon was also an important figure who contributed towards the success of Lutheranism. When Luther was in captivity in Wartburg Castle between 1521 till 1522, Melanchthon wrote the first systematic and pure work of the new faith in 1521 entitled, ‘Loci Communes’. He was the most important in laying out an organized explanation of the new faith, but also in trying to restrict the radical tendencies of others, such as of Andreas...