History Assignment : Fountain Essays

For this Written Assignment, you will need to choose one of the following questions to answer in your paper.  Your response needs to be based on the documents that I have provided in the classroom.  Failure to rely heavily on these documents will result in a significant deduction in your grade, as the purpose of this assignment is to gain the firsthand perspective from people who experienced these events personally.

1.  Martin Luther sparked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation when he posted his “Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” (more commonly known as “the “95 Theses”) on the door of the cathedral in Wittenberg, Germany on 31 October 1517.  In 1524-25, many peasants throughout the German states revolted against their noble landlords, often ransacking their homes, pillaging, and murdering.  It was their claim that people such as Martin Luther would support their violent actions.  Based on his “95 Theses,” did the peasants have reason to expect his support?  Why or why not?

2.  Witchcraft trials have taken place throughout medieval history, in almost every continent, but particularly in Europe and North America.  Pope Innocent VIII supported and encouraged seeking out witches and putting them on trial for their alleged heretical beliefs and behaviors.  Many others wrote speeches and guides explaining how to catch, prosecute and punish witches (the most famous example being the Malleus Maleficarum).  Based on the ideas presented by Innocent VIII, Johannes Nider and in the excerpt from the Malleus Maleficarum, was it possible for anyone accused of being a witch to receive a “fair” trial?  Why or why not?  (Be sure to base your opinions firmly on the information provided in the required documents.  You need to address each of the documents in your paper.)

Your paper must be at least three full pages long (excluding your title page, notes and bibliography).

When citing the primary sources, please use the following citations.  You can copy/paste the citations, but you will need to change the date you accessed the information.  Historians in both academic and professional settings use Chicago style citations in their work, which requires footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography.  You are not, however, required to use this format.  If you are more comfortable with MLA or APA citations, I recommend that you use them.  If you need help with any of the citation styles, there are guides within the APUS Online Library.  I also encourage you to ask me any questions you might have.  Whatever format you choose, your citations must be correctly done in order to receive full credit.  Please be sure to include page numbers, if/when appropriate.


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