Demystifying Martin Luther Project

With “one simple scrap of paper,” Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk from a small town in northern Germany, sparked in 1517 what would become a worldwide debate over religion. In some cases this debate would lead to war, changing the religious and political map of Europe and the world. Some call it the “Second 100 Years War,” concluding only with the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, which ended the 30 Years War.

“I would never have thought that such a storm would rise from Rome over one simple scrap of paper…” -Martin Luther

“In short, I will preach it, teach it, write it, but I will constrain no man by force, for faith must come freely without compulsion. Take myself as an example. I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing.”    -Martin Luther

Martin Luther denied ever wanting any of this to happen, and yet evidence exists that points to the possibility that in fact, he was a knowing and willing, true revolutionary. Which is true?

In this full-class group assignment, you will do two things. Both are written responses that will be posted on our class webpage on the Severn Historical Society website. Our judge panel will assess the four classes responses based on

-writing quality and organization
-evidence use, depth, amount, and analysis
-overall presentation, style, finish and webpage detail

You are free to use any sources you consider valid, and ALL YOUR SOURCES must be credited at the end of your response. Feel free to be creative, we can add video embeds, maps, images, whatever.

  1. THE FINAL WORD ON LUTHER: Put together ONE written response to the question: Assess, with as much evidence as you can, whether or not Martin Luther knowingly and willingly became a revolutionary force.
  2. MAKING YOUR CASE FOR ANOTHER LUTHER: As a class, choose ONE person in world history that you can compare to Martin Luther. First, identify who you think Martin Luther was, what he believed and did, and what his actions caused. Find another person/example and draw as many relevant parallels as you can. This is a written response and your ability to make relevant historical parallels and analysis will be critical.



  • Dr. Sokolsky
  • Ms. Sotiropoulos
  • Ms. Tompkins
  • Mr. Buckley
  • Mr. McCarthy
  • Alex Brenia
  • Lila Gibson