Learning Exercise

The Trial of Martin Luther

Martin Luther, a priest, defied the Pope and demanded clerical reforms to save Catholicism. This site deals with his trial before the Holy Roman Emperor.
Course: Western Civilization

This is a site for law students. It includes notes about important constitutional issues, links to Supreme Court... see more


Instructions: CLICK "go to material." SCROLL to the bottom of the page. CLICK "Famous Trials." CLICK "Martin Luther Trial." CLICK and READ the link on Luther's background. CLICK and READ the link on "Trial Background." CLICK and READ "Luther at Imperial Diet of Worms, 1521." CLICK and READ "The Words of Martin Luther at his Trial." CLICK and READ "Luther before the Diet." Write a 5-6 page paper answering the following questions: 1. What was Luther's background?, 2. What positions did Luther serve as a member of the Catholic clergy?, 3. Why was Luther dissatisfied with the Roman Catholic Church?, 4. What caused Luther to rebel against the Churhc?, 5. Why was Luther called before the Diet of Worms?, 6. What were the accussations against Luther?, 7. What were Luther's defenses?, 8. What was the Diet's decision?, 9. How did Luther respond?, 10. How did Luther's decision to break with Rome affect European History?, 11. Did Luther get a fair trial?

Technical Notes





Germany; Holy Roman Empire; Religion, Martin Luther, the Reformation, the Papacy.

Learning Objectives

To acquaint students with the leader of the Protestant Reformation. To acquaint students with the trial procedures ued by the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire to try a potential heretic.