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In: English and Literature

Submitted By lesliebsn
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Task 2
Leslie Carlson
Themes in U.S. and World History

August 30, 2014

Task 2
Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a Catholic Monk and German patriot who challenged the Catholic Church and brought about significant social and political change. He was a powerful individual that changed the course of history without politics or government affiliation (Wilson, 2007, p. 34). Luther believed that anyone who possessed a bible should be able to read it and guide his own religion. He thought the Church corrupt for selling absolution, thereby releasing sinners from punishment in the afterlife. This took power away from the church. He was so convicted in this thought that he translated the Bible into German and had the New Testament printed in 1522 and the Old Testament in 1534. By challenging the Pope and the Holy Roman Empire, he in fact challenged political authority.
By giving lay people access to the Bible, learning became something they could treasure. In 1524 Luther urged authorities in Germany to establish schools for all children. This social change became evident in 1580 when half the parishes in Electoral Saxony had elementary schools for boys. Ten percent had even made similar provisions for girls (Wilson, 2007, p. 37). “Indeed, no one more than Martin Luther resembles the flawed hero of which the sacred text affords so many examples”(Wilson, 2007, p. 39). Martin Luther was a significant mechanism in social and political changes in the 16th Century and beyond.
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) was an American teacher, activist and lecturer. She brought about social and political change through hard work advocating policy changes and changing the mindset of the people. The two most significant changes were Education Reform and Women’s Rights. As an educational reformer she advocated for universities to open their doors to women, regardless of race. She also campaigned for children of those who had been enslaved to attend public schools ("Biography," n.d.). by 1900 the University of Rochester admitted women for the first time, thanks to the hard work and sizeable donation from Anthony.
Perhaps the most significant political change was the addition of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. Although Anthony did not live to see it, it was through her work as a Suffragist that helped bring it about. The 19th Amendment is referred to as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. Anthony, along with her three sisters and other women, were arrested in 1872 in Rochester for voting. Anthony appeared before every congress from 1869 to 1906 to ask for passage of a Suffrage Amendment ("Biography," n.d.). Susan B. Anthony was a significant mechanism in social and political change in the U.S. and for women world wide.

Biography of Susan B. Anthony. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Wilson, D. (2007). The Luther Legacy [Entire issue]. History Today, 57(5). Retrieved from

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