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Ulrich Zwingli was a leader of the Swiss Reformation. While Germany struggled under the political and religious consequences of Luther's reform movement, the movement itself quickly spilled out of the German borders into neighboring Switzerland. At the time, Switzerland was not so much a single country as a confederacy of thirteen city-states called cantons. When Luther's ideas began to pour over the border, several of the cantons broke from the Catholic church and became Protestant while other cantons remained firmly Catholic. Of the cantons that adopted Luther's new movement, the most important and powerful was the city-state of Zurich under the leadership of Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531).

Zwingli brought to Luther's revolution an education steeped in northern Humanism, particularly that of Erasmus. He was monumentally popular in Zurich for his opposition to Swiss mercenary service in foreign wars and his attacks on indulgences; he was, in fact, as significant a player in the critique of indulgences as Luther himself.

Zwingli rose through the ranks of the Catholic church until he was appointed "People's Priest" in 1519, the most powerful ecclesiastical position in the city. However, by 1519 he had bought fully into Luther's reform program and began to steadily shift the city over to the practices of the new Protest church. In 1523, the city officially adopted Zwingli's central ecclesiastical reforms and became the first Protestant state outside of Germany. From there the Protestant revolution would sweep across the map of Switzerland.

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Ulrich Zwingli was a leader of the Swiss Reformation. While Germany struggled under the political and religious consequences of Luther's reform movement, the movement itself quickly spilled out of the German borders into neighboring Switzerland. At the time, Switzerland was not so much a single country as a confederacy of thirteen city-states called cantons. When Luther's ideas began to pour over the border, several of the cantons broke from the Catholic church and became Protestant while other cantons remained firmly Catholic. Of the cantons that adopted Luther's new movement, the most important and powerful was the city-state of Zurich under the leadership of Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531).

Zwingli brought to Luther's revolution an education steeped in northern Humanism, particularly that of Erasmus. He was monumentally popular in Zurich for his opposition to Swiss mercenary service in foreign wars and his attacks on indulgences; he was, in fact, as significant a player in the critique of indulgences as Luther himself.

Zwingli rose through the ranks of the Catholic church until he was appointed "People's Priest" in 1519, the most powerful ecclesiastical position in the city. However, by 1519 he had bought fully into Luther's reform program and began to steadily shift the city over to the practices of the new Protest church. In 1523, the city officially adopted Zwingli's central ecclesiastical reforms and became the first Protestant state outside of Germany. From there the Protestant revolution would sweep across the map of Switzerland. More...

 
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