USING DOCUMENTS IN A DBQ
Many of you are having trouble "using" documents and avoiding the dreaded "Laundry List". the following is meant to assist you in realizing a better way of handling documents when you write your DBQ.
DBQ: Causes of the Reformation
On the basis of the following four documents, explain the causes of the Protestant Reformation. Be sure to use all the documents.
Julius II. Exclusus. A Dialogue
PERSONS:-POPE JULIUS II.; FAMILIAR SPIRIT: ST. PETER.
SCENE:-GATE OF HEAVEN.
JULIUS: What the devil is this? The gates not opened! Something is wrong with the lock.
SPIRIT: You have brought the wrong key perhaps. The key of your money-box will not open the door here. You should have brought both keys. This is the key of power, not of knowledge.
JULIUS: I never had any but this, and I don't see the use of another. Hey there, porter! I say, are you asleep or drunk?
PETER: Well that the gates are adamant, or this fellow would have broken in. He must be some giant, or conqueror. Heaven, what a stench! Who are you? What do you want here?
JULIUS: Open the gates, I say. Why is there no one to receive me?
JULIUS: Will you make an end of your talking and open the gates? We will break them down else. You see these followers of mine.
PETER: I see a lot of precious rogues, but they won't break in here.
JULIUS: Make an end, I say, or I will fling a thunderbolt at you. I will excommunicate you. I have done as much to kings before this. Here are the Bulls ready.
PETER: Thunderbolts! Bulls! I beseech you, we had no thunderbolts or Bulls from Christ.
JULIUS: You shall feel them if you don't behave yourself....
From In Praise of Folly, Erasmus.
. . . Know that the life of man upon earth is a constant struggle. We have to fight against the flesh, the world and the devil, who are always seeking to destroy the soul. In sin we are conceived,-alas! what bonds of sin encompass us, and how difficult and almost impossible it is to attain to the gate of salvation without divine aid: since He causes us to be saved not by virtue of the good works which we accomplish, but through His divine mercy; it is necessary then to put on the armor of God.
You may obtain letters of safe conduct from the vicar of our Lord Jesus Christ, by means of which you are able to liberate your soul from the hands of the enemy. . .
Do you not know that when it is necessary for anyone to go to Rome, or undertake any other dangerous journey, he takes his money to a broker and gives a certain per cent-flve or six or ten-in order that at Rome or elsewhere he may receive again his funds intact, by means of the letters of this same broker? Are you not willing, then, for the fourth part of a florin, to obtain these letters, by virtue of which you may bring not your money, but your divine and Immortal soul safe and sound into the land of Paradise?
Excerpt from sermon, 1515, by Tetzel.a friar
21. Thus those preachers of indulgences are in error who say that by the indulgences of the Pope a man is freed and saved from all punishment.
24. Hence, the greater part of the people must needs be deceived by this indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of release from penalties.
32. Those who believe that, through letters of pardon, they are made sure of their own salvation will be eternally damned along with their teachers....
43. Christians should be taught that he who gives to a poor man, or lends to a needy man, does better than if he bought pardons....
Selected theses, Martin Luther, October 31, 1517
. . . We see that there is no gold and almost no silver in our German land. What little may perhaps be left is drawn away daily by the new schemes invented by the council of the most holy members of the Roman curia. What is thus squeezed out of us is put to the most shameful uses. Would you know, dear Germans, what employment I have myself seen that they make at Rome of our money? It does not lie idle. Leo the Tenth gives a part to nephews and relatives (these are so numerous that there Is a proverb at Rome, ''As thick as Leo's relations''). A portion is consumed by so many most reverend cardinals (of which the holy father created no less than one and thirty in a single day), as well as to support innumerable referendaries, auditors, prothonotaries, abbreviators, apostolic secretaries, chamberlains and a variety of officials forming the elite of the great head church.
Now, if all these who devastate Germany, and continue to devour everything, might once be driven out, and an end made of their unbridled plundering, swindling and deception with which the Romans have overwhelmed us, we should again have gold and silver in suffiilent quantities, and should be able to keep It.
Ulrich von Hutten, German nobleman
STUDENT ESSAY RESPONSE
CAUSES OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION
The two essay samples below are provided to contrast (1) introductory paragraphs and (2) topic sentences that integrate and clarify the relationships among the four previous documents on the Reformation.
WHAT CAUSED THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION WAS ERASMUS, TETZEL, LUTHER, AND ULRICH VON HUTTEN. EACH OF THEM PLAYED A PART IN THE REFORMATION.
FIRST, ERASMUS CAUSED IT BY CRITICIZING POPE JULIUS AND THE WAY HE SPENT THE CHURCH'S MONEY. He portrayed Julius as an arrogant man who thought he could get into heaven with a money key.
NEXT, TETZEL CAUSED IT BY SELLING INDULGENCES AND USING PROPAGANDA TO CONVINCE THE CREDULOUS. He said that an indulgence would ensure entrance into paradise.
THIRD, LUTHER CAUSED IT BY POSTING HIS THESES ON A CHURCH DOOR WHERE EVERYONE COULD READ HIS CRITICISM OF INDULGENCES. He said that believers in the power of bought pardons would be damned.
LAST, VON HUTTEN CAUSED IT BY CONVINCING OTHER CITIZENS THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SEND MONEY TO ROME BUT SHOULD KEEP IT FOR THEMSELVES. He said that the money going to Rome is used to support Pope Leo's nephews and relatives.
THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY WITNESSED RELIGIOUS TURMOIL THAT SHATTERED THE CATHOLIC UNITY OF THE WESTERN WORLD. MANY FACTORS CONTRIBUTED TO THE BREAK IN MEDIEVAL CHRISTENDOM. PROMINENT AMONG THEM WERE RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL, AND ECONOMIC CAUSES.
ERASMUS, A CHRISTIAN HUMANIST, ATTACKED CHURCH ABUSES WITH IRONIC WIT. In a play attributed to him, he satirized Pope Julius's unholy concern with money and power. Pope Julius is portrayed as aggressive and insolent, believing that money rather than spiritual knowledge earns access to heaven.
CRITICISM OF PAPAL AUTHORITY WAS CARRIED FURTHER AND MORE OPENLY IN THE WRITINGS OF MARTIN LUTHER. In ninety-five theses that he posted on a church door, he attacked the sale of indulgences, or pardons for sins. Luther claimed that their purchase in no way ensured salvation.
THE STATEMENTS UNDERMINED THE CLAIMS OF TETZEL, A DOMINICAN FRIAR WHO MADE PROMISES INCONSISTENT WITH LUTHER'S RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. Tetzel preached that his indulgences carried the weight of insurance policies-inexpensive in price yet with an eternal and heavenly payoff.
BUT THE ECONOMICS OF THE BARGAIN WAS SERIOUSLY CHALLENGED BY ULRICH VON HUTTEN, A GERMAN NOBLEMAN, WHO RESENTED THE FLOW OF GOLD AND SILVER TO ROME. It is likely that van Hutten was representative of the vast number of Germans who enviously eyed the wealth of the papacy and the political power of the pope's ally, Charles V in Germany. Support for Luther would bring political independence and economic benefits.
Essay A commits the sin of "laundry listing." The content of each document is summarized in sequential and unintegrated fashion. There is no attempt to link the documents or to categorize them in any way.
Essay B. on the other hand, tries to organize the contents of each document within religious, economic, and political categories. The writer WEAVES rather than LISTS, the information in the documents to explain various causes contributing to the Protestant Reformation. The writer considers individuals as representative of broader social forces in the analysis of each document and points out the connecting relationships among the writers.