A great religious movement does not take place in a vacuum. There are interacting economic, political, social and cultural elements involved. And so it was with the Protestant Reformation.
A new culture was emerging in the West with the Protestant Reformation. The basis of the economy was changing. Instead of being based on a surplus of agricultural production as all cultures of the past, it was being based on the scientific and technological replication of resources and the constant reinvestment of capital.
Thus all of society had to be more productive. Calvin's theology strongly supported the work ethic as did Luthor's. His teaching led the common people to find glory in their everyday work. Historians do not call the great force of this era, the Protestant work ethic for nothing.
Everyone had to participate to make this new society work. An army of printers, factory hands, office clerks and teachers were needed. The level of education and literacy had to be increased. This resulted in increased improvement of the common man. And the common man, more empowered, began demanding a share in the decisions of government.
Protestantism reflected all these values while Catholicism at this time reflected the old power structure of the last 1500 years, a few rich ruling nobility at the top with huge number of subsisting peasants at the bottom with not many in the middle.
With Protestantism reflecting the values of the new culture there would be great changes towards more democracy. Calvin's theology greatly supported constitutional government with people electing the government officials. There would be revolutions, volcanic changes and civil war in this process.
Each of the factors of this new culture, religion included, depended upon the others and fed and pushed the others. Religion was inevitably pushed to participate in this great spiraling escalation of dependence and development.
Today, let us learn from this moment of history. If we do not promote just government that produces just policies that help all citizens to grow and more fully participate in our production then we will be a society that benefits only the few rich and ruling and our society shall soon fall on the garbage heap of history. All benefit the most when all are growing and benefiting and contributing. As Henry Ford said when he tripled the wages of his factory workers, “I want them to be able to buy the product we are building.” And in five years Henry Ford tripled his business.