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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Advanced Placement Modern European History

- Advanced Placement European History -
Class Activities / Simulations

The Trial of Martin Luther

Martin Luther
LUCAS CRANACH THE YOUNGER: Martin Luther (far left), Philipp Melanchthon (near left), and other German reformers gather around John Frederick I, elector of Saxony.

Due to a quirk in time, you have been transported back to the year 1520 and the city of Worms. Here, you find yourself involved in the trial of the German Monk, Martin Luther, who has given himself up to the authority of the Catholic Church to address the charges that he is, in two words, a heretical revolutionary. The specific charges are as follows:

Count 1. Development and preaching of heretical doctrines
Count 2. Inciting members of the Catholic Church to rebel against the authority and established doctrines of the universal Church
Count 3. Willful denial of the authority of the Pope and Catholic Church

Roles in the Simulation:
Characters will be assigned by lottery. All character assignments are final after the drawing.

Character Roles in the Trial Simulation:

The Prosecution
Prosecuting Attorney
Prosecuting Attorney
Prosecuting Attorney
Prosecuting Attorney
Sir Thomas More
Witness: Leo X
Witness: Charles V
John Tetzel
Ignatius Loyola
German Commoner

The Defense
Defense Attorney
Defense Attorney
Defense Attorney
Defense Attorney
Martin Luther
Henry VIII
John Calvin
Anne Boleyn
Witness: Jon Huss
German Commoner


John Calvin
John Calvin
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Henry VIII
Henry VIII

Martin Luther
1. Is the defendant in the trial.
2. Will testify in his defense before the tribunal.
3. Must be able to answer questions consistently with Luther's theological views and be familiar with specific aspects of his life.

Prosecution Team
1. The prosecution shall consist of four attorneys.
2. The prosecution will prepare its case to prove that Martin Luther is guilty under each of the three counts of the indictment listed above.
3. Each attorney for the prosecution will prepare a four minute speech (2) introducing and (2) summarizing the prosecutions case against Luther.
4. The prosecution will be allowed to ask four primary questions and four follow up questions as part of its examination of Luther and three primary and follow-up questions of each of the other witnesses (time not to exceed five minutes).

Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X

Defense Team
1. The defense team shall consist of four attorneys.
2. The defense team will prepare its case to prove that Martin Luther. is not guilty of any of the charges as outlined by the general indictment above
3. Each attorney for the defense will prepare a four minute speech (2) introducing and (2) summarizing the defense team's case for Luther's acquittal on all three counts
4. The defense will be allowed to ask four primary questions and four. follow up questions as part of its examination of Luther and three primary and follow-up questions of each of the other witnesses (time not to exceed five minutes).

1. In addition to Luther's testimony, there will be other witnesses available for questioning; they will be witnesses for the prosecution and for the defense.
2. The prosecution witnesses will be Pope Leo X, Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire, Sir Thomas More, Anabaptist, John Tetzel, Ignatius Loyola, and a German commoner.
3. The defense witnesses will be Martin Luther, Jon Huss, Henry VIII, John Calvin, Erasmus, Anne Boleyn, and a German Commoner.
4. Each witness must be familiar with the issues that would have concerned their character and be familiar with the general ideas and issues of the Protestant Reformation. Each witness will be questioned by members of both the prosecution and the defense.

Martin Luther prepares to burn papal bull
Martin Luther prepares to burn the papal bull.

1. There are seven judges on the Church tribunal. All are members of the College of Cardinals. While they are devout Catholics, they are also aware that there have been many concerns about various doctrines and practices within the Church in the past several years. They will have to judge Luther's case on the basis of the issues presented and decide whether or not he should be excommunicated. One of the three will also act as the chief justice of the court and direct the trial.

2. The Judges will:
a. preside over the trial
b. evaluate and rule on admissibility of evidence and arguments
c. maintain order and decorum in the court
d. reach verdict and impose sentence

each judge shall read one of the verdicts for a specific charge
the chief justice shall deliver the sentence that the tribunal agrees upon
If the verdict is not unanimous a majority and dissenting opinion will also be presented

3. The the only sentence possible in the event of a guilty verdict will be Luther's excommunication and the transfer of his case to civil authorities for a civil trial and a sentence to be administered thereafter (most likely to be burned at the stake)

Charles V, Confession of Augsburg
1530 - Charles V, far left, discusses a point of dispute in the Confession of Augsburg.
(The last Protestant attempt to reconcile with the Church of Rome)

News Staff
1. Will observe and report on pretrial, trial, and post trial events.
2. May interview various members of the defense and prosecution teams and speculate as to strategy and tactics and oppinon, ie. Editorials, cartoons etc.
3. May choose either print or broadcast media.

Trial Procedure
1. Chief Justice reads the charges against Martin Luther
2. Opening statement for the Prosecution (8 minutes)
3. Opening statement for the defense (8 minutes)
4. Testimony of witnesses (prosecution and defense teams have five minutes for examination of each witness)
5. Closing statement for the prosecution (8 minutes)
6. Closing statement for the defense (8 minutes)
7. Judges deliberate and reach/read verdict and sentence

Assignment / Grade
1. This simulation assignment will be due for presentation on (date to be announced).
2. Because this assignment requires application of research and writing skills as well as role-playing, the grade will be determined by the following:

Case briefs submitted for each attorney's primary speech and general case

The written decision of the judges and their sentence and its justification

A written deposition by each witness outlining their position on the Protestant Reformation and how well each participant plays the part he/she has been assigned - Written articles, editorials, cartoons etc.

No written aspect of this assignment is to be less than one nor longer than two typed pages in length - Effective character performance may also include the use of documents as evidence, costumes, language usage, etc.

4. This assignment has a total value of 100 points.

More information about the Protestant Reformation at this site:
| The Protestant Reformation | Martin Luther, Lutheranism |
| John Calvin, Calvinism | Anglicanism and King Henry VIII |
| Relevant Quotes from the Reformation and Renaissance |

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- AP Modern European History in Depth -

Lecture Notes and Further Reading
| Methods and Rules for a Prince: How Should a Prince Rule? |
| Borg vs Hick: Theories on Jesus and Christianity |
| Kant's Epistemological Model and Religious Pluralism |

Liberating Dachau
| World War II - Dachau Concentration Camp Complex |
| Unanswered Questions: The Railroad Boxcars |
| I Company Recollections and Quotes |
| Liberating Dachau: The 42nd Division at the Jourhaus |
Dachau, Germany
| Dachau: WWII Concentration Camp Memorial | 2 | 3 |

Related Information
| Poems and Prose From the 8th - 15th Centuries | 1 | 2 |
| Marseillaise, the National Anthem of France:
A Modern-day Controversy
| Sacré Phew! |
| French Culture: Historical Champagne and Wine Trivia |

Famous Modern European History Quotes
| Index of Quotes by Speaker / Historical Period |
| Famous Quotes from the Dark and Middle Ages |
| Quotes from England: 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries |
| Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution Quotes | Voltaire |
| Quotes from the French Revolution and Napoleon Era |
| Modern European History Quotes from the 1800s |
| Quotes from Europe and Asia - 1900s | Winston Churchill |
| American Quotes from the Early 1900s and World War I |
| US 20th-Century and World War II Quotes |

AP Class Activities
| Play the Role of Philip II |
| Visual Interpretations - French Revolution Art |
| "Ism" Maps of Europe and Asia |
| Industrial Revolution: England's Advantage |
| Marx and Tocqueville | America's Entry Into World War I |
Trials - Simulations
| Trial of Martin Luther | Trial of Adolf Hitler |

Helpful Information for Students
| AP Essay Writing Skills |
| Student-Developed Class Presentation Topics |

Debate Information
| Guide: Individual Debate Position | Debate Self Evaluation |
| Existence of God | Catherine the Great or Frederick the Great |
| Locke - Hobbes | Voltaire or Rousseau |

Additonal Course Info / AP Class Policy
| AP European History Syllabus: Quarter 1 | Quarter 2 | Quarter 3 |
| Writing Assignments, Exams, Critical Book Reviews, More |
| AP Booklist and Fees |



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Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Advanced Placement Modern European History | Rise of Nation State England | World History |
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