Early fifteenth century Europe was characterized by a collectivist society; one that relied heavily on community and group identity. The Middle Ages was an era in which people were conscious of their existence solely within a group or affiliation. To describe oneself, a person would state their place within their family, within their religion, within the city they live in, or within any other category. The Reformation somewhat altered this mentality due to the influx of differing views and calls for reform of the Catholic church.
Luther and others rallied against the corrupt practices of the church, and spoke against it. This caused people to question the church they had been loyal to all their lives. It allowed for free thinking and turned blind dedication to conscious awareness. Many devoted themselves to the new Lutheran religion and later, other forms of Protestant branches.