Effects of the Reformation By the end of the wars that followed the Reformation, medieval Europe was largely a thing of the past. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 set boundaries between Catholic and Protestant lands. This religious division survived into modern times and spread to wherever Europeans controlled territory around the world. In the period following the Reformation, Europe experienced a rise in nationalism and a strengthening of the monarchies. Yet, Protestantism also led to the beginnings of modern democracy.