While Martin Luther started the Reformation, John Calvin had as great an impact on European History a generation later when he published his Institutes of the Christian Religion. John Calvin was the first reformer to construct a systematic theology around Reformation principles. Calvin's theology is built around the concept of the sovereignty of God and completely negates any role for free will or human agency in the process of salvation. According to Calvinist doctrine, God predestined an Elect to be saved before the beginning of time.
When Calvinists took over a church, they whitewashed the interior and got rid of all paintings and statues. They also dressed in simple clothing, rejecting fashionable ornamentation. Although Calvin lived and taught in Switzerland, Calvinist communities sprang up throughout Europe, where they were known as Huguenots (France), Presbyterians (Scotland), Puritans and Separatists (England).