After Emperor Charles V became emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles became Luther's monarch. Although the Reformation in Germany started as a religious protest, it was also political from the beginning, and it was the emperor that determined its fate. Charles was a devotee of Rome. He imposed the ban on Luther in 1521. However, realising that he needed Protestant support to restore religious unity he allowed the Protestant movement to survive and flourish. ‘The political reformation’ shows that although Luther played a substantial role in the drama of his time, after 1529 he was swept along with the current of events rather than being a key player in giving them their direction.