5. According to the early church fathers, Mary was always considered to be a virgin, even after Christ's birth. This is very important to Roman Catholics who seemed to have slowly elevated her through the succeeding centuries to become the Queen of Heaven.

My question is, did the Protestant view of Mary come out of the Reformation as one of the breaks from Romanism or is it a reclaiming of an earlier view?

The Council of Chalcedon, in 451 made the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity binding upon Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic believers, and many Anglican, some Lutheran and a few other Protestant theologians have accepted it. Certainly the concept of Mary's perpetual virginity is very early, and the church fathers argued for it on the basis of such OT passages as Ezek. 44:2 and Song of Solomon 4:12. I would argue that those OT passages have nothing to do with Mary and are used out of context. They would seem usable only if one has already decided to accept the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity.

Much of Protestantism's rejection of Mary's perpetual virginity is ultimately the result of one of the three pillars of the Reformation, specifically the first one:

a. Only Scripture
b. Priesthood of all believers
c. Salvation by grace through faith

That is, much of Protestantism's rejection of Mary's perpetual virginity is the consequence of scriptural interpretation. Since the Bible (Matthew 13:55-56, Mark 6:3, and Galatians 1:19) speaks of Jesus' brothers and sisters (Catholic interpretors will insist these are cousins, kinsmen, or from a supposed earlier marriage of Joseph), and since we're also informed that Joseph did not have sex with Mary "until after" she had given birth, (Matthew 1:25; see also Matthew 1:18, and Luke 2:7) that would also seem to suggest that her virginity was less than permanent.

Much of Protestantism rejected the authority of tradition, the church fathers, the church councils, and the Pope; thus, if a doctrine was not in the Bible, or seemed specifically contradicted by the Bible, much of Protestantism would reject it.