Finding the Ideal Religious System in England

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In the early seventeenth century, religion played an important role in England. Religion fueled many disputes, such as The English Civil War and the invasion of Scotland and Ireland. Law and customs were usually based on religion. Even the government was divided because of religious opinions. As the supreme religious authority monarchs were often in very difficult positions. They had to balance all the religious needs of their subjects, honor the established church, and take into account their own religious opinions. The resolves reached by monarchs were often flawed and always left some unhappy. Therefore monarchs were left searching for a perfect system that would please everyone, and unite their country. Scottish monks introduced England to Catholic Christianity in the third century. England became an officially Catholic state as of the sixth century. It remained Catholic until 1536 when England split from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry VIII was king at the time; he founded the Anglican Church, and made it the official Church of England. Henry chose to split from the Church, because it refused to give him a divorce from his wife. Some people were happy with this decision. They resented the high Catholic taxes they had to pay, and many English were beginning to conform to Protestantism. However many people chose to stay catholic, and resented the Anglican Church. Other Protestant groups like the Puritans, believed that the Church of England should remove all of it’s catholic components, like bishops, rituals, and decoration. Another Scottish Protestant group known as the Presbyterians, believed that every individual church should function independently. All these groups had very different opinions, and th... ... middle of paper ... ...nt crowned Mary and William of Orange. They were both very popular, because they were Anglican and agreed to the terms of parliament. Both the King and the Queen believed in free religion, and in 1689 parliament passed the toleration act which allowed all Protestants and Catholics to practice their religion freely. Mary and William managed to do what other kings and queens had tried to do for centuries. They had united the people; made them feel welcome, like they were English. Not just Catholic or Protestant. Now the people of England no longer had the drive to fight over petty differences. They still continued to be passionate in their beliefs, but they began to focus on more important matters like the making peace with one another, and developing their knowledge of the world. Out of insanity Mary and William led the English into a peaceful golden age.

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