The English Reformation

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Though there was no driving force like Luther, Zwingli or Calvin during the English Reformation, it succeeded because certain people strived for political power and not exactly for religious freedom. People like Queen Elizabeth I and Henry VIII brought the Reformation in England much success, however their reasons were based on self-gain and desire for political power. Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I may have been the English Reformation’s greatest benefactors, all because of self interest. Henry VIII was not originally Protestant, but after the pope denied him of his divorce, Henry VIII took things into his own hands. Due to the power kings had in the Middle Ages, Henry VIII was able to control Parliament and force it to do whatever he wanted. So in 1534, Henry VIII forced Parliament to pass a law he made known as the Act of Supremacy. The Act of Supremacy stated that the king ought to be the head of the Church of England. This law gave the king complete power over the Church of England, instead of the pope. However, the type of church and state relationship did not change. Rather all the Act of Supremacy did was take power from the pope and give it to the king. Surprisingly, the Catholics did not retaliate against this strong change. The pope had always been the head of the church, but now the king had taken his position. This serves as an example of nationalism. The Catholics did not think about how removing the pope could harm their religion in any way. However, instead the people blindly followed Henry VIII because he was the leader of the nation and they assumed he was right. Also, by imposing other laws that punished Protestants, Henry VIII did not give the people much of a choice. Fortunately, for Henry VII, nationalis... ... middle of paper ... ...tism because she had made a stand for it by starting the English Protestant Church, she wished to keep peace in England, and also most likely because she had been greatly influenced by many Protestants in her youth. So once again, even though the English Reformation did not have any great reformers, it still managed to succeed due to the hard work of Thomas Cranmer, and the support of many rulers during the English Reformation. Works Cited "Henry VIII." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. . "Mary I (r.1553-1558)." The Official Website of The British Monarchy. N.p., n.d. Web. . "QUEEN ELIZABETH I & THE CHURCH." Elizabeth I and the Church. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. .

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