The Lives and Wives of King Henry VIII

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King Henry VIII is considerable the most controversial monarch Great Britain has ever had. He is commonly known for his ill-advised decisions, six wives, and splitting Great Britain from the Catholic Church to create the Church of England. King Henry VIII of England’s determination to guarantee his family line’s continuation in the throne caused many problems, such as religious tensions, economic hardships, and political adversaries that continued one long after his death. King Henry VIII was born on June 28, 1491 in Greenwich, England. He was the second son of his father, King Henry VII. Henry was not the heir to the throne; instead, his brother Arthur was. However, Arthur died a year after his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, making Prince Henry the heir. It was then decided that Catherine would remain in England, as King Henry was trying to create a new marriage contract with her for Prince Henry. If Catherine returned to Spain, then her dowry would go with her, as would their alliance with Spain [1]. Days before Henry turned 18, his father died. He quickly occupied the throne, and a few weeks after Henry became king, he married Catherine, with special permission from the pope. As Henry was the sole heir to the throne, one of his first priorities was to produce sons [1]. This influenced many of his later actions, including splitting from the Catholic Church. Henry VIII was not raised to become king; his brother was. When Henry took the throne, he had a great education, but no clue about what to accomplish as king and how to do it. Henry was more concerned with his image – he would throw lavish parties to show his luxurious lifestyle, and made few decisions himself concerning governing, instead relying heavily on his councilor... ... middle of paper ... been in a state of economic crisis for an extensive time. These actions created a rift between his subjects; many remained loyal to the church and wanted Henry to reinstate it, while others believed it to be corrupted, and accepted the new change. Revolution hung in the air and threatened the stability Henry had been pushing to create. He knew that the tension would recede should he bear a son to carry on the Tudor name. In 1536, Henry began to believe that his wife was being unfaithful. She was charged with treason and adultery, and soon beheaded. He then married Jane Seymour. She gave him a male heir, Edward, and then died a few days after childbirth [1]. Works Cited "Henry VIII." Elizabethan World Reference Library. Ed. Sonia G. Benson and Jennifer York Stock. Vol. 2: Biographies. Detroit: UXL, 2007. 119-127. World History in Context. Web. 7 Dec. 2013.

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