Essay about King Henry Viii : The Monarch Of England

Essay about King Henry Viii : The Monarch Of England

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In 1529, Roman Catholicism was the official religion of the English state. King Henry VIII was the monarch of England and was a devout Catholic. Henry even defended the Church, by writing a theological treatise Assertio Septem Sacramentorum, which attacked the new reformist ideas of Martin Luther. Henry was then rewarded for this by a grateful papacy, who gave Henry the title Defensor Fidei (Defender of the Faith). So, if Henry was the “Defender of Faith” why did he break from the Roman Catholic Church in 1533? To make a long story short Henry wanted a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, the Pope refused to grant him a divorce. So Henry then broke from the Roman Catholic Church in 1533 and made himself Supreme Head of the Church by an Act of Parliament known as the Act of Supremacy in 1534. The country however, was still very much Catholic, but the pope’s power had been ended.
England was now no longer under the Roman Catholic Church authority, but the question still remains of how was Henry able to get his subjects to follow this unprecedented change in religion? Well, for the most part it was fairly easy for Henry to get the people of England to follow him, though not everyone agreed it was right, no one protested this either. For example, the majority of people asked to swear the oath to the new succession did so. Nobles did so, mainly because they were afraid of losing their titles, positions in the court and even their lives. The common people were pretty much illiterate and unable to read what was in the bible anyway. Henry would eventually win them all over by acquiring Church lands, which were confiscated during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and then selling them pretty cheap.


Issues Surrounding the Church
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...This lack of resistance could have been because of fear, lack of knowledge or because it fit their own agenda as in the case with the people who favored a more Protestant view on religion. Either way by the time Henry died in 1547, he left the Church of England as the King being the Supreme Head of the Church, services were still said in Latin while most prayers were also said in Latin, “The Lord’s Prayer” was added to the English Bible and Priest were not allowed to get married.
Reform means to change something and that is exactly what Henry did when he broke from the Roman Catholic Church. The English Reformation changed the way religion was seen and conducted in England. Though Henry made changes concerning religion in England, it never fixed the issues of religion in England, and because of this the battle over religion will continue throughout the Tudors reign.

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