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The Tudor dynasty held the throne of England from 1485 to 1603. In this interval accomplished two revolutions of paramount importance: first, Britain became the first of the Protestant powers, and secondly, she became a maritime and colonial power. Henry VII, founder of the dynasty, presided over the rebuilding of the kingdom, while his son, Henry VIII, consumed his savings striving to solve intractable problems: in diplomacy, that of the European balance, in religion, that of Catholicism without the pope in administration, that of good finances without honesty. Edward VI opened the way for Protestantism, whose progress was repressed by Mary Tudor with an implacable rigor rendering him powerless.
Elizabeth I, finally, gathered deftly around her statesmen and advisors, making the symbol of an official religion in accordance with the average opinion of his country and attempted to resolve the major international issues.
King Henry VIII
Reforms in the British Church were first conducted by Henry VIII more precisely the attachment of Bishops to the English crown: King Henry VII was eager for money, his father had increased the fortune of the English crown by taking the land of noble deaths during the War of the Roses, Henry VIII sought to take those of the Church.
At that time the Church had a very important role (one of the largest in the kingdom) and was increasing the discontent of the people because of king s opulent lifestyle. The independence of the Archbishop of Canterbury and bishop s vis- -vis the kings, Henry VIII also found it impossible to tame the Pope because the kings of France and Spain were much more powerful than him. Henry VIII wanted to further centralize the power.(Guy, 245)
He divorced one of his six women bishops attached to the crown of England. Indeed, in 1526, Henry VIII asked the Pope to divorce Catherine of Aragon, niece of Charles V King of Spain, because she did not have a son but the Pope, being under the influence of the King of Spain, refused. In 1531, Henry VIII decided to ignore this prohibition and managed to convince the Archbishop of Canterbury and the bishops to attach themselves to him. In 1534, the Act of Supremacy was passed by parliament and Henry VIII became head of all bishops of the kingdom. From the date of this act, all the kings of England became the head of the English Church leaving the pope with no authority.
Henry VIII, with the help of Thomas Cromwell, then made use of the Domesday Book to take control of religious taxes; he shut down 560 monasteries and gave their land to the middle classes. This allowed him to raise money for allied merchant classes and landowners, many small gentlemen farmers started making a fortune with this.
Also note that the Reformation of the Church had nothing much to do with the arrival of Protestantism: while Henry VIII broke away from the pope, he still remained deeply Catholic. He even grumbled that the Protestants were not loyal to him. He wrote a book critical of Martin Luther, praised by Pope, entitled “Defender Fidei (Defender of the Faith or FD that is still found on the coins).
Henry VIII crushed all Catholic rebels who would refuse to use the services of the new religion. The monasteries were emptied and sold, and their wealth was confiscated by the state. Thus, the King confirmed the English Reformation. Yet, through the reigns of Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I , daughters of Henry VIII, the Catholic reaction turned bloody, even if the Anglican Church was not called into question . Catholics opposed the system rejecting the reforms of Henry VIII altogether.
On 11 July, Henry was excommunicated in Rome and subsequently he answered a call to a future council. A protest of public pity, that of Elizabeth Barton, the “holy maid of Kent” was rigorously suppressed. Now, war was declared with Rome, Henry VIII, with nothing to spare, ordered that the Pope would be appointed in the future as the bishop of Rome, the bishops would be appointed without the intervention of the Holy See , that church would ultimately be answerable to the Royal Court of Chancery (Anglicanism).
Thomas More and Bishop Fisher were imprisoned, the “preachers” were released throughout the kingdom to speak against the Pope and the King and all the monks were invited to sign the declaration that “the bishop of Rome did not more authority in England than any foreign bishop, on pain of punishment similar to those that struck the Franciscans of the Observance. In November 1534, the king added to his titles, according to the wishes of Parliament, that of “Supreme Head of the English Church.” Deny its supremacy became a crime. It was also a crime of high treason to call it “heretical” or “wish” that he, Anne Boleyn, or their children were deprived of the crown.
The year 1535 saw a terrible persecution start, under new laws (Treason laws). The monasteries of Charterhouse and Sion troop of martyrs, chained to Newgate, hung, quartered at Tyburn. Fisher, stripped by the Supreme Head of the bishopric of Rochester, was elevated to cardinal by Pope Paul III. Henry VIII had him executed, and his head rot for several days in the pillory of London Bridge. She was soon replaced on the hook by that of Thomas More. This year 1535 and the next date as the two campaigns led by Cromwell, “Vicar-General” of the supreme leader, for the suppression of the monasteries and destruction of images. In October, the famous doctors Bedyl, Legh, Layton, London, Petre, etc. The beginning of a “visitation” of all the monasteries of the kingdom was also marked. They were men of bad character, known for their greed, their hardness, coarseness, as evidenced by their correspondence. Everywhere they gathered to gossip and pretended to see the outrageous, secret debauchery. In four months (very short time they had carried out carefully to a serious inquiry), they amassed a Black book material which was presented to Parliament in 1536 to support a proposal by the crown for the total abolition “small” monasteries and transfer their property to the king.
He opposed Luther in asserting that Christ’s righteousness was imputed to men, nor was it given only to those who had faith that the justification of rights could be acquired by the practice of the virtues of faith, charity and hope, and through repentance and the fear of God, with some effort on the part of man in the exercise of his free will, which was denied by Martin Luther that the veneration of the Virgin Mary and the saints was recommended. The reading of Scripture was closed to the masses from 1546; executions of Lutherans continued until the king’s death the following year.
Edward VI, on his accession to throne was nine years (January 21, 1547) old. His maternal uncle, Hertford, was protector of the kingdom and had himself given the Duchy of Somerset, the brother of Hertford, Sir Thomas Seymour, Lord Admiral and became Seymour of Sudeley. These characters were very much attached to the party of religious reform (Anglican), the young Edward VI shared their sympathies in this regard, in June 1548, and he refrained from making any offering after the Catholic rite at the offertory on Sundays. Ridley and Hugh Latimer were his most favorite preachers, but he listened with pleasure to the Puritan preachers like Hooper and John Knox. Edward VI of England promised a king Puritan, the reformers of all Europe were enthusiastic about his early piety.
In April 1551, Calvin sent him a long letter of praise and exhortation. It was the new Josiah. But the learned and fervent devotion was not associated with Edward at the mere natural goodness. He had something in his childhood of deficiency and the hardness of Henry VIII. He was only indifferent to his uncle, the Protector Somerset. While Somerset in 1547 led an expedition against Scotland, his brother, Lord Seymour, treacherously tried to lose it in the spirit of the king.
Despite the measures taken by Edward VI to prevent his sister from becoming his successor, the people recognized the need for the rightful queen. To ensure his own royal authority, questioned by the discussions on the validity of the marriage of his parents, but also to meet his personal beliefs Catholic, Mary Tudor, remained faithful to his religion during the reign of his half-brother, wanted to bring his people back to the old religion with a firm hand. She tried to enforce Catholicism again in the kingdom at the price of imprisonment and death sentences.
This is the reason here reign is often associate with blood. In so doing, she disregarded the religious situation of his country: Catholicism was lifeless, while Protestantism was full of vitality. Advised by his cousin, Emperor Charles V, she inaugurated her reign with moderation, content to repeal the laws of the Church taken in the reign of Edward VI, Cranmer jailing and condemning some of her subjects to exile.(Thomas,134)
It would mean no bloody persecution against the Protestants, but it did not take account of the opposition of his people, or resistance of Parliament. To demonstrate her desire to give birth to Catholicism, she married in July 1554, the son of Charles V, Philip, heir to the throne of Spain. This reintegration of solemn Church of England in the bosom of the Roman Church attracted the hatred of many who fomented plots against the royal authority.
The arrival of Protestantism in Britain or the threat of Catholic invasion pushed the people to convert: when Queen Mary (Queen Mary), half-sister of Catherine of Aragon, Catholic, became head of the kingdom after the death of the son of Henry VIII, Edward VI, who died very young in 1553, the kingdom then composed mainly of Catholics (the majority of the people) but an increasing proportion of the population converted to Protestantism (the richest because this new religion accepted wealth).
The position of the Queen Mary was not simple because the kingdom has not experienced female leader for 400 years but Mary committed several errors that resulted in extreme repercussions later on. First, she asked parliament for permission to marry the Catholic King Philip of Spain that compelled disagreeable people to create an uprising. Moreover, the burning of 300 Protestants in five years further aggravated the feud between Catholics and Protestants. Mary died in 1558.
For the reinstatement of the Anglican Church to be effective, the big obstacle was the restitution of church property, secularized during the reign of Henry VIII, who had helped some get rich quick. Pope Julius III did not claim this refund, he even sent his legate, Cardinal Reginald Pole, a nephew of Queen Mary, with a mission to give all the English people the full papal absolution. Officially, the authority of Rome was again recognized in the kingdom of England antipapal laws were repealed, Parliament re-enacted the laws against heretics, the bishops called for strong action against all Protestants. The bloody persecution then stood not only against the ecclesiastical dignitaries such as former Archbishop Cranmer, but also against the masses, creating a de facto hostility against Bloody Mary and nourishing a new antipope. The persecution continued with Mary’s death in 1558.
Elizabeth Tudor, daughter of Anne Boleyn, was set to succeed her half-sister. Certainly, on the occasion of the coronation of Mary, Elizabeth had confessed the Catholic faith and promised to defend the true religion, but because of criticism that she opposed the Catholics, accusing her mother’s marriage to Henry VIII, Elizabeth which was not affected personally by religious issues but had to promote Protestantism. More skilful politician than her sister, she worked to avoid alienating any of her subjects, the Catholics and Protestants.
Elizabeth I, half-sister Mary and Protestants became head of the kingdom because there was no other descendant of the Tudors in 1558. She wanted to reconcile the English among themselves on religious issues and succeeded in 1559 to admit Protestants to two conditions: (1) that they are closer to the Catholics of the kingdom as other Protestants continents, (2) that the monarch remains the sole master of the Church. Elizabeth I undertook many reforms such as the use of Parish (territorial organization of the Church) as an administrative division of the kingdom, the obligation to go to church every Sunday under penalty of law, and finally re-wrote Mass sermons with regard to the attack to the king as a Pechet. Thus, the Church and its representatives had then become fully part of the machinery of state power.(Turton,76)
Finally, the English Protestantism completely took off in 1585 with the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587. In fact, Mary Queen of Scots (different from the Queen Mary of England died in 1558) fled to England because she was persecuted in his kingdom of Scotland but this an internal risk in the UK for Elizabeth I as English Catholic nobles would replace the Queen prostetante a Catholic, Elizabeth I therefore took the decision to shut Mary Queen of Scots jail. However, the threat of Spanish invasion (Catholic country) that would attach to England and to defend the Queen Mary over the decision to appoint Mary Philip of Spain as his successor led Elizabeth I to marry in order to cut short the threat of Spanish invasion, or to see the Scottish crown from the hands of Spain. The English people joined the Queen Elizabeth I to stand against the growing threat of Spanish invasion.
Elizabeth had the great merit of understanding and acting with a wise and slow progression, behaving immediately after her accession to chief of the Church of England, but assumed that the government of this Church and not s ‘never saying “the supreme leader” – the suprerne head – as had once been Henry VIII. The “Book of Common Prayer” was reworked, and reforms of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury sacred by the ordinal of Edward VI (1559), ended after a series of preparatory measures, the Act of Uniformity (1564), which was made compulsory.
In 1558, good spirits still doubted the possibility of the victory of new ideas in England. As wrote the Philip II of Spain, a careful observer (it was Fest, his ambassador in London), that the Catholics were the majority of the people, and if the capital, the country of Kent and seaports adhered to doctrines of the Reformation, the rest of the country remained committed to the Roman religion. But even most young noblemen and universities were also removed from it. Elizabeth I, deep admirer of his father and determined to behave like him in all things, there were valuable auxiliaries in a business it knew how to carry out with prudence, skill, and dexterity truly remarkable. England was weary of the sudden change of religion for nearly twenty-five years.
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