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state paper - As evidence proves history repeats itself The...

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As evidence proves, history repeats itself. The fight between the English crown and church is no exception to the rule. Henry II befriended Thomas Becket in hopes for gaining clerical power. When Becket refused to grant the King power over the church and was brutally murdered Henry II lost more than a friend he lost his chance for power in clerical matters. Henry II is an example of failed attempt at royalty to take hold of the church. Henry VIII marriage to Catherine tied England to the Church of Rome and Catholicism. Divorcing Catherine, splitting with the church and declaring himself “Supreme Head” of the church of England Henry’s VIII attempt at controlling church and state was utterly successful. Why did Henry’s II attempt fail so miserably when Henry’s VIII attempt succeeded? What were the reasons that lead to the shifts of power in England? The answers to these questions are not easily answered one fact is for certain the quest for absolute authority has no end. Before beginning to try and figure out why Henry II failed and Henry VIII succeeded we must know why these men worked with the church. Henry II and Thomas Becket were close friends. A story told in lecture revealed that, while on horseback, Henry and Becket began to jokingly try and pull one another off his horse. In another instance told in lecture Henry encouraged Becket to give his coat to a peasant on the side of the road. Henry then took a coat from one of his guard men and gave it to Becket to wear (as it was a chilly day) 1 . Henry II appointed Becket Chancellor and then in 1162 Archbishop of Canterbury 2 . During his reign as Chancellor, Becket’s policies served the interest of the state and not the church. Knowing that a man who cared more about the state than the church would be greatly useful Henry II appointed Becket Archbishop in hopes that this move would help him to restore power to the crown. 1 Lecture # 9 2 Roberts (108)
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The relationship between Henry VIII and the crown was, to be fair to Henry II, in a much better position. Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon a Spanish Princess. The divorce between Henry VIII and Catherine, which will be discussed, further later on, led to the birth of the Church of England. In order to annul his marriage Henry needed consent from the Pope. After the Pope had been taken prisoner Henry needed to find a new way to declare his marriage void. Henry tried everything. Taking from the book of Leviticus and believing that his marriage to Catherine was a sin 3 Henry desperately searched for more plausible reasons to end the marriage. Henry VIII worked more with Parliament than with the church. Forcing his council
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