english reformation paper

english reformation paper - Horace Lodge Religion &...

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Horace Lodge 11/1/07 790:472:01 Lecture Hall 103 Tues/Thurs 5:35-6:55 ID: 054002757 English Reformation The 16 th century was a time of great change and progress. It has been noted as one of the most influential times of England and Europe. The marquee players and events still echo throughout time and have vast effects on nations. This great time of ideas and transformation came to be known as the English Reformation. It was a revolution better known for its result of breaking the ties of England with Rome and the establishment of the Church of England. Upon looking back one can not avoid the glaring facts of how church and state, or rather yet, religion and politics mixed to cause a revolution. This cohesion cause many changes and events to take place over the course of several hundred years. Though monumental in change, this mixture came both bearing gifts and curses. To begin to fully understand the English reformation one must understand what came before. In the late 1400s and early 1500s churches of England were Catholic. It was more than the religion of the people, it was their life. The churches had vast authority as explained by Abrams. Abrams discusses the overwhelming power as shown: The Church, by means of its judicial powers, wielded an immense influence over the nation. It had an elaborate system of ecclesiastical courts which dealt not only with the spiritual offences of the clergy, and with felonies committed by them, but also with many cases in which laymen were involved. It enforced the payment of the church dues; it took cognizance of matrimonial suits, and decided questions of legitimacy (47). 1
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The churches of England were not just a monumental piece of society, they infringed on every aspect of it. Henry VII came to power in 1485. He was not pleased by the church or its influences in the parliament. During his reign he became quite popular with the middle class, due to his elaborate taxation which kept the country out of debt. He aided the economy and kept the country at peace by establishing treaties and alliances. He eventually rid himself of the barons of the parliament bringing it strictly back under the King. This event brought even more tension to the uneasy relationship of the church and state, due to its powers already overlapping the realms of society In continuation, Henry VIII, second son to Henry VII was born in 1491 and died in 1547. At age seventeen, due to his brother’s early death, Henry was thrust into the role of heir to the throne and forced to marry his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon. Their marriage was due to his father’s attempt to seal an alliance between Spain and England. Although, they remained married for twenty-four years, their marriage was far from fairy-tale. Henry wanted an heir to his throne and Catherine could not produce one. Catherine had six pregnancies, all but one resulting in the death of the child.
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course POLYSCI 301 taught by Professor Unknown during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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english reformation paper - Horace Lodge Religion &...

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