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Unformatted text preview: Thomas Cromwell possessed a secular mindset that enabled him to look at the forms of the new Church of England as serving more of a worldly function than a spiritual one. He wished to see England become a great political state, in the modern sense of that word. The concept of national sovereignty was not commonly accepted or understood in the early sixteenth century, but it was at the heart of Cromwell's political understanding. Henry's marriage crisis and attendant break from the Roman Church catalyzed England into a political culture animated by a principle of absolute national sovereignty. It is of revolutionary significance in English history that Henry described himself not only as Supreme Head of the Church of England, but also that he considered himself "the supreme legislator" of the realm. This may not seem revolutionary to us in the twenty-supreme legislator" of the realm....
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- Fall '08
- Henry, national sovereignty, early sixteenth century, supreme legislator, absolute national sovereignty, great political state