At the start of Henry VIIIs reign, most of England were Roman Catholic and accepted the Pope as the Head of the Church, but in the 16th century, and so was he until he split off the English Church from the Roman church When the Pope refused to grant Henry VIII a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. He then went on to make himself the spiritual head of the English church rather than the Pope. Henry VIII declared himself supreme head of a new Church of England. (The Act of Supremacy and reformation). The voices of statesmen and of priests extolled his wisdom and power as more than human.
It was the 16th century, a time when change was on the horizon. For one thousand years, the Roman Catholic Church had been in charge of Europe and of the theology in Europe. Internal changes, such as the age of Discovery, the Scientific Revolution, and the advent of the printing press all brought about a revolutionary change to Christianity. It was during this time that one remarkable monk, Martin Luther, posted his ninety-five theses, a scathing indictment of the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church. He wanted to reform the church, but created a new denomination instead.
This continued until Henry VIII, so desperate to produce a male heir, broke Papal control over England and named himself Head of the Church that taught an offshoot of Christianity based on the teachings of Martin Luther, the Protestant Church of England. This change did not make much difference, as the main different was the head of the Church and belief about divorce. Many more changes came after Henry died in 1547 and Edward VI became king. Edward, led by his advisors, moved England completely from Catholicism and to Protestantism. He passed laws such as making churches and bishops more plain, services be said in English and creating the Book of Common Prayer in 1549 and a refined version in 1552.
A new religion was created by Henry VIII, called Protestant. This authorized people to divorce if they were unhappy about their marriage. This made all the pope, monks and priests very irritated and angry. Henry’s hunger for power slowly increased; he wanted to dissolve the monasteries as he felt strongly about controlling the church his way. Although Henry was king of England, he thought that the pope might have more control over the people in England.
As he was the king, he had thought that he had the power to make the Scots use English prayer books. The scots were so furious that they decided to fight Charles I instead. This also made him unpopular to the scots as well as the people of England. When the scots had defeated him Charles had to pay lots of tax money which he couldn’t afford. So, Charles had to recall parliament, as only tax voted by parliament got rid of the scots.
For example in the Lincoln Articles it states that the rebels wanted “an end to suppression of religious houses” and “bishops in England do not have… the faith of Christ”. Furthermore in the Pontefract Articles, it is said that the rebels wanted “the Pope as the Supreme Head of the Church of England”, “to end the heresies within this realm.” This shows that the Pilgrimage was a reaction from the peasants after the Break with Rome. Moreover the rebels marched behind the Five Wounds of Christ, showing that the peasants were heavily influenced by religion. Also, in the 16th century religion held communities together as people prayed and paid for the rituals of the Church, so the dissolution would have affected this. Historian Geoffrey Elton says that the uprising was religious and associated with Catherine of Aragon.
Before 1603 Scotland and England were separate countries and this was the first time a kind of England had been king of Scotland as well, this didn’t make them one country but James was determined on a union. When James became King, there was a crisis of raised hopes and expectations by those groups who wanted a change to the Elizabethan Settlement, the Protestants (Puritans) and the Catholics. Catholics had hoped for relief from the increasingly harsh anti-Catholic penal laws that had been progressively introduced during Elizabeth’s reign. These penal laws were where that everyone had to attend Anglican Church on Sundays, it was illegal for Catholics not to abide by this law and where charged with heavy fines if they failed to do so. Puritans wanted further reform of the Anglican Church, specifically a move towards a more Protestant Church.
The question I am going to be answering is: ‘Why were England and Spain enemies for so long during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries?’ To answer this question we need to look at all the evidence available. During the reign of Henry VIII, he decided to break away from the Catholic Church, turning his country into a protestant religion. However this did not impress the Pope and Spain as they thought that every country should be a Catholic country. Both countries were ruling most of the world, the Spanish empire in South America as an example. They were constantly disputing about who had to the Caribbean.
Some changes would be felt immediately. Slavery would not be abolished for another hundred years, but the Revolution saw the dawn of an organized abolitionist movement. English traditions such as land inheritance laws were swept away almost immediately. The Anglican Church in America could no longer survive. After all, the official head of the Church of England was the British monarch.
At the start of king Charles reign things were already looking odd for him because the things he chose to do where completely against parliaments plans. Parliament had to know what the king was doing before he did it but because he never told them what was happening. Parliament and Charles friendship was crumbling gradually. In 1625 Charles married Henrietta Maria, the fifteen year old daughter of Henri IV of France who was a catholic she had her own chapel and priest. Puritans and protestants started to put up posters against the church and the king in 1637 archbishop laud put the people making the posters in trial and those found guilty were severely punished .