How Popular Was The Reformation

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How popular were the religious changes of Tudor England? How much popular backing did the English Reformation have? A definitive answer cannot be given, because scholars disagree on this subject and complete evidence from this period is hard to come by (especially since much Catholic paraphernalia was suppressed and destroyed). The Catholic Church was very popular, but the English people seemed to let go of it without much of a fight, which creates quite a dichotomy for historians to study. I have given you summaries of the many different scholarly opinions on the subject. As far as the popular reaction goes, scholars differ on how the so-called peasants reacted to the government's decision-making at this time. The Reformation turned England from a group of pious Catholics to a group of rather indifferent Protestants, but the debated question is what role the ordinary folk played in sparking the Restoration. According to Robin Whiting's book "The Blind Devotion of the People: Popular Religion and the English Reformation", the Reformation for the average person was "less a transition from one form of religious commitment to another than a descent from a relatively high level of devotion into conformism, inactivity, and disinterest." But did the people bring this on themselves or did they disagree with the reformations? The historian Ethan Shagan believes that the people stirred the changes-- they wanted the change from Catholicism and this is why there was not too much popular revolt. In his book "Popular Politics and the English Reformation", Shagan claims that to have written "a narrative which acknowledges for the first time that the Reformation was necessarily based, like all aspects of Tudor government, on the collaboration of the governed." However, other scholars believe that English citizens preferred Catholicism and
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