The Religious Situation In The Elizabethan Time

Essay by maynellyF, March 2004

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The first Tudor King named Henry VIII. was married to Catherine of Aragon. After giving birth to children, the only child that survived was Mary, but it was impossible for a woman to succeed the throne. Unfortunately the male heir he wished for did not come. Meanwhile the king fell in love with Anne Boleyn and was looking for a way to be divorced from Catherine. Thus the pope was asked for help, but he refused to accept a divorce. After abolishing the pope's authority, Henry VIII. declared himself as the Supreme Head of the Church in England in the Act of Supremacy in 1534. With the help of Thomas Cranmer, the archbishop of Canterbury, the king got divorced. His establishment of a national church was the beginning of the English Reformation.

As Mary I., the half-sister of Elizabeth, became the Queen of England, she restored Catholicism and the power of the pope.

In Mary's eyes Elizabeth was a dangerous enemy because the Protestants saw in her a rescuer. The queen sent her to prison, so she could not cause any harm. When Mary died in 1558, it was Elizabeth's turn to succeed the throne. She would begin the process of establishing the Protestant Church of England, although Elizabeth hat to contend with opposition from both Catholics and Protestants. But the queen's main goal was to create a common religious community that would reunify the people, therefore she used Parliament to establish the official doctrine of the new church, which ensured that the voice of Catholic peers would be heard. The making of this Church is known as the Elizabeth Religious Settlement which was comprised of two acts:

*ƒnthe Act of Supremacy

gave her the ultimate control of the Church in England. The monarch had been the Head...