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Causes and Impacts of the English Reformation

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Ben Schloss

on 6 October 2014

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Transcript of Causes and Impacts of the English Reformation

Causes and Impacts of the English Reformation
By Ben Schloss, Zach Winter, and Alyson Golub
What impact did the schism have on the people and government of England?
Throughout the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church had exerted a great deal of influence on political affairs in Europe.

Shortly after
Europe was shaken by the Black Death
, the Catholic Church restored people’s faith, causing the Church to gain immense power.

The church grew increasingly greedy and corrupt and began practices of selling
, in which people would pay money for spiritual “credit” and remains of dead saints.

Therefore, many
clergy members rose to political power.

Twenty-six bishops sat in the
House of Lords
, known as Lords Spiritual. These officials
“brought religious ethos to the secular process of the law”
Why did England split from the Catholic Church?
Distrust in the Catholic Church:
Christians began to claim that the
Church had abandoned it’s morality
for personal gain

The spread of humanism, combined with the interest of reforming religion brought
to the church
Reformation did not gain foothold in Britain until King Henry VIII wanted to divorce his barren wife,
Catherine of Aragon, and Pope Clement VII refused to allow it.
Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536)
First wife of Henry VIII
Failed to produce a surviving male child with Henry VIII
When the pope would not consent to a
divorce, Henry rejected his authority and established his own
Church of England in 1534,
with himself as the supreme head.
The Act of Supremacy
, which formulated Henry’s new leadership allowed legal sovereignty of civil laws over the laws of the Church of England.
Anne Boleyn


















This power
dissolved many of the Catholic monasteries
and the
state took over much of the Church’s wealth
. Land and wealth was dispersed among a poorer class of citizens,
creating a new middle class
Shortly after the Act of Supremacy came into place, King Henry VII enacted the
Treason Act
. This law, passed in 1534 made it punishable by death to disavow the act of supremacy. Many Catholic Church leaders were executed due to this. The Treason Act
forced people to accept the shift to Protestantism
, as it was extremely dangerous to say anything against what the king had done.
Future Impacts:
William and Mary, agreed to sign the “English Bill of Rights,” which included the right of people to worship freely

By signing the document the monarchy limited its power by a constitution

Individualism sparked by the English reformation encouraged people to make their own judgements and strive for excellence in all things
#1: Henry VIII wanted a divorce
Why did England split from the Catholic Church?
#2: Henry VIII saw an opportunity to increase his power
Could make a profit
Could become head of both Church and State
Impact on England's Foreign Relations

Relations with Spain and the Holy Roman Empire
King Henry built up a strong navy to protect England, and the British Islands in particular
Strong navy allowed England to fend off attacks such as the Spanish Armada and various French/Spanish raids
Navy led to increase in England's global reach and therefore aided England's economy
Improved relations with Scotland
Relations with Dutch
Break from Catholicism put England on bad terms with Charles V, king of Spain as well as the entire Holy Roman Empire
Major European powers, primarily Spain and France, turned against England
King Henry VIII had to focus on protecting his country
Why did England split from the Catholic Church?
#3: The Protestant Reformation
Sparked by the ideas of Martin Luther
Gave England context for schism
Printing press leads to spread of ideas
The Dutch were an evolving protestant nation
They were rebelling against King Charles V and Spain
England developed a good relationship with the Dutch stemming from these commonalities
Full transcript