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Asses the main influences which determined the Elizabethan Church Settlement in 1559

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Introduction

Assess the main influences which determined the Elizabethan Church Settlement in 1559 Following the radical reforms of her father, half-brother and half-sister, Elizabeth I was to ascend to her throne in 1558 as English Christians were experiencing their fourth religious upheaval in a generation. Having had tutors that were Protestant, it was believed that Elizabeth would introduce a religious settlement that would be similar to that of Edward VI. However, this was not the case as Elizabeth?s religious settlement was a moderate merging of Henry VIII?s (though still Catholic) break from Rome and Edward VI?s Protestant approach. Elizabeth?s goal through her ?via-media? approach to religion was to establish stability and peace in her nation[1], whilst trying to appease as many people as possible. To do so, she would have to side-step the extremely conservative Catholics and the Protestants that were craving radical reform. Inevitably, any change made to the Church would not be taken lightly by the public; after all, it affected the relationship between individuals and God. A doctrine of such importance would not be ignored by the core of her government ? her Privy Council, nor would it be taken lightly by foreign powers. Factors both abroad and domestic would have to be taken into consideration when creating the Elizabethan Church Settlement of 1559. In a nation torn between two religions, Elizabeth would have to tread carefully if she were to maintain her position as Queen of England. ...read more.

Middle

This highlighted a major problem for Elizabeth; as the power of the House of Lords to block any bill made it near to impossible for Elizabeth to have an outright Protestant reform in the first place. Thus, the Catholic Bishops would become a great hindrance to the Protestants and to Elizabeth.[13] If Cross is correct in saying that there were only ?a small band of exiles?[14], then there is no doubt that the Catholics in the House of Lords would find no trouble in preventing any Protestant led bill from passing through Parliament. It could therefore be argued that the power to block any bill in the House of Lords meant that the only practical alternative would be to appease the Catholics in the House of Lords as much as possible, by maintaining some Catholic customs and traditions[15], for purely political reasons. Even with more sympathising bills passing through the House of Lords, not all were pleased as many bills had only just passed through, showing that the Catholics were still not entirely content. Thus, it can be argued that Elizabeth?s Religious Settlement could not afford to be radical; rather, it had to be practical, by appeasing the Catholic Bishops in the House of Lords. This is not to say, however, that the Elizabeth?s Religious Settlement of 1559 was entirely influenced by the Catholic Bishops in the House of Lords. ...read more.

Conclusion

If anything, Elizabeth?s desire to not ?make windows into men?s souls?[24] allowed for individual faith to flourish, therefore as long as her customs were followed then people could believe in whatever they wished. -The subsequent resignations of all but one of the Marian bishops- Elizabeth took little notice of the potential opposition within the clergy itself. (???) -Fear of potential uprisings among the lay populace ________________ [1] Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal [2] Pope Pius V, Papul Bull [3] John Neale, (1953), Queen Elizabeth and her Parliaments [4] Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal [5] A. L. Rowse (1950), The England of Elizabeth [6] John A. Wagner, (1999), Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World...? [7] John Guy, (1988), Tudor England [8]Penry Williams, (1979), The Tudor Regime [9] Christopher Haigh, (1998), Elizabeth I [10]The 1559 Book of Common Prayer [11] Norman L Jones, (1559), Faith by Statute: Parliament and the Settlement of Religion [12]Barbara Mervyn, (2001), The Reign of Elizabeth: England 1558-1603 [13] John Jewel, (1559), The Zurich Letters [14] Claire Cross, (1992), The Elizabethan Church Settlement [15] Susan Doran, (1994), Elizabeth I and Religion [16] Claire Cross, (1992), The Elizabethan Church Settlement [17] John Guy, (1988), Tudor England [18] Michael Graves, (1996), Elizabethan Parliaments 1559-1601 [19] Norman L Jones, (1559), Faith by Statute: Parliament and the Settlement of Religion [20] John Guy, (1988), Tudor England [21] Ibid [22] John Neale, (1953), Queen Elizabeth and her Parliaments [23] Christopher Haigh, (1998), Elizabeth I [24] Find out when she said this ...read more.

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