• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How serious was the opposition to the Henrican Reformation?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How serious was the opposition to the Henrican Reformation? The English reformation is widely discussed amongst historians; it was a process that saw the removal of the longstanding Papal influence and the beginnings of a new English Church. The reformation was believed to be a quick process, imposed upon the country from above. The decrees, acts and events of the reformation forced drastic changes upon both the English clergy, masses and the Papacy. These changes were unpopular and discontent was widespread. In spite of such feelings the reformation experienced little delay and monarchical power over the English Church continued to increase. That is not to say there was no opposition to the reformation, for it was rife and potentially serious. The opposition came from both the upper and lower classes, from the monks and nuns and from foreign European powers. This opposition however, was cleverly minimised from the outset, Cromwell's master plan ensured court opposition was minimal and new acts, oaths and decrees prevented groups and individuals from publicly voicing their dissatisfaction. Those who continued to counter such policies were ruthlessly and swiftly dealt with, often by execution, and used as examples to discourage others. ...read more.

Middle

It was the act of Succession that was met within court with fierce opposition. The act meant that it was to be made treason if any person denied that Henry was the Supreme head of the English Church and said or wrote anything against his present marriage or his lawful heirs. This act also denounced the power of the Pope, undoubtedly worsening the already fragile relationship between the English monarch and the Papacy. 'There was never such a striking at the passage of any act in the lower house' ( J. Guy 1988). Notwithstanding the resistance of the Commons the act passed with little delay. The pressure from above was immense, Parliament at this time were given more freedom and possessed more power. In addition Cromwell, Henry's chief minister had made it virtually impossible for concerted opposition to form. The opposition was eliminated before they acted as a focus for wider discontent. It is evident that Cromwell had successful managed to minimize opposition from the small isolated groups within court. There were however individuals who persistently angered the King and his minister. It was Henry's divorce, the Act of Supremacy and the break with Rome that imposed huge changes on English society and angered individuals. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is evident that opposition to the Henrican reformation was potentially serious. This is by virtue of the facts that potentially the king could have faced a battle on home soil against the rebels of the pilgrimage of grace that was by far the largest army. In addition court factions were working relentlessly to undermine monarchical authority and were continuing to gain support. Such opposition was also given further momentum by individuals such as More, Fisher and Barton who created effective propaganda for the Queen's cause. Although the opposition was potentially serious it mounted to very little. Henry and Cromwell ensured that these small isolated pockets of discontent both inside and outside of court were eliminated and that persistent defiant individuals were executed. In addition the Pilgrimage of Grace amounted to nothing as the rebels did not wish to battle, in addition the King's promise to offer pardons and restore some monasteries appealed to the rebels. It can therefore be concluded that although the opposition to the Henrican reformation was rife it posed little threat to Henry thanks to the quick response and actions of Cromwell who pinned down opposition in its early stages. Becky Grevitt ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Was Anne Boleyn or Thomas Cromwell the more influential in bringing religious reform in ...

    have been added by Henry's advisers in order to soften the blow and make the title more acceptable to the clerics). The Convocation also managed to secure an agreement that they would pay the money over five years. This was the first step in a campaign of persecution of the Church.

  2. Anne Boleyn - A queen who inspired a revolution.

    These foundations that Anne had laid however were not incredibly stable and in some cases, ridiculous measures were taken to prevent their disruption. For example, people were arrested for expressing their opposition of Anne, Henry or the reformation, for the first time in English history, it had become a crime to say something.

  1. Was the Henrician Reformation inevitable?

    Perhaps it could be argued that the trigger of Henry's impatience was Catherine's lack of cooperation. Moreover, Catherine would prove to be a political liability in obtaining the divorce. She was linked to her nephew Charles V and it was this link to a super- power within Europe that would

  2. 'Without the Divorce Crisis, there would not have been a Henrician Reformation.' Discuss.

    The Parliament made many changes. The 'Act in Restraint of Appeals 1553' finalised the concept that legal factors should reside with the monarch, and not from those outside the country, such as the Pope. There were no more appeals to be given to Rome in testamentary or matrimonial causes, which eradicated a lot of the Pope's influence.

  1. What was the Edwardian Reformation and how successful was it?

    It proposed for the first time that the sacrament of the altar should be taken in both kinds, (both bread and wine) by communiants. It also made vernacular insertions into the Latin Mass. It certainly appeared that the appartus of the parliament was being used to push through an esstentially Protestant Edwardian Reformation.

  2. To what extent was the Henrican Reformation imposed from 'above'?

    It could give Henry both the answers to his martial difficulties; offer England the chance of a male heir and a solution to the England's financial difficulties. Certainly parliament started to exercise its muscles, and following the pramenuire accusations against the clergy their 'Submission' was presented in parliament, which gave into the Kings demands to monopolise their legal authority.

  1. How do the poets in 'Charlotte O'Neils song' and 'Nothing Changed' show their feelings ...

    She is saying that it isn't the natural way of the world at all. By leaving England she can start a new life abroad where she will be able to have a better standard of living. The poet has explained some of the background to this poem.

  2. Why was there so little opposition to the Henrician Reformation?

    He also passed a law of treason in 1534, and it meant that men could die for simply uttering words against Henry or his marriage to Anne Boleyn. No plotting or such action was needed for the persecution of being hung, drawn and quartered.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work