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" The monasteries were dissolved purely as a result of Henry V111's greed." Do you agree?

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Introduction

" The monasteries were dissolved purely as a result of Henry V111's greed." Do you agree? The dissolution of the monasteries was accomplished between 1536 and 1540. It had great social and economic, as well as religious and human significance. The official reason given for their closure was " the laxity and immorality of the monks". However, this was not the only reason for the dissolution, there were other motives, which we shall be analysing until arriving at our own conclusion, whether " the monasteries were dissolved purely as a result of Henry V111's greed". To begin with, we must realise that the dissolution of the monasteries was not a necessary consequence of the split from Rome. ...read more.

Middle

Conversely, the dissolution of the monasteries could be seen in a much more positive light-it could have been a genuine attempt at removing the abuses that arose in monasticism, such as pluralism and nepotism etc and like that highlight the good works and value of those houses that remained. In fact, the official reason given towards the closing down of the smaller monasteries was the ' manifest sin, vicious, carnal and abominable living' to be found there. To some people, the monasteries were a waste of human and financial resources-Cromwell himself should be included among these more radical reformers who simply wished to do away with monasticism altogether-however, we cannot associate Henry with this group of people as Henry, after all, was a committed catholic. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a result, when asked whether " the monasteries were dissolved purely as a result of Henry V111's greed", we may say that his greed and want for money were his main motivation, but not the only one-perhaps he really wanted to put to better use the resources of the monasteries, and to do away with the abuses related to monasticism. However, had Henry had a strong standing fortune at this point in time, he would have probably not dissolved the monasteries, as it was really his 'need' for money to finance his wars and extravagant lifestyle which made him see the church as a potential source of money to the crown-showing that really it was due to his greed that he closed down the monasteries. ...read more.

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