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

To what extent was the Break with Rome in 1532-4 the result of personal and political rather than religious factors?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was the Break with Rome in 1532-4 the result of personal and political rather than religious factors? The Break with Rome took several steps to achieve between the years 1529 and 1534, but it was in those years Henry established himself as 'Supreme Head' of the Church in England. The meaning of the break was Henry's decision to declare himself independent of the Roman Catholic Church and is known as the beginning of the English Reformation. The reasons why Henry had to break with Rome, however, were due to a variety of factors; personal, political and religious matters. This essay will discuss the merits of each factor, on Henry's part and how it helped him to achieve the break. The steps in the break with Rome helped Henry get what he wanted the most; it began in 1529, with the calling of the 'Reformation' Parliament and Acts were passed to limit the abuses in the Church. In 1530, the whole clergy were charged with praemunire, showing that the King did not like anyone above him or with more power. ...read more.


Schama claims that she was 'historical prime cause number one' of the reformation, but I think that the need of Henry wanting a divorce was the ultimate prime cause. Eric Ives says that Henry was thinking of divorce before he had decided to pursue a relationship with Anne, and this could prove to be true as Catherine, as said by Henry's doctors, would produce no heir as early as 1524. Anne could be regarded as the catalyst of the divorce, but not a 'number one cause' of the break with Rome, as many Historians argue. Another reason to why Henry would break with Rome could be the fact that he would gain more power, and if that, would be secure on the throne more than ever. His aims were to re-establish his territories as a 'sovereign empire', and this would certainly make sure that no other ruler would have control of anything. Henry was a very stubborn man, always got what he wanted and he was unwilling to let anybody - the Pope, Wolsey, More or Cromwell - get in his way or tell him what to do. ...read more.


This is what is believed to be the key reason to break with Rome. This moves from personal to a more political reason as Henry could be confident to have a male heir, for dynastic purposes. I don't think Henry's love for Anne was much of an important personal reason as he could fall in love with anyone at anytime - but as long he got what he wanted and that was sons. Haigh argues that the break away from Rome was mainly political motivation. This appears to be true as well. With help from his fixer, Cromwell, the supremacy of the Papacy over the Church in England was ended. Henry became in charge of all matters of belief and organisation, and he became the Supreme Head of the Church. The Dissolution of the Monasteries helped Henry gain more land and wealth for financial purposes. Religion plays a very small part; Henry may have used it as a back up for his greed, concerning the dissolved monasteries, saying that he was to clean it up instead of abolishing it, but eventually ended up being wealthier. Henry got more than he wanted in the finale, and this was just the beginning of Protestantism. WORD COUNT: 1979 1 ...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. Assess the view that Henry VIII's wish for a divorce was the main reason ...

    the head of the church and the king of the common wealth (one person), meaning Henry. So looking at this although Henry used this divorce as his main reason for the break with Rome there may have been more political/power motives behind it but these would not have been good evidence for the break with Rome.

  2. How useful is a visit to the Tudor parts of Hampton Court to find ...

    They were used by the King and Queen who could follow the service through windows that overlooked the Chapel Royal. It soon became customary to conduct business here, as it was difficult to persuade Henry to concentrate on signing official papers.

  1. To what extent was Henry's decision to break with Rome influenced by Thomas Cranmer ...

    This policy culminated in the 1536 act extinguishing the authority of the Bishop of Rome, leaving Henry in complete sovereignty of his nation and undisputed head of the Church of England. This essay will first look at the roles of Cromwell and Cranmer, then Henry and finally the other individuals

  2. Why did Henry break with Rome?

    The divorce was only the catalyst in a long running string of events. A. F. Pollard believed it was not a question of if but when Henry would break with Rome. He was exhibiting signs that he disliked the control the Church exercised in England in 1515 when he said,

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

    everything slowly, and following to the letter the instructions that he had been given by Clement. In the middle of the summer recess observed by the courts in Rome, which Campeggio insisted on observing, the Pope decided that the trial had, after all, to be heard in Rome.

  2. Was the Henrician Reformation inevitable?

    The poor standards of literacy amongst the clergy had not been noticed, but now were more obvious and would be less tolerated .People still loved their church, as can be seen by people leaving bequests in their wills to their local priest or church.

  1. To What Extent Was Henry Vll Secure?

    claiming that he was Edward, Earl of Warwick, which would have given him a strong claim to the throne. A number of Yorkists supported him; many knowing this were only a fake just so that they could get back into Yorkists rule, in May 1487 Simnel and his supporters, led

  2. Wives & War: To what extent did these two aspects undermine Henry VIIIs rule ...

    This is supported by Ives (2007, pg 84) investigative source on Henry?s participation in war in the 1540s, as he claims that King Henry took a military approach to his policies for the reason that he wanted to quench his earlier desires ?to re-open the Hundred Years? War and achieve

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