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

Was Henry VIII's wish for a divorce the most important cause of the English reformation between 1525 and 1536?

Extracts from this document...


Was Henry VIII's wish for a divorce the most important cause of the English reformation between 1525 and 1536? Henry's wish for a divorce was an important factor of the bringing about of the English reformation, however there were other factors that contributed to Henry's wish for a separate church in England. Henry was a firm believer in royal supremacy and would try anything to gain himself more power over his rivals, the Catholic Church. Henry was a catholic throughout the reformation, however he did not like there being a supreme leader in England over him (The Pope). Henry let everyone know his beliefs at a quite early stage of his reign when, in 1515, he said: 'By the ordinance and sufferance of God we are king of England, and the kings of England in time past have never had any superior but God himself' This was a bold statement from Henry as he was stating that he felt that he should have the supreme authority over the English people, and not The Pope. Henry was determined that the Pope's power in England would not undermine his own. ...read more.


In these premises, Henry saw great financial gain for the crown and set out on a process to eliminate monks, nuns and turn the monasteries in to crown owned land from which the King would benefit greatly. By 1540 all the religious houses in England had been closed, the monks and nuns fled and the goods that were owned were either sold or stolen. The dissolution of the monasteries brought an end to over 1000 years of monks and nuns in England, and marked an important day in the securing of crown property in to crown hands. The economic reasons behind the reformation stemmed further as Henry passed 'The act for first fruits and tenths' which took all new bishops' revenue for the first year and one tenth of it there after. By the time Henry had raised �40,000 a year through this system he was starting to see the economic benefits behind the split with Rome. By 1540, all of the monasteries in England had been closed down and Henry was supreme head of the church and was able to run it in any way he wished, as now there were no ties with Rome. ...read more.


Henry's reasons for divorce were simple, succession. Henry wanted a male heir and knew that Catherine would now be unlikely to give birth to one. His attentions turned to a girl named Anne Boleyn, someone the king thought would be ideal to solve the problem of male succession. The only problem standing in Henry's way was Catherine of Aragon and how to get rid of her. Henry was getting very anxious by the time the divorce had been rolling along for a long time, and so his actions turned very desperate which is possibly how all of the other factors of the reformation came to fruition. So, in deciding whether a divorce from Catherine of Aragon was the most important factor in bringing about the reformation in England I agree with Simon Scharma in that Henry's need for a divorce was the prime cause in the bringing of this. However I also feel that this contributed to Henry's actions in the dissolution of the monasteries because he felt it was the only way in which he was going to get his all important divorce, and possibly the securing of the throne for many years after his death....or was it?? By ...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 ...

    Although there must have been other reasons for Henry's break Rome it may have been more power related as Henry was becoming interested in defining his authority over the church in England and 3 Stephen Gardiner produced the De Vera Obedienta in 1535 claiming that England should be ruled by

  2. "Anne Boleyn was the most important person in bringing about the King's divorce in ...

    fault of their own Henry and Catherine had been illegally married in 1509 had been announced. Cranmer had secretly married Henry and Anne on January 25th, as she had succumbed to Henry and was in fact with child, which was covered by the decision as it claimed Henry was in

  1. Was the Henrician Reformation inevitable?

    Charles V and Henry had a history of friction and competition; a compromise about the divorce was never likely between such similar characters. In May 1527, Charles's troops sacked Rome and took the Pope, Clement VII, prisoner. This annoyed and worried Henry as it made persuading the Pope near impossible

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

    Cromwell's idea to use Statute law to papal influence was a major reason in Henry's decision to break away from Rome. Parliament was set up to pass laws and restrict Papal power. The King appointed the men of nobility, who granted him what he wished for.

  1. The Reformation of Henry VIII.

    At the age of nineteen Catherine Howard became Anne of Cleves lady- in- waiting. After three weeks from his divorce from Anne he married her. Two years after their marriage Henry divorced her after hearing rumours of another lover. Henry's last wife was Catherine Parr and the only surviving wife of Henry's.

  2. Access the view that Henry VIII's wish for a divorce was the main reason ...

    that he was not usurped in the same way that other boy kings had. Finally, the Treason Act also of 1534 also amplifies the idea that Henry was desperate that any son he had would be seen as legitimate and face few problems when he came to power.

  1. Henry VIII's desire for a divorce was the sole cause of the English reformation. ...

    The Pope employed stalling tactics that resulted in augmented tension between the two parties and eventually resulted in an open public confrontation. The Pope failed to believe Henry's biblical interpretation and the situation became more heated. It was during the years of 1529 to 1532 that Henry had no chief minister.

  2. King Henry VIII.

    But, in the second place, it created a real personal problem for the King: earlier, in his book Assertio septem sacramentorum adversus Martinum Lutherum (1521), he had attacked Luther and had expressed a profound devotion to the papacy and had been rewarded with the title of Defender of the Faith.

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