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

What were the causes of the break with Rome?

Extracts from this document...


What were the causes of the break with Rome? The reign of Henry VIII began some significant religious changes in England contributing to the already apparent reformation. It is often viewed as a switch between the traditional Roman Catholic beliefs to a new set of Protestant beliefs. This switch was sparked from numerous origins. It is often argued that the Church of England in 1529 was a corrupt and inefficient body, disliked by many English people. Due to the clergy's ambitious nature, clerical abuses were rife; pluralism leading to non-residence was most common. To make matters worse many would gain there offices the nepotism or simony leading to the inappropriate appointment of many poorly educated priests and bishops. Many people became disaffected with the church's incompetence. This may have aided the break with Rome but is often viewed that the state of the church is exaggerated and although the church was far from perfect it was accepted by many and did not rile much anti-clericalism. Where studies have been made bishops visitations returned pleasing results, there were little complaints and non-resident clergy were properly licensed with deputies taking their place. ...read more.


This left Henry in an awkward position, Cardinal Campeggio was sent to try the case in England however the case was adjourned to Rome, and this could take months or even years. Henry was getting desperate for a male heir, by this time Henry had already found another women, Anne Boleyn. By 1530 Henry had begun to pressurise the clergy but it was not until 1532 when Anne Boleyn announced her pregnancy that Henry was forced to make the split. For the first time ever Parliament was used to pass acts that greatly limited the control of the church. In 1532 several laws were passed aimed at restricting the church's control, 'The Submission of the Clergy' allowed Henry to review and reject any clerical legislation and canon law. Parts of these acts often did not relate to the Henry's divorce problem suggesting that Henry had seen the benefits a break with Rome would bring. However one act allowed the consecration of Thomas Cranmer who would later become useful within the divorce issue. ...read more.


A. F. Pollard believed it was not a question of if but when Henry would break with Rome. The greatest conflict with the church arose of Henry's divorce, although Henry tried to act tolerably for several years he was eventually forced to take action. Whether this was due to his desire for a divorce, his love for Anne, his want for a male heir or the pressuring protestant factions is unclear. However the reformist group surrounding Henry undoubtedly played a significant part in the break with Rome. This enabled Henry to push acts though parliament as well as the anti-clerical view in England. However it is a well-established belief that Henry did not create a true break with Rome and this was left until the reign of his son Edward IV. Henry never wished to create a break with Rome but was forced too due to his desire for a divorce. Henry was put in a position in which his desire for more power and need for a divorce strained him to agree with his reformist peers. Henry was born a Roman Catholic and died a Roman Catholic; the 'perceived' break with Rome did not change that. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the view that Henry VIII's wish for a male heir was the main ...

    3 star(s)

    He also took into account Tyndale's theories which stated that the King should have the overall power. Some Historians have stated that Henry really did lover Anne Boleyn and therefore was desperate for a divorce and therefore had to break from Rome.

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

    have a court with Henry but Henry refuses this request and says that he will not be given to jurisdiction of another country. So we see a fairly high extent of relationship breakdown between the two therefore nudging Henry towards the break with Rome.

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

    and achieve supremacy, for example the Act in Restraint of Annates and the Act of First Fruits and Tenths, both of which were aimed at taking money away from the monasteries. He was also responsible for the Act in Restraint of Appeals, which, despite failing to secure the divorce due to a legal technicality, decreased the Pope's power in England.

  2. Why did Henry break with Rome?

    It was not surprising that Henry, always eager to increase his control, would become envious of the church and the power it wielded. This explains why the schism was not based on doctrinal issues, as it had been on the continent, but on laws that increased secular power in England;

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

    Also significant in sharing Cromwell's ideas of Caesaro-Papism were Thomas Cranmer, who was elevated from being a normal ordained priest to Archbishop of Canterbury in 1532, and Christopher St. German, a common law theorist in his seventies who produced many clear arguments for the removal of the Pope's authority in England.

  2. Death is Part of the Process

    "Hello," said Will approaching Alex. "Who are you?" "Hi, I'm Alex Cox and I work for the police," replied Alex. "Is there something wrong?" asked James sharply. "Well, sort of. Look, we need to talk privately," said Alex. Will and James led Alex to the back of the courts and into a small hut where players got changed.

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

    Henry was aware of the difficulties that Matilda, the only previous queen of England, had suffered, and so this act declared Mary illegitimate. Time was certainly of the essence here, as it was also important to Henry that his son be 16 at the time coming to power to ensure

  2. The changing position of women and the suffrage question. Revision notes

    Moreover, at their annual conferences, the National Union of Conservative Associations voted seven times in the years 1887 to 1910 for female enfranchisement. Attitude of Conservative Women in the country at large * The work of the Primrose league seems to indicate some support for the cause of female suffrage:

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