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

Why was there so little opposition to the Henrician Reformation?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why was there so little opposition to the Henrician Reformation? The Henrician reformation brought many changes to the religious and secular ways of life in England. It stripped the nation of many of its traditional Catholic ways and forced new and unheard of customs into its religious life. The monasteries were dissolved deceitfully and effectively and a once cherished tradition was brought to an abrupt end. Henry agreed to have an English Bible in his churches, something that had previously been considered an act of heresy. Other Catholic traditions such as holy relics and the belief in purgatory were discouraged in the newly revised faith. Cromwell initiated these changes to the faith, but Henry's Catholic faith ensured these changes were not too radical and chantries were still allowed to pray for souls in purgatory. Although Henry remained a Catholic, the end of papal power was signified in his becoming the head of the Church of England. However, with such movements that shook the foundations of England's faith, why was there so little opposition to the Henrician reformation? Perhaps on of the greatest tactics employed by the crown to prevent opposition was provoking fear amongst those who were likely to oppose the reformation. Henry had to start from the top, and therefore started by controlling parliament. A few bishops that had once made up a considerable part of parliament ( such as Bishop Fisher) ...read more.

Middle

For example, the 'Glass of truth' was published in which Henry (partly with his own hand) wrote a clear and short version of the law of Leviticus that he argued required him to divorce Catherine of Aragon. The government also prefaced all its new statutes with propagandist material before they were distributed throughout the country. However, it is difficult to determine just how much effect propaganda had upon the people, as a great majority of them were illiterate. This problem of illiteracy was why the pulpit was used as a major force of propaganda. Priests were told to preach sermons in support of the Royal Supremacy, and as the people listening wanted to believe everything their priest told them, they soon accepted the new ideas. Many of Henry's critics did not share the same views in their opposition to the reformation. They all came from different backgrounds and therefore had different reasons for opposing. Some protested against the divorce, some with the dissolution of the monasteries, some against the changes to doctrine and some against the break with Rome. A.G. Dickens said that there was "No one organized group, there was no leader....and it seemed to have very different objectives". The Pope gave no lead to English Catholics to encourage them to oppose or rebel against the reformation. ...read more.

Conclusion

as many of the fundamental aspects of people's remained unchanged during the 1530's; such as their lifestyle and to some extent the doctrine remained mainly Catholic e.g. belief in transubstantiation). It was also far from clear what the end result would be of the Reformation. Even those few in touch with the events of the reformation had little idea that the changes would finally produce reformist ideas. Some people however welcomed the reformation and Protestantism, especially in court in the forms of Cromwell, Anne Boleyn and Cramner. Consequently, it can be understood why there was little cause for opposition to the reformation, when it caused little disruption and for many brought benefits to some people. Therefore it seems that a combination of tactics meant there was little opposition to the Henrician Reformation. Cromwell was an essential catalyst in making the reformation work; without his level of intelligence and ability to manipulate the reformation quite possibly may have encountered a great deal of opposition. The piecemeal and indeed relatively peaceful way in which the reformation occurred meant that people were rarely shocked by sudden change and that many would remain ignorant or unaffected by the changes that did occur. A lesser monarch might have been engulfed by the challenges such as the Pilgrimage of Grace, yet Henry and Cromwell remained consistent, and with an element of luck about the time that the changed were introduced, the Henrician reformation was successful and faced surprisingly little opposition. ...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 the Henrician Reformation inevitable?

    A number of humanist-trained members of court fully accepted this ideology, and Cromwell probably became more Protestant as time went on. Cromwell as vice genrant also made efforts to make religious changes too,such as discouraging images and superstition and began an extensive public-relations programme in which supportive humanists promoted Henry's newfound sovereignty.

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

    The Act of Uniformity (1549) was followed by the First Common Prayer Book (June 1549). Written by Cranmer, it was an attempt to consolidate great diversity in churches. The Edwardian Reformtion's certainly appeared to give the Archbisop the freedom to pursue reform.

  1. The English Church was popular and effective on the eve of the Henrician Reformation ...

    his most famous work was 'Utopia' which was a description of a fictional island, designed to show up the corruption and abuses in English society. They both wanted clergy to be more committed, believing this and education would lead to a vast improvement.

  2. Why was there so little opposition to Royal Supremacy and the break with Rome?

    This was to enable the king to proceed with his plans and also to act as a stern caution of deterrence to others, further diminishing the already few numbers of active challengers. The king agreed with Cromwell that all their actions should be taken properly and be made lawfully secure.

  1. Was Oliver Cromwell a hero or a villain?

    Here is a part from the women's' petition: "We desire a share in the freedoms of this state. Have we not an equal interest with the men of this nation?" However, Cromwell told them to go home and meddle with housewifery.

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

    the same form; as it was, it was a political reformation, rather than a religious one, but if the annulment had not been required, it could quite easily have occurred a little later, and for religious reasons first. Cromwell did not manage to convince the King to Break with Rome

  1. The Henrician Reformation.

    as Cromwell and Cranmer like a real measure of triumph of Protestantism. To many Protestants the monasteries were a clear reminder of the survival of Catholic ideas. Although this is true much of the motives behind The Dissolution of the Monasteries were not just a matter of religion.

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

    The Injunctions of 1536 and 1538 were also significant; they encouraged the discontinuity of shrines, the invocation of saints and pilgrimages. The Dissolution of the Monasteries (1539) also saw the consolidation of the monasteries wealth in the hands of the crown.

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