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How important was Roman Catholicism in plots against Queen Elizabeth I and the Gunpowder Plot, compared to other factors?

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Introduction

How important was Roman Catholicism in plots against Queen Elizabeth I and the Gunpowder Plot, compared to other factors? There were many plots against Queen Elizabeth I and James I, including the Ridolfi Plot (1570), the Babington Plot (1586), and the Gunpowder Plot (1605). English Catholics where mainly responsible for these plots. Why did the plots take place? On the 5th November 1605 there was an attempt by a small group of Catholics to blow up the Houses of Parliament using barrels of gunpowder hidden in a cellar underneath that building. Included in this group were Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, Thomas Wintour and Guy Fawkes. The plotters were not only trying to destroy the English Government, but kill the king, James I. The reasons for this went back 80 years, to when Henry had broken away from the Catholic Church, and became the head of the Church of England, and in effect had declared himself to have no allegiance to the Pope. The Catholics where then oppressed savagely during the reign of Elizabeth I, who was a strong protestant, and punished Catholics severely, which led to the Ridolfi and Babington plots. ...read more.

Middle

This became impossible after 1587, as Elizabeth had Mary executed. The next in line was Mary's son, James VI of Scotland. The fact that that he was a protestant was a cause of concern to English Catholics. But he promised to be more tolerant of Catholics and acceded the English Throne in 1603. This, however cause false hope for the Catholics, as following the Hampton Court Conference in 1604 James reintroduced harsh penalties for Catholicism THE QUESTION OF WHO WANTED POWER AND WHY When James I arrived in England from Scotland, he soon discovered that his income would not be enough for his needs and obligations. Before James, English monarchs had grown used to asking the members of Parliament to grant them money. James disliked this idea, but it was the only option. As the Parliament was mainly made up of Puritans (a stricter form of protestant), it was hard for his to keep his promise to the Catholics, as the Parliament would have been less than happy to grant money while he was tolerant of Catholics, and he had to try to stay on their side. ...read more.

Conclusion

How was the gunpowder moved across London from the Tower of London to Westminster (at least two miles distant) without anyone noticing? The River Thames could not have been used because the gunpowder could have become damp and useless, and thirty-six barrels would have been a substantial amount to move without any suspicion. Why were men who were known to be Catholics allowed to rent out a house so close to the Houses of Parliament? 36 barrels of Gunpowder would not have been easy to hide, so how did they get it all into the cellar of the Houses of Parliament, they were sure to have some security. Also, when the Monteagle letter was discovered, why did everybody claim to not understand the message, until James saw it, and he understood immediately? Could it have been so that they could save the Government day (and the King) at the last moment? We must consider whether the Goverment set up the whole plot, giving them a reason to crack down even harder on Catholics, as well as proving their worthiness to the King. The Foreign Policy of the Papacy Therefore, I believe that Roman Catholicism was very important in the Gunpowder Plot, as it ties in with each of the separate factors. ...read more.

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