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Why did Elizabeth pursue a compromised religious settlement in 1559?

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Introduction

Why did Elizabeth pursue a compromised religious settlement in 1559? Elizabeth really needed to find a religious compromise for England after the hard time her people had had before she came to power. In 1559 Elizabeth compromised a religious settlement, however it was widely debated just how much it stabilised the religion problem, as now both Catholics and Puritans were equal, ad both had the rights to voice their views. Even though this settlement was in place, religious conflicts still occurred, although this would have been down to the Catholics or Protestants unwillingness to compromise in the settlement, not down to the government. Although having a woman on the throne was still greatly frowned upon, many people knew that Elizabeth was very intelligent and was just as able as most men, so when she told this idea to her advisors, very few of them disagreed with her. ...read more.

Middle

Elizabeth was also very aware that two very powerful Catholic states, Scotland and Spain, were carefully scrutinising religious events in England. Spain was seen as an ally as Queen Mary had been married to Philip of Spain, and the last thing Elizabeth wanted to do was to get on the wrong side of a very Catholic France and push the French government into an even closer relationship with Scotland. The final religious settlement recognised royal supremacy within the church. The Act of Supremacy made Elizabeth Supreme Governor of the Church and church officials were required to take an oath of obedience to Elizabeth. Neither the Catholics or Protestants were willing to accept a woman as Head of the Church, which is why Elizabeth compromised, and took the 'Supreme Governor' as opposed to 'Head'. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, only 4% of all lower clergy refused to take the oath to the Queen. While the clergy was allowed to marry, they were discouraged from doing so. An injunction was passed that stated that any member of the clergy who wanted to marry had to be questioned by his bishop and by two JP's from his church area. Elizabeth made it clear that she herself wasn't in favour of the clergy marrying. The Act of Uniformity in 1559 just about passed the Lords. It was Elizabeth's attempt to ensure as many believers as was possible could be saved from 'evil'. The 1552 Prayer Book was to be used in services while the wording of the 1549 Prayer Book was to be introduced and used into the Communion service, so that a generous interpretation as to what was meant by the 'real presence' could be brought into church services. ...read more.

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