What considerations influenced the framing of the church settlement of 1559?

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What Considerations Influenced The Framing of The Church Settlement of 1559?

                James Kim (g)

        Elizabeth faced numerous obstacles following her accession as Queen of England, but the main sector of concern was the religious aspect of society. England was at war against the France, as they sided with the Spanish, and also the Parliament was a key constituent of Elizabethan religious settlement. The Parliament was a hindrance to Elizabeth’s progress as many of the Parliament members were religious conservatives, which implied difficulty when presenting and passing the bill to the House of Commons. Presenting the bill to the House of Lords would prove toughest to Elizabeth and her ministers. It cannot be denied that her personal preference and her Counsel’s decisions respectively played a large role in making sure the bill was passed, although it must be acknowledged that she and her councilors had to compromise to achieve their main religious aims. Susan Doran believes that Queen Elizabeth had successfully fulfilled her goal in terms of religious settlement, while her councilors thought the general outcome fell short of her primary plans.

        The complicated international affairs that England was stuck in after Mary’s reign put Elizabeth in a troublesome position. As Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London, proposed, plans for religious settlement were heavily delayed to the desperate search for peace. Elizabeth had to deviate from her main plans for religious settlement has she had to be involved in he ongoing war against Spain, which England had entered in 1557, later into Mary’s reign. Furthermore, to make matters worse, she had to prevent any potential threat to the throne from Mary Stuart, who was in alliance with France. In order to prevent Catholic nations from turning against England and to avoid any large-scale domestic uprising amongst English Catholics, Elizabeth was keen on not infuriating Catholics. She pursued this plan by retaining certain aspects of the traditional Catholic Church. On the other hand, she still showed signs of Protestant settlement, as she had recalled her papal ambassador and had formed alliance with strongly Protestant German princes. The Peace of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559 would emphasise on the link between Elizabethan religious settlement and England’s international affair. Even though, this would result in the loss of Calais, the borders neighbouring Scotland would be soothed and English settlement could be spread more quickly. In addition, retaining hope in Philip II to potentially marry Elizabeth in the nearer future would enable Philip II to make sure the Pope did not take any action against Elizabeth. Although, she does eventually get excommunicated, this is much later on in the reign where Philip II’s hopes have dried up.

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        After international affairs were gradually settled through the peace treaty, it was her personal preference that played a key role in the religious settlement. It is crystal clear that Elizabeth desired a Protestant settlement but not a radical one. She rejected papal authority unsurprisingly and also denied the concept of transubstantiation, which caused tremors amongst the more conservatives of Elizabeth’s reign. Even with clear motives of Protestant settlement, she was still keen on sustaining certain traditional and conservative aspects of the Church. She was very fond of Catholic ornaments in the Royal Chapel and had Catholic musicians and choir in ...

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