Why Did Henry VIII Break With Rome?
Henry VIII was one of the most influential kings in the history of the English monarchy. As, generally, the most recognised monarch of the Tudor period, Henry started off as a wealthy young lad who enjoyed sports such as jousting, however after enduring a leg injury which hampered his movement, he was pampered with food, riches, entertainment and wealth which he slowly became accustomed to. With such a rich lifestyle and a life filled with content, what made Henry suddenly decide to conquer the church? There were many factors in his life which troubled him – troubles which could only be resolved by abolishing his relationship with Rome and the Pope; Henry wanted a solution to them without upsetting the public, who, at the time, were under the influence of religion – 1. Henry was bankrupt. He was out of money and had spent more than his allowance. If the monasteries belonged to him, he could use its money for his own causes. 2. He wanted more power – as king, he felt he should be able to control his people more than the church could. By taking over the church, he could also take its followers along with him. 3. Above all, Henry wanted a son. He needed to father a male heir to the throne who could rule over his country after he died (since women couldn’t rule over England at his time), one of the many achievements he longed for during his lifetime. However, to do so, he was obliged to divorce his current wife (Catherine of Aragon, who gave Henry his first and only daughter Elizabeth, and was thought to be too old to give birth). The church would not allow this due to strict religious beliefs. The fact that Henry wanted a son was a significant reason as to why he took such drastic measures. Personally, I view this as the most important factor in his decision to break with Rome, because in English History, inheritance was an extremely significant part of the English Monarchy. His wife Catherine of Aragon,...
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