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How did King Henry VIII change the religion in England?

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dj3505 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 26, 2009 at 2:02 PM via web

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How did King Henry VIII change the religion in England?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 26, 2009 at 2:41 PM (Answer #1)

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King Henry VIII came into conflict with the Roman Catholic Church when he desired a new wife and the Pope refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Bolelyn in hopes of having a male child and, thus, preserve his lineage.  Pope Clement, who was virtually a prisoner of Catherine's nephew, Charles V of Spain, was reluctant to raise the ire of Spain's king by annuling a marriage for which Henry had been granted a dispensation in the first place.  The Pope dragged the case on for years; frustrated Henry consulted with Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was himself a very clever man.  Disenchanted with Rome, Cranmer lent his support to Henry; and, with the Machiavellian skill of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII convinced Parliament to repudiate the authority of Rome over the English church and the king's subjects.

Henry VIII was then made head of the Church of England and Protestants moved into positions of prominence in the country. Also, Henry suppressed the monasteries and put their property and wealth at his own disposal, reducing the power of the Catholic Church in England.

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