Did Queen Mary have the most impact on religion around the Tudor times?

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mary Tudor's influence on religion in Britain was problematic at best. Mary was the daughter of Henry VIII by Catherine of Aragon and was a pious Roman Catholic. As Queen she was determined to return England to Roman Catholicism. Protestantism, in Mary's eyes, was heresy.  She appointed her cousin, Reginald Pole as Archbishop of Canterbury, and had the previous Archbishop, Thomas Cranmer, burned at the stake. During her reign, 287 people were burned for heresy. She also married Philip II of Spain with the hope of producing a male heir who conceivably might be king of both countries. Fate took another turn, however. Many people fled England for the continent rather than face Mary's judgment. Mary lived only five years after ascending the throne. She seldom saw Philip, and after a conjugal visit which she believed had produced a pregnancy, she discovered that the child she thought she was carrying was really a uterine tumor. The tumor, and her distress at being unable to produce a male heir, ultimately ended her life.

After Mary's death, her successor and half sister, Elizabeth I, was more pragmatic. She instituted a religious settlement which preserved some elements of Catholic worship, but was primarily Protestant in theology. It was these elements of "Popery" that led the so called "Godly," to attempt to "purify" the Church. They were commonly known as Puritans. So Mary did influence English worship, primarily in form; but her attempt to return England to Catholicism failed miserably.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The question asks if Queen Mary had "the most" impact on religion during Tudor times.  She is clearly not the person who had the most impact on religion (presumably you are asking about religion in England) during this time.

The first answer is correct about her effects on religion.  However, it does not compare her to anyone else to see if she had the most impact.  Comparatively speaking, Mary had much less of an impact on religion than her father, Henry VIII.  He is the one who had the most impact on religion during Tudor times.

After all, it was because of Henry that England became a Protestant nation.  His desire to divorce Catherine of Aragon led to him forcing a break with the Roman Catholic Church.  It is hard to imagine that anyone else during Tudor times could possibly do anything that would have more of an impact on religion than that.

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