Renaissance and Reformation

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Why did Henry VIII start the English Reformation?

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Henry VIII started the English Reformation in order to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Their marriage had not produced a male heir, and Henry decided that this was Catherine's fault. Henry wanted to divorce Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope turned down the divorce request in order to avoid angering Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. The Catholic Church also did not look upon divorce favorably. Henry VIII divorced Catherine anyway and set up his own church, the Church of England. It had many of the same ceremonies as the Catholic Church, but the money stayed in England. Henry was able to eventually marry Anne Boleyn, though he would have other wives after her, none of whom would provide Henry with his male heir.

Henry VIII used this break with the Pope to seize monasteries. He gave his state church favored status and took over monasteries and parishes. He used the money to enrich the Crown. By keeping money at home that would otherwise go to the Vatican, Henry VIII...

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