The Protestant Reformation

By Thomas Rousseau and Jason Garza

Essential Question

How does a ruling party respond when they are losing support?

The Reach of the Papal Authority Prior to the Reformation

The Catholic Church had a powerful grip on Europe. England's Roman Catholic Churches were the most unified in Europe, this went along side the English monarchy that was also well unified with the church.

The Catholic Church in France, known as the Gallican church, was somewhat more independent, but had a close connection with the Italian Papacy.

Spain was the paragon of a catholic oriented country. However, it was also the best example of a Spanish country. The Roman influence here was less than in other places, but by no means was Spain in disagreement with the Pope.

Italy, in many places, had such an intertwined power structure when it came to the Papacy and Government that they were almost indistinguishable in some places.

Germany had no officialize national church like the others, but the Catholics within Germany had a strong sense of national identity. And there was an amount of distrust between the Italians and Germans stretching back almost as far as the Roman Empire itself. However, Italy still had control over much of the German nobility, if not it's people.

Indulgences were sold in most, if not all, of these places in order to raise money for the church and it's projects.

Henry VIII

Henry the eighth was married six times in his life, and he eventually overthrew the Roman Catholic Papal representative power in England and converted the country to Protestantism so he could remarry for a wife who birthed a son.

Domestic Conflicts between Henry and the Church

In 1534, Henry VIII declared himself supreme head of the Church of England. This was after he had indicted his assistant and Catholic Cardinal Thomas Wolsey of Treason. This showed the pope that England wanted nothing to do with the church in Rome.

Henry, with the Anglican Church seperated, had the English clergy denounce remaining Catholic activities. Later on, a force of 30,000 held a rebellion against the king and his changes, but they were subdued quickly. Other than that, the transition to Protestantism was remarkably smooth in the grand scale of things.

Roots of the Spanish Inquisition

The mass persecution of the Jews all across Europe starting mostly in Spain was the forerunner to the inquisition of other religions. The populace grew to distrust the Jews after many thought they had sway over the king and other such secret plots.

This led the Spanish to become accustomed to the whole attitude of inquisition, which later spread to the forced conversion of Protestants.

Critical Question

Did Henry VIII overthrow the Catholic rule out of a personal agenda to have a heir or for the better good of England because he believed the church was corrupt?

So how does a ruling party respond when they are losing support?



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