Protestant And Catholic Conflict In The Elizabethan Era

2616 words - 10 pages

Throughout history, religious conflicts have led to war, turmoil, and devastation. From the very beginning of humanity, religion has played an active role alongside man. As religion began to establish various denominations, people started to question the superiority of one religion over another. The dominate religion in many countries reflected the religious views of the king or queen with little choice for the people to determine their own faith. Individuals wanting religious tolerance that was different from the national religion began to cause tension within the country. One of the major religious conflicts between the Protestant and Catholics divided nations through Europe. As the Protestant Reformation spread to England, the tensions between the Protestants and Catholics quickly escalated all over the country. For England, the constant change of rulers altered the nation’s religion from Protestantism to Catholicism. Many people felt conflicted over which religion to practice with the fear of persecution by the crown. However, within these times of turmoil, the Elizabethan era gave rise to radical ideals, influential people, and great works in the arts, as well as advancements in science. The people of England formed a country filled with the brightest political, cultural, and academic minds in history. The Protestant and Catholic conflict during the Elizabethan era boasted numerous accomplishments in the fields of history, art, philosophy, sconce, and literature with a major contribution to humankind.
The decades long battle between the Protestants and Catholics began when the Protestant ruler, Elizabeth I became the Queen of England after her Catholic half-sister, Mary I died. Before Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, Mary’s support of the Roman Catholic Church extended as the dominate religion in England. This religious transition from a Catholic to Protestant nation caused immense confusion and conflict between the people of England. For instance, beginning with King Edward VI’s rule, he encouraged the Protestant practices and doctrines around England. However, his successor Queen Mary I changed England’s religion to Roman Catholicism. She supported and encouraged beheadings or exiles of Protestants within the country. Under her rule, Protestants feared for their lives without any opportunity to worship their faith publicly. In addition, Queen Mary I used her position of power to oppress Protestantism in England by executing many prominent Protestant leaders. However, after Queen Elizabeth I gained control of the monarchy, she replaced the old Roman Catholic doctrines with the conservative values of Protestantism. This radical change allowed the religious freedom that numerous Protestants yearned for. Yet, with the newfound freedom of the Protestants, Catholic persecution began under the new queen’s reign. Despite the religious conflict and confusion among the people, the new age of Queen Elizabeth I reigned in a golden era in English history...

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