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Queen Elizabeth I: Changing The Course Of England

1928 words - 8 pages

The Tudor Monarchy is one of the most well known monarchies of English history. It is so well known primarily due to Henry VIII, all of his wives, and his desire for a male heir to the throne of England. Because of Henry VIII, England received one of its best monarchs, Queen Elizabeth. There were a great number of obstacles and unfortunate events that Elizabeth went through as a result of her parents. Although Queen Elizabeth I faced many difficulties, including both coming to the throne and during her reign, she was a great ruler with many successes that changed the course of England and its history.
Elizabeth’s father was King Henry VIII. Many of Henry’s decisions and actions had an effect on what Elizabeth would be required to do when she became queen. The most prominent and important political affair that she would have to attend to was the church (Elizabeth I BBC). Henry believed very strongly in Catholicism. In 1521, he was given the title of “Defender of the Faith” by the Pope. He received this title after attacking Martin Luther in a book that he wrote. In this book, Henry made it very clear that Luther’s religious views were false. He made it known that he supported the Roman Catholic Church, and confirmed that the Pope was supreme (Henry VIII).
In 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the church. His theses concerned his beliefs and what he thought was wrong with the church. If they had listened to him, England would have gone down a very different path. However, instead of listening to Martin Luther, they called him a heretic and ignored his critiques (Jasper 18).
In 1509, Henry married his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Henry’s brother, Arthur, widowed Catherine (Jasper 20). Because Catherine had previously been married to Arthur, Henry had to receive approval from the church to marry her. Catherine was never able to produce a male heir for Henry (Henry VIII). She was pregnant six times, but only one of her children survived. To Henry’s disappointment, the baby was a girl (Ridley 19). Born in 1516, Mary was Henry’s only heir to the throne (Mary I). He could never allow that. He desired to have a male heir in order for the line to continue its growth. A female provided too many risks.
Henry fell in love with Anne Boleyn and decided that he wanted to divorce Catherine. He tried and tried to get the Pope to approve his divorce stating that because she had been married to his brother, the marriage was never legal. However, he had received permission from the church to marry Catherine. Therefore, the Pope found excuses to not permit the divorce for seven years (Ridley 20).
Henry was determined to obtain the divorce, so he had Parliament cut down on the amount of power the Papacy had in England. Anne found out that she was pregnant in January of 1533. The knowledge of the pregnancy forced Henry to marry her. This caused a big problem. It was imperative that his divorce to Catherine...

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