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The Extent To Which England Was A Protestant Country By 1547

976 words - 4 pages

The Extent to Which England was a Protestant Country by 1547

In this essay, I shall be exploring the extent of how Protestant a
country England was by 1547. The differences between Protestantism and
Catholicism form a solid base in order to understand the situation in
1547 and decide which religion became more popular. Traditional
Catholic beliefs rested on seven Sacraments: Baptism, Penance and
Reconciliation, Last rites, Holy Orders, Marriage and the Eucharist.
They believed in ‘Justification by Good works’. This meant that they
believed that in order to reach heaven they can do works to spend less
time in purgatory and reach heaven faster. This can be done through
indulgences. An indulgence implies that the Priest has a direct link
to God. However, the Protestant beliefs introduced by Martin Luther
that influenced the protestant ideas in England were completely
different. He believed in ‘Justification by Faith Alone.’ He also
criticises the seven Sacraments. Such as the role of the Priest, the
Eucharist and the process of transubstantiation.

To what extent was England a protestant country by 1547 is a complex
question and it has been argued by many that England was still a
fundamentally catholic country by the death of Henry VIII, and that it
was the events of the reign that followed that played the important
part in making England protestant. It can also be argued that the
damage done to the roman catholic church such as the dissolution of
the monasteries in which Between 1536 and 1540, Henry dissolved all
the monasteries that had not previously been dissolved. and also the
royal supremacy made it slightly more difficult for Henry VIII to
suppress the rise of Protestantism. Many of these changes also made it
extremely difficult to prevent full Catholicism but there was still a
small chance that a return could be enforced. Many other moves had
also been previously made toward Protestantism, these include the
spread of the vernacular bible which people could read and understand
better than being told what the priests wanted them to hear. Another
was the decline in the use of relics and the fact that churches were
beginning to appear more protestant. However, the six articles of 1539
show that a catholic reaction was taking place against the
Protestantism ideas. The Six Articles upheld such Catholic articles as
clerical celibacy, the private mass, and confessions to a priest. It
also meant that Protestants were punished for violating the Six
Articles, while papists were punished for denying the royal supremacy.

Henry VIII also made the...

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