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What were the causes of the English Reformation? Show more Show less
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The English Reformation in the 16th century began when Henry VIII was not able to divorce his wife. The English Reformation was part of a larger European movement, fuelled by the printing press and a number of charismatic theologians.

Later Tudor monarchs consolidated Henry's Reformation in England Show more Show less

During King Henry VIII's reign, the Reformation was unpopular among large sections of the population in England. Later Protestant monarchs, such as Edward VI, and Elizabeth I, continued Henry's reforms more successfully. Advocates of the 'slow Reformation', believe Henry and his courtiers had little impact on belief and that it took a long time for England to accept a genuine Protestant Reformation.
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Edward VI introduced serious Protestant reforms

Henry VIII had broken with Rome but had not instituted many reforms. Edward VI was a sincere Protestant who introduced many important ideas that would shape England forever.
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The Argument

Edward VI was raised by Protestant tutors and had sincere beliefs unlike his father Henry. He was surrounded by important protestant ministers. including Edward Seymour, who was Lord Protector when the nine-year-old King came to the throne. The Seymour family pushed for wider more serious reforms. Lord Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who replaced him, was also an important reformer.[1] Henry VIII had changed very little apart from ending papal supremacy. Under Edward VI, churches were stripped of their decorations, altars removed, and priests were banned from wearing vestments. In addition, Priests could now marry and church services were in English. A new English prayer book was introduced, written by Archbishop Cranmer.[2] Although he was not always popular, his influence was impossible for his catholic successor to undo. Under Edward VI, England’s protestant future became an inevitability. Mary’s reign would be unpopular and was not able to reverse the vision of a protestant England Edward had created. [3]

Counter arguments

Edward’s reign was wracked by religious turmoil including the Kett Rebellion in Norfolk and rebellions in Cornwall. Many people were not happy with the new English church service.[4] Upon his death, his chosen protestant successor, Lady Jane Grey, was swiftly deposed and executed. In spite of being catholic Mary had little trouble attaining the throne.[5] The conflict between new religious ideas and Catholicism would continue long after Edward's reign. Elizabeth did a better job of proposing a more reasonable and widely accepted version of Protestantism.[6] Edward’s reforms by contrast had not been very popular. Edward VI’s reforms were still extremely controversial, and his short reign did not make much difference to England’s beliefs overall.



[P1] Edward was a sincere protestant as were his ministers [P2] Edward's government introduced Protestant religious ideas for the first time [C] The Reformation really started under Edward VI

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Sunday, 8 Nov 2020 at 19:14 UTC

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