Religious Situation Notes Elizabethan England

Published: 2021-06-29 06:39:43
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The Religious Situation
Elizabeth faced difficult times at the start because of the changes made during the previous three reigns:
1. Henry VIII had tried to get permission from the pope to divorce his first wife and broke with rome when this was not forthcoming. This led to Henry becoming the head of the English church (all that property!) as well of the English Kingdom (all that power!)
2. Edward VI came next, he changed the faith of the English Church (ad nation) from catholic to Protestant. He died after 6 years on the throne on the throne, and hadn't changed many people's minds about being catholic.
3. Mary Tudor I reintroduced Roman Catholicism. She burnt 500 Protestants at the Stake (remember that the population is small). But she couldn't eradicate Protestantism completely.
4. Elizabeth there took over a country containing two very committed groups. So... the question was - would Elizabeth be Protestant or Catholic and if she had a child what would.
Personal Monarchy
Because each Monarch had a unique, individual personality, the style of kinship varied from reign to reign. Elizabeth had a sense of dignity and dramatic theatre. James represented a Scottish tradition of kinship which was, in contrast to the English tradition, in formal, relaxed and very laid back. Charles however, was more private and aloof, often appearing to be remote or removed from the what was happening. Furthermore, Elizabeth and James I had to be overcome political liabilities, which were beyond their control. She was a women trying to manage a male political elite. He was a foreigner, having to contend with anti-Scottish prejudice. However, their style of kinship had one common characteristic. They all came from Henry VIII, who had created a magnificent Court as the setting for strong, self-confident monarchy. The Court was the glittering, ceremonious, formal and regal place that Elizabeth, James and Charles acted out the role of the monarch. However, there the similarity ended, because the royal personality determined the nature of the Court in each region. Elizabeth's court was cultured, orderly and dignified. It was an important meeting place between crown and governing class. In contrast, James' court declined in reputation and earned a name for itself as vulgar and excessive. It was plagued by scandals and cost over runs.
The Royal Prerogative
The Monarch had over riding powers known as the royal prerogative. These are their powers:
 Government- Appointed his own ministers commander of armed forces.
 Trade and Commerce- Regulated trade by imposing duties and making trading agreements
 Law- Could make laws, could suspend laws, veto bills passed by parliament
 Currency- Could make money
 Religion- Determined church, doctrine and procedure
 Parliament- could summon, adjourn prorogue or dissolve parliament

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