Was Henry The Eighth The Main Cause Of The Reformation In England?

Essay by tom_the_bomb June 2008

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The Reformation, in a nutshell, was the splitting of the Church into two groups, the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church; and the further breaking away of England to form the Church of England. It was a historical event when it happened and the effects of it can still be seen in Europe and the USA today.

This story begins in the 1500s, a time where the lives of civilians revolved entirely around the Church, and consequently the Pope and his bishops were considered more powerful than monarchs. However, during the 150 years or so beforehand, people had started to criticise the Church for being corrupt.

The first major move towards the reformation came when Martin Luther nailed 95 theses attacking the church to his Church door in Wittenburg. The reason he had done this was because the Church had become corrupt; churchmen disrespected the rules of churchmanship and they cared more about their income rather than anything else.

Also the Pope and his bishops and abbots behaved like secular rulers rather than the respectable clergymen they were supposed to be.

Martin Luther then began to spread his ideas about reforming the Church. Before long he had started to gain popularity in certain parts of the world. A growing band of followers emerged, calling themselves ‘Lutherists’. They agreed with Martin and wanted the Church to reform.

Naturally, the Pope and the Emperor were outraged at Luther’s actions and they demanded that he withdraw his statements. He did not, and before long Martin was excommunicated; banished from the Church and condemned to Hell.

However, this didn’t stop Martin from pursueing his goals. He continued to criticize the Chuch and spread his ideas about how his new Church would be. Eventually the Emperor and the Pope were having no more of...