Religion, Peace And War In Elizabethan England

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"Religion and Peace and War were the most dangerous issues of government faced by Elizabeth I and James I"�.

Explain why they were the most dangerous and how successfully Elizabeth and James dealt with them. How successfully did they deal with these issues? Elizabeth and James were equally competent, although they were different personalities. Both recognised the incendiary nature of religious division and the potential for disaster if this issue was mishandled. Both knew, intellectually and emotionally, how religious dispute led to ruinous war. Elizabeth was a protestant and her most pressing concern when she became queen was to face her sister's desire and accomplishment of restoring the Catholic faith. Therefore Elizabeth vowed to reverse Mary's changes to religion in England.

Elizabeth clearly understood that for the great mass of people in England the Roman Catholic faith had been an important source of social support and comfort. The established religious faith in England in 1558 was Roman Catholicism.

For thousands of years in England it had been the faith to which everyone belonged. In England in 1558 the local church and its priest were important parts of the village and urban life. The church was often the most prominent building within the local landscape.

In 1559 Elizabeth's protestant religious settlement was put into place. As one of her first public acts as monarch she ordered the clergyman at the church service to remove the candles as she could see well enough without them. Candles were an important part of the Old Catholic faith ceremony. Protestant reformers believed that they had become tainted with superstitions and even magical powers that did not conform to pure Christian belief.

The Reformation divided Europe into two armed camps. Religious division between Catholic and Protestant escalated into bitter wars of long duration. People were prepared...