Elizabeth I And Protestantism

1552 Words 7 Pages
The era between the death of Henry VIII and the excommunication of Elizabeth by the papacy was one consumed by the debate of what the Church of England should looks like. Edward VI was a Protestant,and he made strides to define the Church of England as a Protestant church, instead of leaving the church as mostly Catholic in practice like his father had. Mary I, on the other hand, tried to revert England back to Catholicism. And finally, Elizabeth I started her reign by being diplomatic, careful not to lean on Protestantism or Catholicism too much, but as she spent more time as the monarch she became more and more Protestant and her policies illuminated that shift. Each monarch contributed to the religious debate that had taken over England, …show more content…
There was a small percentage of people in England who backed Mary’s reforms, but many members in Parliament did not want to give up the lands that they had acquired through the dissolution of monasteries under Edward VI (eme110). To some extent Mary was able to achieve her goal of a Catholic restoration in Parliament, but the dissolved institutions themselves would not be restored and there were no funds available for Mary to do it herself (eme 111). While Mary did order the parish churches to bring back Catholicism many did complied, but did so half heartedly. In 15554 and 1555 St. Edmund 's Parish in Salisbury bought an abundance of cloth, instead of gold, because they could not afford to restore the church to full Catholicism extravagance. It is also possible that they did not want to make an invest in converting their church to Catholicism only to have to convert back to Protestantism after Mary’s reign ( “Accounts and Inventories of St Edmund’s Parish, Salisbury”, 1527-1557, 37-38). This was a wise move on the Parish’s part because England did eventually revert back to Protestantism. This change was largely in part to Mary’s cruelty in her Persecution of Protestants creating martyrs for Protestants to grieve. Even a Catholic Eyewitness expressed pity at the burning at the stake of Protestant theologian Thomas Cramer, “ I think there was none that …show more content…
She was diplomatic, refusing to lean too far Protestant or Catholic in order to keep both her subjects and foreign allies happy. She wanted “to establish a church which would heal religious divisions and provide some religious stability”-- thus Elizabeth’s early reign was tolerant of Catholics left over from Mary’s reign (eme125). Elizabeth practiced religious conservatism, she was clearly Protestant but favored the order of the Catholic church, as seen with the vestments controversy(lecture, 9/21/16).The English citizens memories for Mary’s reign were filled with persecution and tyranny, catholic empires and the false religion of the pope (lecture 9/21/16) Thus, Elizabeth’s ruling promised freedom from papist tyranny, protection from a popish empire and the true religion of the world becoming the religion of the church of England once more (lecture, 9/21/16). English citizens had such anti-catholic sentiments that they had deemed the Pope to be the antichrist(lecture, 9/21/16). The Ridolfi Plot and the Northern Rebellion were both schemes by Catholics to usurp Elizabeth and their result was cementing anti-catholic sentiments in England. So, Elizabeth started to sway towards Catholicism; she was done being disrespected and conspired against (“An Act to Retain the Queen 's Majesty 's Subjects in Their Due Obedience” 5)Thus, when the Pope excommunicated her she made her her subjects choose to either give their allegiance to

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