Rulers In England In The 1600's

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Agree or die. This is the way that the rulers of England in the 1500s controlled their subjects. A time of political turmoil heralded many different opinions on the way the monarchs were exerting their power. However, no one could freely express their anger with the leadership in fear of being ousted as a traitor and in consequence, executed. During the 1500’s, one of the main issues was with the changes in religious values. King Henry VIII wanted to adopt Protestantism instead of practicing Catholicism. Later on, Queen Elizabeth I persecuted many Catholics during her reign. Problems also arose from the various acts and personalities of the monarchs. People wanted a way to express their opinions without the fear of being persecuted. Nursery …show more content…
Queen Elizabeth had an even greater agenda against Catholicism than King Henry VIII. During her rule, she not only proclaimed the Protestant Church as England’s main church, but she also outlawed Catholic practices and masses. However, many were reverent Catholics and disobeyed Queen Elizabeth’s laws, gathering for secret masses and prayers. Those who were caught were burned to death. In a plea for guidance from each other, the rhyme “Ladybird, Ladybird” was written: “Ladybird, ladybird,/ Fly away home, / Your house is on fire / And your children all gone” (Gustafson). The rhyme is a call for help from Catholics to one another. Queen Elizabeth created a fearsome environment where many felt scared and needed a way to connect to other believers. Catholics were also forced to attend Protestant services yet many refused. The refusal was seen as an act of defiance which cost many their lives (Alchin 24). The Catholics living under the constant oppression of Queen Elizabeth made them angry but afraid of what their Queen would do to them. They did not want to meet the fates of those who were burned at the stake nor did they want to be forever silenced. Hence, nursery rhymes became crucial for Catholics to convey their discontent with the ruling of the queen. The persecutions of Catholics under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I increased fear, the need for Catholics to warn each other, and also display their

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