Henry VIII and his contribution to the English Reformation

1511 Words Apr 23rd, 2003 7 Pages
Henry VIII, the notorious King of England, had an exceptionally significant influence on English history. The importance of Henry's eminent reign is typically overshadowed by his six wives, but to discover its true essence one must breach the barriers yielded by the many fallacies concerning his overly publicized liaisons. Although to many he is remembered solely for his hedonistic life style, his malicious attitudes, and of course his six wives, Henry was well-educated and an adept ruler. He exuded confidence and supremacy throughout all of his actions. Henry fought many wars in Europe, callously increased the authority of royal government, and even aspired to become Holy Roman Emperor in order to extend his jurisdiction. Henry's greatest …show more content…
He needed a male heir in order to secure the Tudor succession and ensure the permanence of his kingdom. His current wife Catherine bore six children only one of which survived a daughter, who later reigned as Mary I. This would not suffice and Catherine had failed to fulfill Henry's ultimate aspiration and therefore was no use to him anymore. He then turned his attentions to a maid of honor at court, Anne Boleyn. Church law forbids divorce, but it is considered ethical for the pope to annul a marriage. Despite his frequent justifications, the pope was still adamant in his beliefs and turned his request down. Wolsey could not secure the annulment from the pope that Henry had so resolutely demanded. His once potent power vanished in that instant since its basis was his ability to accomplish the king's objectives. This was just the beginning of his tenacious fixation that would be the dominant component in his everlasting impact on our history.

Henry was still in desperate need of a way out of his current marriage in order to peruse the new subject of his infatuation, Anne Boleyn. He argued that from biblical authority the union with his brother's widow was invalid. Despite his efforts, the fact that Catherine's nephew was the Holy Roman Emperor made his desires utterly impossible to reach. As result he sought out new methods for achieving his ultimate ambition.
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