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What is the reformation process of Henry VIII

Henry VIII promoted the reformist priest Thomas Cranmer to the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533 to lead the Church of England, and reused many reformers to serve in the government and church, replacing the old nobles and high priests of the counter-reformation.

Parliament held eight consecutive sessions from 1529 to 1536. Under the instigation of reformers such as Cromwell, it passed a series of parliamentary bills to implement religious reform. According to parliamentary bills, Henry VIII was allowed to draw large fines from the church, withhold the annual tribute to the Pope, obtain full powers to formulate canons and appoint bishops, obtain the highest judicial power of the church, and replace the Pope as the highest leader of the Church of England.

The bishop’s first year’s salary and tithe were his own, all the monasteries were dissolved, and his huge land property was returned to the royal family. From then on, Britain broke away from the Roman Catholic church system and established the Anglican Church controlled by the state power with the king as its supreme ruler.

The religious reform aroused strong opposition from counter-reform forces at home and abroad. The Pope expelled Henry VIII from the church, and the Holy Roman Empire threatened to invade and sever trade. Henry VIII strengthened the suppression in the country. In 1534, Parliament passed the “Treason Law”, stipulating that all speech, words, and actions slander the king as heretics, schism, tyrants, etc., deny the king as the leader of the church, and deny the king’s marriage.

Those who are legal are rebellious, and the crime should be executed. According to this bill, a large number of counter-reform priests were killed, and Thomas Moore was also executed for not recognizing the right of Parliament to carry out religious reforms. But at the same time, some people who believed in various reformed sects were also burned as “heretics.”

From 1536 to 1537, the old aristocracy and church forces in the north took advantage of the dissatisfaction of the peasants and set off a rebellion called the “Praying for Grace”, marching south, demanding the cancellation of all reforms and punishing the reformers.

Henry VIII resolutely suppressed, killed and abolished a group of old northern nobles, and established a “Northern Court” chaired by the reformers to rule. In Wales and the western border regions, the “Welsh Border District Court” chaired by the reformists was established to punish a large number of illegal old nobles and promote the British administrative judicial system.

Parliament passed bills in 1536 and 1543 to formally incorporate Wales into the United Kingdom. Due to the achievements of the reformists, the parliament bill of 1536 stipulated that all the original feudal privileged areas in the United Kingdom must be governed in the name of the king, and a unified administrative and judicial system should be implemented.

Since then, the feudal separatism in Britain has been basically eliminated. From 1536 to 1537, Henry VIII also suppressed the counter-reformation rebellion of the old aristocrats in the British occupation of Ireland, and sent reformists as representatives to rule. In 1541, he himself was also the king of Ireland.

The religious reform movement, especially the confiscation of a large number of monastery properties, brought profound socio-economic changes. Due to financial needs and seeking political support, the royal family reselled or gifted a large number of real estate to the new aristocracy and the industrial and commercial bourgeoisie, making these emerging forces rich and becoming the vested interests of the religious reform. They are enclosing land, raising land rents, driving out tenants, causing a large number of farmers to be displaced, and social order is turbulent.

In 1531 and 1536, the parliament passed bills to brutally suppress the vagrant through bloody methods such as corporal punishment, slave labor, and execution. The power to punish homeless people, place labor, collect relief taxes, maintain public order, and manage local administrative and judicial affairs is delegated to justices of the peace and parish staff held by squires, so that they can replace religious and feudal masters and become the central government’s local ruler. tool.

The religious reform also had a significant impact on the ideological and cultural fields. Under the initiative of Cromwell, Cranmai and others, English Bibles were widely distributed, and some Protestant doctrines were adopted in the liturgy. Get rid of superstitions such as idols, shrines, and pilgrimages. The spread of emerging bourgeois ideas and the awakening of the lower classes made Henry VIII feel terrified, thinking that further reforms would endanger his rule.

In 1539, he personally presided over the formulation of the “Six Beliefs Law”, stipulating that the main Catholic doctrines and ceremonies of the Trinity, incarnation, mass, confession, and celibacy of priests must be followed, and offenders will be put to death.

In 1540, under the instigation of the counter-reformers, Henry VIII executed Cromwell, burned and persecuted the reformers, and ordered ordinary civilians to be prohibited from reading the English Bible. The “Book of Kings” formulated in 1543 further affirmed the basic teachings and all sacraments of Catholicism. However, the trend of reform was unstoppable. The reformists did not give in. Henry VIII knew that he could no longer compromise with the Holy See and had to sway between the reformers and the counter-reformers.

During the reform, more than 70,000 people were executed, about 2% of the British population at that time. Since then, the Church of England has become the Anglican Church, a separate denomination of Protestantism.

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