Transition to the Modern Age (1455-1688)
I.Transition to the Modern Age (1455-1485)
The Wars of Rose
The name Wars of the Roses was refer to the battles between the House of Lancaster, symbolized by the read rose, and that of York, symbolized by the white, from 1455 to 1485. Henry Tudor, descendant of Duke of Lancaster won victory at Bosworth Fireld in 1485 and put ht country under the rule of the Tudors. From these Wars, English feudalism received its death blow. The great medieval nobility was much weakened.
II. The English Reformation
Henry VIII was above all responsible for the religious reform of the church. There were three main causes: a desire for change and reform in the church had been growing for many years and now, encouraged by the success of Martin Luther, many people believed its time had come; the privilege and wealth of the clergy were resented; and Henry needed money.
The reform began as a struggle for a divorce and ended in freedom from the Papacy. Henry VIII wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon but the Pope refused. Henry's reforms was to get rid of the English Church's connection with the Pope, and to make an independent Church of England. He made this break with Rome gradually between 1529 and 1534. He dissolved all of England's monasteries and nunneries because they were more loyal to the Pope than to their English kings. The laws such as the Act of succession of 1534 and the Act of Supremacy of 1535 made his reform possible. He established the church of England as the national church of the country, and he made himself the supreme head of the church of England.
Henry VIII's reform stressed the power of the monarch and certainly strengthened Henry's position; Parliament had never done such a long and important piece of work before, its importance grew as a result. His attack on the Pope's power encouraged many critics of abuses of the Catholic Church. England was moving away form Catholicism towards protestaintism.
III. Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
Elizabeth's religious reform was a compromise of views. She broke Mary's ties with Rome and restored her father's independent Church of England, i.e. keeping to Catholic doctrines and practices but to be free of the Papal control. He religious settlement was unacceptable to both the extreme Protestants known as Puritans and to ardent Catholics. For nearly 30 years Elizabeth successfully played off against each other the two great Catholic powers, France and Spain, and prevented England from getting involved in any major European conflict. Through her marriage alliances which were never materialized, Elizabeth managed to maintain a friendly relationship with France. So England wad able to face the danger from Spain.