Assess the Significance of Henry Viii as a Renaissance Monarch Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:06:56
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Henry Viii was crowned in the early 16th century, during the renaissance period. The renaissance period reflects back on the 15th century Florence, Italy where the rise of religious philosophy, nationalism and interest in the arts, humanities and architecture was dominated in pop culture. Henry Viii reflected these aspects as a renaissance monarch. However his significance to the world today was his influence in the birth of the Church of England. In 1534 Henry Viii released the atomic bomb he had been brandishing for several years at the pope as said by Imperato.

This atomic bomb is in reference to the Henretian Act of Supremacy, a milestone of how Henry viii is conjugated as a Renaissance Monarch when looking at religious Philosophy. The Act of Supremacy was the act which officially turned the church in England to the Church of England (as stated by Morrill). Henry was named supreme head of the church, and England became a protestant nation. However religious philosophy wasnt properly explored until later when the Tyndale Bible was handed to the king.

Tyndale had translated to bible from Latin to English, which was a distinct maxim of Martin Luther, the reformer. Henry sentenced Tyndall to be executed for heresy. It was later that Thomas Cranmer; Henrys self-appointed archbishop of Canterbury said that the bible should be written in English and that all church services should be celebrated in English also. So when the Matthew Bible which was another English written bible arose it was quickly adopted by the Church of England. , this was Henrys first action in realising religious philosophy.

Jones states, at first the church didnt change, by all but name it was still Catholic. Jones continues, Tyndall was sentenced to death for heresy although it wasnt until Cranmer said that English bibles were acceptable that another English version, the Matthew bible was adopted. Morrill argues that, it was Anne Boleyn who convinced Henry to allow English bibles to be used. She used her influence over him to legalise such bibles. However in contrast Imperato states that it was a mix of the two members seeking conference about Martin Luthers 95 thesis and its benefits on England.

It is acknowledged that Henry VIII didnt really want the church to reform as much as members of his court did at the time. Where religious philosophy is a key fundament to a Renaissance monarch so is the rise of a sense of Nationalism. Henry VIII explored the rise of nationalism in the form of the Act of Absolute Restraint of Appeals. This act was used to allow Henrys marriage to Catherine of Aragon to be annulled, as it was a National issue not a papal issue and therefore should be dealt with at a national level.

The act absolutely annihilated any other courts jurisdiction or influence in an English court case. And so, England seceded from Romes power, becoming its own Nation with its own secure jurisdictional court. Hence Henrys renaissance monarchy rose with a sense of individual Nationalism. The rise of Nationalism was also explored In The Field Of Cloth Of Gold (1520), which was a very expensive meeting between Francis Is court of France and Henrys English court in the area of Calais, Englands only occupied area on the mainland of Europe.

The field was supposed to be an exciting set of fun competitions to initiate an alliance between England and France. Among the land lay tents decorated with Cloth of Gold, which was a cloth of silk and cloth, but most importantly it was expensive as both monarchs were trying to best the other and very soon the meeting turned into a grandeur match between the two monarchs. The meeting did not result in an alliance being agreed to. However when Henry returned to England, he signed to an alliance with the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V who, two weeks later opened war with France.

The alliance between England and Spain was in itself a rise of nationalism as a military alliance was established in 1520 to strengthen the impact of England in the Renaissance world. Anderson states, The act in restraint of appeals really plugged the already fuming relationship between Rome and England (1534) Davis agrees by stating, Englands secession from Rome really was the beginning of a new nation, with its own jurisdictional powers only appeared to itself. From this it can be said that Henry used to Act to raise England into becoming a nation with its nationalist maxims and powers.

On the matter of the Field of Cloth of Gold Shelly states, Henrys attempt at an alliance with France was abruptly called to an end when the Field gave no results to what Henry was trying to achieve. Johnson continues Henry VIIIs attempts may have failed with France, but Charles V was more than ready to open an alliance with England. The rise of nationalism is conjugated here by the fact that Henry extended his kingdoms power by linking with the Holy Roman Emperor in 1520. Another important fundamental component to a renaissance onarch is an interest in art and architecture which Henry upheld, an example of this is the Field of Cloth of Gold itself. The Field of Cloth of Gold was named after the grand tents made of such fabric which were flamboyant, expensive but most importantly was an expression of interest in modern (renaissance) art. The tents were made with jewels and gold thread to give it a more grandiose appearance. As previously stated, the Field was intended to be the birthplace of an alliance between France and England, however such never occurred.

The Field was where dignitaries from the English and French courts operated for 3 weeks. The entire occasion was one where each monarch would take his turn at beating the other on things that ranged from jousts to poetry and everything in between; even the clothing that each king wore was a contest, each day both of them would be wearing clothes that out-did the clothes they wore the day before by tenfold. So instead of being a fun occasion where a real friendship between Francis I and Henry VIII it was simply a back and forth competition to show how rich and powerful each king was.

The humanities and arts were explored in the Field by both monarch; plays were showed daily, poetry was recited publically, chess was played and songs were written. Henry even payed an esteemed composer and orchestra to play during the kings dinner feast, inside Henrys temporary palace, made of wooden beams with painted canvas that gave the full illusion of a brick interior and exterior. Jones states, The Field (oCoG) was simply a besting competition of who was the better renaissance monarch, judged on what they presented in the artistic region of renaissance maxims.

From this it can be concluded that the Field of Cloth of Gold was just an expression of each kings grandeur and how integrated their courts were with the renaissance and how wealthy they were. In conclusion, Henry VIII can be seen as a significant renaissance monarch by the expression of the rise of religious philosophical reforms shown in the Church of Englands creation. Alongside the rise of nationalism and the development of the of the Arts and Humanitarian concepts. All of which were fundamental components of the renaissance. However the main significance of Henry VIII today was his influence in the rise of the Anglican Church.

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