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Word Count: 956
During the 1500s European countries often wielded marriage alliances as an important weapon in the battle against political insecurity and mounting church corruption Attempting to solidify peace between two countries the monarchs would marry off their princesses creating dizzying family trees and the dehumanization of innocent girls One of the pawns in this international game was Catherine of Aragon daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand the King of Spain It was arranged with King Henry VII of England that Catherine was to be married to his son Prince Arthur Catherine was loaded onto a ship and carted to England where she met her husband the fifteen-year-old Prince When Arthur died prematurely five months later Catherine was agreed to be married to Henrys second son who rose to the throne as Henry VIII Little did Catherine know that this decision would lead to a life of torment for her and her friendsIn his book Catherine of Aragon and Her Friends John E Paul recounts the story of Catherine and those who stood beside her after she was disowned and banished by the King of England This book shows how the papal corruption and the rise of Catherines nephew Charles V created a unique environment in Europe for some major changes This period ushered in many reformations including the English reformation initiated by Henry VIII The political reforms that Henry incurred stemmed from a religious controversy that being his marriage to Catherine of Aragon After their first child a daughter Mary Henry and Catherine were unable to have any other children that lived past infancy Determined to have a male heir Henry began a struggle against the courts to divorce Catherine on the grounds that the marriage was incestuous since she had been married to his older brother A long battle ensued in the court room and the population of England found themselves picking sidesIn a dramatic and unexpected courtroom scene Catherine threw herself on the floor before
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