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England was a very isolated place in Europe during the period of the Protestant Reformation Although Protestantism was tearing apart the rest of Europe it took on a different form in England taking on much of the doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church Because of his actions Henry VIII laid the foundations of Protestantism in England which under the rule of Edward and Elizabeth would transform England from a Catholic to a Protestant nation Henrys personal affairs seem to have jump started the reformation in England Henrys marriage to Catherine of Aragon became an increasing complication for him Because she had failed to breed a male heir to the throne Henry wanted out She was becoming too old and Henry already had her replacement in mind Anne Boleyn However getting a divorce was a very complicated issue being that Henry was Roman Catholic The church did not recognize divorces and would not allow it under any circumstances Henry feared that if he announced a divorce the Pope would excommunicate him and in this period in time this was a great fear because people believed that their soul would not reach heaven if this happened The Popes refusal to grant a divorce angered Henry so he ordered the Archbishop of Canterbury to grant him his wish instead To remain on good terms with the King the Archbishop allowed the divorce against Popes orders In the aftermath Henry effectively placed himself as the Head of Church in England calling it the Church of England Anglican and distanced himself from the Roman Catholic Church based in Rome Henrys decision had no major effect on the general public Since the people felt they were being taken advantage of by the Roman Church they put their faith in Henry and believed he would not take money from them ruthlessly like the Catholic Church had Henrys next targets were the monasteries where monks lived The monks were very loyal
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