The break with Rome: A comparison between Henry VIII and Gustav Vasa
LE3 .A278 2017
Bachelor of Arts
History & Classics
Henry VIII of England and Gustav Vasa of Sweden both ruled during the 16th Century. During this time, both men decided to join the Reformation movement and break with the Church of Rome. Henry had grown frustrated with his wife Catherine of Aragon, because she had been unsuccessful in giving him a male heir. He decided to divorce her, but to his dismay the Church of Rome would not allow it. In order to secure a divorce, Henry, alongside his key advisors Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer, broke with the Church of Rome and created the Church of England. Even though they broke with Rome officially and Henry became the Supreme Head of the Church of England, Henry was not interested in creating a radical Church. Henry had grown up studying theology, and the traditional theology was extremely important to him. On the other hand, Gustav Vasa chose to Break with Rome after Sweden had separated itself from Denmark and the Kalmar Union. Gustav was angry with the pope for having allowed the execution of Swedish nobles, including Gustav’s father, at the Stockholm Bloodbath. In contrast to Henry, Gustav was not interested in theology, so he was indifferent to what sect of Christianity Sweden adopted. Analyzing the two kings together, it is possible to highlight Henry’s appreciation of theology, and how the new Church of England maintained a doctrine that was extremely similar to the Church of Rome.
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