In the 17th century, Parliament had become an important aspect in the political life of England. When King Charles I (r. 1625-1649) threatened the power of this institution with his more absolutist policy, it lead to a civil war which had a completely unprecedented conclusion. Catholicism was greatly feared and hated in England after the Reformation … Continue reading The English Civil War
Queen Elizabeth I (b. 1533, d.1603) was politically religious. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. She became Queen of England after the the death of her half-sister, Mary I, in 1558. Elizabeth's religious leanings were based on what was best for the present political situation. She was a … Continue reading Elizabethan Religious Policy
The French wars of religion came about from a series of events that began after France declared peace with Spain in 1559. Spain (under Charles V and Philip II) and France (under Francis I and Henry II) had been fighting over territories in Italy since 1521. Finally, a peace treaty was signed in 1559, and Henry II held … Continue reading The French Wars of Religion
Philip II (1527-1598), son of Charles V, was the ruler of Spain, Sicily, and the Netherlands during the Revolt of the Dutch. Philip believed religious unity would strengthen his kingdoms. Philip wanted to root out Protestantism where it occurred in his territories in the Netherlands. He engaged in aggressive prosecutions for heresy, reaching a total … Continue reading The Dutch Revolt
Charles V was born in 1500 and became king of Spain after the death of Ferdinand II of Aragon, and was elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1519. He was not from Spain, but from the "low countries" which correspond to the modern Netherlands. He could not speak Spanish when he arrived in Spain, which would … Continue reading Charles V and the Spanish Revolt
Thomas More's Utopia was a satire on the idea of a perfect society. Thomas More did not risk facing persecution bay the Church for this book because it was quite obviously not meant to be taken as a serious political commentary. The very word Utopia was coined from Greek by Thomas More and means "no … Continue reading Thomas More’s Utopia: Risk of Persecution?
The genre of utopian satires came into being in the early 16th century with the publication of Thomas More's Utopia in 1516. Thomas More was Lord High Chancellor to England and a Catholic who opposed Henry VIII during the English Reformation about 15 years later. He was executed under Henry in 1535 for refusing to take … Continue reading Thomas More’s Utopian Satire