Presentation on theme: "A.D. 1485 to A.D. 1660. The term “renaissance” comes from a movement in Italy, otherwise known as the “rebirth.” The focus on religion and the afterlife."— Presentation transcript:
The term “renaissance” comes from a movement in Italy, otherwise known as the “rebirth.” The focus on religion and the afterlife that was prevalent during the Medieval Period shifted to a focus on human life on earth. Literary themes revolved around the beauty of nature, human impulses, and mastery over the world.
With the death of King Richard II in the War of Roses, Henry Tudor of the House of Lancaster took the throne as King Henry VII. Henry made many changes to England, most notably building up the trade industry. He arranged for his eldest son, Arthur, to marry Catherine, a princess from England’s great rival, Spain. Arthur died unexpectedly, and Arthur’s younger brother Henry was married to Catherine.
Henry succeeded his father as king of England, becoming the infamous King Henry VIII. Henry VIII was a skilled athlete, poet, and musician, and was educated in French, Italian, and Latin. When much of Europe was being overwhelmed by the Protestant Reformation, Henry remained loyal to Rome and the Catholic church.
Henry’s allegiance to Rome would only last so long. Henry had only one female heir, and felt the necessity to produce a male heir to succeed him as king. Henry wished to have his marriage with Catherine annulled, but was denied by the Pope. Despite this decision, he secretly wed Catherine’s attendant, Anne Boleyn in 1533.
Following his illegitimate marriage to Anne Boleyn, Henry forced Parliament to pass the Act of Restraint of Appeals. This act declared that England was independent of all foreign authorities, including the Pope. It also established the king as England’s highest judicial authority. The next year, Henry declared himself the head of the Church of England, or Anglican Church.
Anne Boleyn gave birth only to a daughter, Elizabeth. She was later executed on the charge of adultery. Henry married a third time, and finally bore a son, the frail and sickly Edward VI, who succeeded his father at the age of 9 in 1547. During Edward VI’s reign as king, the Church of England became more protestant, eventually publishing its beliefs and rituals in the Book of Common Prayer.
After Edward VI’s death, his half-sister Mary, Henry VIII’s first daughter, took the throne. She made several unpopular decisions, such as attempting to reintroduce Catholicism, and marrying her cousin, Philip II of Spain. She openly persecuted the protestants, earning her the infamous nickname “Bloody Mary.” Mary died in 1558, allowing her half-sister Elizabeth to succeed her as the sovereign of England.
Elizabeth I, the last of the Tudor children, introduced the Elizabethan Era in England. During Elizabeth’s reign, England was more prosperous than it had ever been in the past, and possibly to this day. Elizabeth reestablished the Church of England, and found middle ground between the Roman Catholics and radical Protestants, often known as the Puritans, who sought to “purify” the church of all Catholic practices.
Elizabeth never married during her reign as queen of England, and thus produced no heir to the throne. In 1603, Elizabeth I dies, and her successor is James VI of Scotland, who becomes James I of England. He is the first sovereign to rule both England and Scotland. The ascension of James I marks the end of the Tudor Dynasty and the beginning of the House of Stuart.
James I and his son Charles I were quite reckless with finances as the kings of England. Unlike the Tudors, James and his son Charles rebuked Parliament, and upheld the belief of Divine Right (a Medieval concept that God, not the people or Parliament, gave kings absolute authority). Charles I, who was forced to sign the Petition of Right, which limited his power, refused to join with Parliament. The result was civil war.
The civil war in England was between the supporters of the monarchy and the supporters of Parliament. The Royalists were defeated by the Puritans (supporters of the Parliament) in 1645, and the king surrendered one year later. With the rise of the Puritans, the theaters were closed, and recreational activities were greatly limited to give way to practices of faith. When Cromwell, the leader of the Puritans, died, Charles I’s son was eventually invited back to England in 1660 by Parliament, ending the Renaissance and beginning the Restoration.