Edexcel AS History: Henry VIII: Authority, Nation and Religion Key Definitions

All the Key Definitions taken from the textbook and made into Revision Cards for ease of learning and revising for January resits. 

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White Rose Party

Relatives of the Yorkist line relpaced by Henry VII in 1485 were known as the White Rose Party. The Tudors were the last remaining branch of the House of Lancaster, which was descended from Edward III's fourth son, John of Gaunt. The House of York was descended from Edward III's third son, Lionel. 

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Bonds and Recognisances

There were contracts between the nobility and the crown in which the aristocracy promised to remain loyal the King. If a noble breached that good bond of behaviour he would face a large fine. A particulary disruptive noble may have to find other leading men to sign surety bonds on his behalf, and therefore a whole network of bonds and recognisances might emerge. 

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The War of the Roses


A series of civil wars in England, which started during the weak monarchy of Henry VI; namned from emblems of the two rival branches of the House of Plantageant, York (White Rose) and Lancaster (Red Rose). 

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Agrarian Society

A society and economy based on farming and the working of the land. 

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Privy Council

Inner Cabinet consisting of the King's leading ministers. 

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An intellectual movement based on the study of the world. Renaissance humanists aimed to revive classical culture and relate literature and languages of Greek and Latin to modern life. 

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Council Learned in the Law

Established in 1495, the Council Learned in the Law was so called because all its members were legally trained. The role of this council was to defend the King's position as a fuedal landlord and make sure he recieved all the financial dues owed to him. 

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A medieval code relating to the forms and conventions of aristocratic warrior lifestyle. The chivalric spirit was reinvented during the renaissance as a means of projecting the power and grandure of sixthteenth century monarchs. 

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To convict someone of treason.

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Papal Dispensation

An exemption from an obligation of canon law given by the papacy. 

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The Renaissance

The revival or re-birth of classical literature and artistic styles of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. Originating in Northern Italy, but affecting all Europe, the renaissance is a loosely defined movement that saw the regeneration of intellectual and artistic activity as well as a change in values and institutions. 

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The Reformation

Ideological and Doctrinal change to the Catholic Church that took place in the early Sixteenth Century. Martin Luther is often seen as the beginning of the reformation. Catholic historians however argue that a Catholic Reformation, reforming the traditional Church from within, predated Luther's attack on the rites and practices of Roman Catholicism. 

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Erastian Kingship

A believe that the Church should be subordinate to the State. 

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Criticism of the practices and morality of the Catholic clergy. 

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God's act of saving man from sin and conferring eternal happiness upon him through admission to heaven. 

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A religious ceremony regarded as an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. 

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Central act of worship for Christians called the Mass (Catholics), Holy Communion or Lord's supper (Protestants). Based on the example of Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, when he took the bread and wine and identified them as his body and blood. 

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Transubstantiation is the change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ occurring during the Eucharist according to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. 

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To reinforce repentance for sin through prayer, confession, fasting and good works. 

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A place of punishment where those who have died with some sins unforgiven must go until they have done sufficient penance. Once they have endured their punishment they are permitted to enter Heaven.

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Lay associations formed to pray for the souls of the dead. 

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Religious Houses

Places of worship and work for the religious orders such as Augustine's or Benedictines. Includes, Monasteries, Abbey's, Friaries and Convents.  

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Indulgences were pieces of paper signed by the Pope that could be purchased by the laity. The recipient of indulgence was cleansed of sin, and they were often purchased for dead relatives so that their soles could be saved from purgatory. Luther condemned indulgences because he believed that only faith could ensure salvation. 

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Leading nobles who ruled over 400 or so semi-autonomous states in the Holy Roman Empire. From 1530, an increasing number supported Luther. 

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Followers of the Swiss reformer Zwingli. Zwinglians were more radical than Lutherans in that they believed that the Eucharist was a purely symbolic ritual, whereas Lutherans believed that the real presence of Christ still entered the Bread and Wine. Luther and Zwingli fell out over this matter in 1529 at the Colloquy of Marburg. 

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Vice Gerent in Spirituals

This was the title given by Henry VIII to Thomas Cromwell. It allowed Cromwell to make policies on religious and secular matters. 

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Papal Primacy

The concept that the Pope was the head of the Catholic Church with no superior on Earth. 

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Papal Infallibility

The Pope was the sole authority on matters of the Doctrine. He was always right on Doctrinal issues and could not be wrong. 

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The Vulgate

The Latin version of the Bible.

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Niall Clarke


not sure whether this will help anyone as it is tailored to fit my own revision but i put it out there just in case! good luck

Henry Scott


Good help and well set out although just copied from the textbook word-for-word

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