How religion shaped foreign affairs between 1530-1540?

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1530- The Break with Rome

Henry broke England's alliance with Rome so to annul the marriage to Catherine creating instead the Church of England

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1533- Making Alliances

With France and Spain at peace, Henry feared a Catholic coalition against him

He sought to make an alliance with the German Protestant princes, approching them in 1533

In 1534, Henry supported the Protestant town of Lubeck in the Baltic who were trying to stop an Imperial candidate from becoming the King of Denmark

In 1935, negociations with the Lutheran Princes were opened up with the involvement of significant reformers such as Philip Melanchton, but nothing was decided on

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1536- Not getting involved

The second approch that Henry took was to do nothing and allow Habsburg-Valois rivalry to take its course. The result was inevitable, war, this meaning they would be too busy with themselves to care about England

With both Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn dead there was a chance of rebuilding the Anglo-Imperial relations

This was aided by the flare up between France and Spain over Milan

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The years of 1536-8

Over this period Henry spent his time putting down the northern uprising and the contuation with the dissolution of the monestries

Crisis emerged in 1538 when France and Spain signed the Peace of Nice, in which they agreed to a ten-year truce

England strenghtened its military defences in anticipation of Catholic invasion; re-opening links with the German princes

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Problems with Pole

Papal calls for an 'anti-English crusade' were renewed and Cardinal Reginald Pole urged Charles and Francis to overthrow England

In retaliation Henry carried out the brutal purge of the Pole family. Arresting his brothers Geoffrey and Lord Montague along with his mother the Countess of Salisbury, Henry Courtenay and Sir Edward Neville.

All but Lord Montague were executed as he was pardoned for giving evidence against the others

In this act, Henry got rid of the remainder of the Yorkist faction in England, silencing any thoughts of a pro-papal resurge

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France and Spain continued to be friends during 1539

More importantly was the contradictory actions of Henry, in that he still displayed his belief in orthadox catholic views; especially when he passed the act of six articles

It might have been designed to suggest to Catholic Europe that the English Church would not move towards Lutheranism. However at the same time as this happened another Lutheran embassy visited England

Both were scepitical to agree, this remaining a sticking point until Cromwell proposed a marriage alliance between England and the duchy of Cleves

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The Marriage

The Duke of Cleves was not Lutheran but part of the Lutheran alliance and a useful ally

Henry was reluctant as the Franco-Spainsh relationships was heading for the rocks again

However his head was turned by the flattering portrait of Anne of Cleves and the convincing word of Cromwell that it was a good diplomatic match, thus Henry went through with it

It turned out to spell the end for Cromwell, as Henry detested the sight of Anne so much so that there marriage remained unconsummated and the need for a German alliance was no more due to the war in Italy

In the last years of Henry's reign he decided to involve himself in the affiars of others, renewing old policies of invading France and conquering Scotland

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