Pre-break with Rome
Religion had little impact on foreign policy before the break with Rome:
Henry VIII joined the Pope's Holy League against France
Not for religious reasons - Henry wanted an excuse to invade France
Henry VIII joined the Pope's Treaty of Universal Peace
Partly religious - Henry wanted to be granted a title like the Spanish and French kings
Also lacked money for war - peace seemed a good option
Henry given title "Defender of the Faith" by the Pope
Given by Leo X, a little grudgingly; Henry asked for the title repeatedly
Henry's Break with Rome
Henry wanted a divorce from Catherine of Aragon:
- no male heir
- fading attractions
- diplomatic liability - after Spain's failure to help the English after Pavia Henry no longer wanted a tie to the Anglo-Spanish alliance
- a man should not marry his brother's wife
- the Pope could not dispense with the will of God
- Papacy had overstepped its power when it granted a dispensation
At a time when the Papacy was being criticised in Germany, Clement VII could not accept that they had exceeded their authority!
1527 - Sack of Rome
1528 - War declared on Charles V
1529 - Fall of Wolsey
1533 - Appointment of Cramner as Archbishop of Canterbury
In the 1530s there was a very real fear of religious isolation and that a Catholic invasion, headed by Charles V and Francis I, would come to England. This may well have been the reason why England became more Protestant in later years, to find an ally in the Protestants of Germany.
Dissolution of the Monastries
Charles V and Francis I put aside their differences to ally at the Treaty of Aigues-Mortes. This was particularly worrying for England as Aigues-Mortes was associated with religious crusades.
Henry married Anne of Cleves for a Protestant aliance
Religion under Edward VI
Edward VI was a Protestant and the religious feeling of the time was very much towards the Protestant ideal. However, Northumberland - unlike Somerset - understood the necessity for gradual, peaceful change.
Somerset's fixation with Scotland led to:
Garrisoning introduced to spread Protestant propaganda and preaching
Northumberland was less fixated, however still attempted to pervert the succession to avoid the Catholic Mary I from ruling
Religion was extremely important to Mary, in particular her desire to marry the Catholc Philip II of Spain.
"[Mary] thinks nothing of Englishmen, only Spaniards and bishops"
Renard, Spanish ambassador
Marriage to Philip of Spain
Her Catholicism caused religious divison in England, particularly with the burning of Protestants.
Wars of Religion in France
Elizabeth twice intervented in the French Wars of Religion on the side of the Huguenots (Protestants)
Treaty of Hampton Court - Elizabeth promised £30,000 and 6,000 troops
religious motivated? attempt to recover Calais? anti-Guise?
Cecil: "[a Guise victory would] put us here in danger for our religion"
Following suspicions of a Catholic plot (Treaty of Joinville, 1584) Elizabeth again offered support to the Huguenots
4,000 troops and subsidies sent to Henry IV
religious motivated? supporting the rightful monarch? anti-Spain?
English clerk: "if the king of Spayne were dead, we are lyke enough to care little for France"
Elizabeth I and Scotland
Revolt by Protestant Lords of the Congregation, led by John Knox
Treaty of Berwick; Elizabeth promised to support Protestants
Despite the French support of Scottish Catholics, the Lords of the Congregation won, leading to:
Treaty of Edinburgh; Lords of the Congregation to rule as a Council, all foreign troops to leave Scotland, MQS to recognise Elizabeth as Queen of England
Religion and the religious divide became more important as time went on. Although Philip organised a fightback against the reformation (1563) at first he was busy with the Ottoman threat and the Dutch revolt.
Secret Catholic Treaty of Joinville - Philip promised to support the Catholics in the Netherlands and France
Treaty of Nonsuch - Elizabeth pledged to support the Dutch
Although Elizabeth's attack on Spain was a strategic need to defend her country rather than a religious war, as Philip'sattack was fundamentally a religious question, the Anglo-Spanish War and Elizabeth's support of Dutch rebels must be considered religious in basis.