Journal article Open Access
Roman Catholic Church in England during the reign of Elizabeth I,
Queen Elizabeth I wanted to build a stable, peaceful nation with a strong government, free from the influence of foreign powers in matters of the church and the state. To realise this vision it was necessary to reach a new religious settlement that was as inclusive as possible. Changes needed to be introduced with a minimum of confrontation in order to overcome fear and suspicion at home and abroad.
The choice of state religion would have political consequences, whatever the decision. Choosing to remain Catholic would surrender power to Rome and ally England with other Catholic states, such as France and Spain. Returning to Protestantism would align England with the Dutch, its main trading partner, but risked antagonising Spain, the most powerful nation in the world. Moving over to Protestantism also risked striking fear among En- gland’s Catholics due to the risk of persecution.
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