Henry Viii's Divorce Case Study

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The institution of marriage is deeply rooted in our society and serves as the bedrock for establishing healthy families and children. This institution has sociological, legal, and religious underpinnings which act as a starting point for historians and social scientists to study human evolution in the area of gender dynamics, human relationships, and kinship systems. An institution of this significance has guided kingdoms and created foreign alliances such as Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Granted, few Americans are royalty or boast a royal lineage; but many can resonate with the experience of Henry VIII or Catherine of Aragon 's plight when a marriage takes the trajectory of divorce. Fortunately, exile and beheadings are no longer options for men seeking a divorce. More importantly, one legal institution that had aided in women’s rights is divorce.
Historical Precedent
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First, the church played a significant role in the marriage institution. Before the Protestant Reformation took place, the Catholic Church had the sole power to dissolve a union based on one of the following reasons: lack of consent, unrecognized kinship relationship, pre-contract to marry, non-consummation, or insanity (Foreman, 2014). In the case of Henry VIII, Catherine was unable to produce a male heir, and his blooming romance with Anne Boleyn fueled Henry 's hope of a male heir. Despite Henry 's petitions to the Catholic Church, Henry was unable to legitimize his annulment claims, thus leading Henry to part ways with the Catholic Church (Foreman, 2014). A departure from the Catholic Church heralded the separation of church and state. Henry VIII 's formation of the Church of England solidified the Protestant Movement and eradicated a system based on esoteric rites and patronage which served as the social fabric for

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