Why Did Thomas Cromwell Come To Power

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Thomas Cromwell was a man who came to power during the reign of HenryVIII. While that is a true statement, it also fails to provide a clear indication of what Cromwell’s power consisted of and how much of it he actually had. Cromwell was Henry’s chief minister and vicegerent , which meant he had a large degree of influence over the initial stages of Henry’s reformation. Cromwell’s rise occurred because he supposedly was able to solve the kings problem of divorce. Diarmaid MacCulloch credits Cromwell with spearheading, if not greatly directing the religious developments of Henry’s England. MacCulloch gives Cromwell credit for demanding that parish churches throughout England purchase an English translation of the Bible. He also argues that Cromwell launched an aggressive attack against shrines and idolatry, essentially marking him as an evangelical or having strong protestant leanings.…show more content…
It is not impossible that this was the case; Henry was clearly willing to entrust Cromwell with a large amount of authority by bestowing upon him the title of Vice-Gerent. However, there were limits to the heights Cromwell was allowed to achieve, and in the end he was the king;s minister. The clear-cut evidence for this exists in Cromwell’s downfall and execution. The real debate which surrounds Cromwell is this: was he a religious reformer or simply a political figure? Did Cromwell play a leading role in the English Reformation or did he just follow the directions of the King in matters of religion, while indulging in a quest for
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