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Author Topic: England Remains Catholic  (Read 10656 times)
Frodo
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« on: February 14, 2010, 02:58:18 pm »
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Let's suppose that Queen Catherine of Aragon bears King Henry VIII a healthy son, which in turn saves him from having to make that final break with Rome.

What are the possible ramifications of England remaining Catholic?   
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2010, 03:42:48 pm »
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It's hard to say.  While the natural balance of power problems in Europe would exist regardless of Catholic/Protestant identity (being mutually Catholic certainly did not prevent tension between France and the Hapsburgs) without the counterweight provided by England, it would have been difficult for Protestants to remain in power, at least in the Netherlands and the Rhine Valley.  The Dutch couldn't last a week without the help of the English, so likely would have either moderated their Protestant leanings, or "cleansed" themselves their Protestant leaders, outright.

The primary different that you would see, from a grand strategic standpoint, would be the longevity of the English/Spanish alliance against France.  Far from creating peace, or being the ruin of France, the French court likely would have sought opportunities for either alliances, or conquest to the east, across the great European Plain. This could have possibly created a situation in which we would see a French boarder on the Rhine or beyond, as other central European powers increasing understood their interests as being with their fellow continentals against the periphery powers.

The Council of Trent (or an equivalent) would likely have happened anyway, as I highly doubt that Henry's support, and the extra granted complacency granted to the Church hierarchy would have quelled Protestantism outright.  In fact, you might have seen a Church more willing to deal, since there would have been no bunker mentality (vernacular coming earlier, perhaps).  You likely still would have seen movements like the Puritans anyway... and its hard to say they would have been persecuted more under a Catholic regime.

A Catholic England would not have changed the conflicted nature of Europe, that was a given.  Therefore, it would not have changed the development of technology, the exploration of the New World, or the nature of the Enlightenment in any fundamental way.

Irish history might not have been such a tragedy.
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Ernest
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2010, 04:56:10 pm »

One possible ramification would be that a France buffeted by a Anglo-Spanish Catholic alliance and most of its traditional allies becoming Protestant might have established a Church of France with a Protestant "Pope" in Avignon.
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2010, 05:41:14 pm »
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One possible ramification would be that a France buffeted by a Anglo-Spanish Catholic alliance and most of its traditional allies becoming Protestant might have established a Church of France with a Protestant "Pope" in Avignon.

I considered that, but ultimately threw it in the "no way" bin.  The nature of Protestantism in France was both too weak, and too radical for the French majority to entertain the notion throwing the Catholic Church overboard.  Also, while France has had a long history of anti-clericalism, that has often times been accompanied with a strong ultramontain attitude.  

Besides, surrounded by enemies, their worst play would have been to split with Rome, since that would have surely resulted in their destruction.  They would have been vastly better off doing everything they could to curry the favor of Rome.
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Ernest
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2010, 06:08:12 pm »

The "Church of France" if it were established, would likely have tried to present itself as a type of Reformed Catholicism, similar to the Church of England under Henry VIII.  A lot depends on how there not being a Church of England affects the development of the French Reformation in the six decades between the marriage to Anne Boleyn and the Edict of Nantes.
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2010, 06:47:29 pm »
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Are there any implications with regard to the United States?  Would there still have been thirteen colonies situated along the Atlantic seaboard? 
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2010, 10:21:10 pm »
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As I always feel it necessary to inform people, when discussing topics like this, bibles and liturgies in vernacular did exist prior to the emergence of Protestantism.  They were not plentiful, because translation was a huge problem... you have to keep in mind that the original Vulgate was a massive undertaking in an era where you might have one or two people, at most, who were expert scribes in the both the original texts and the local language.

The Catholic Churches primary hang up with vernacular bibles was not some none-sense about how they thought the word of God could only be in Latin, or how they didn't want the common, unwashed masses knowing the text.  Rather, they objected to unauthorized versions, that had no verification on translation to ensure accuracy.

When, in the 1950's, the Catholic Church finally did decide to spearhead an effort to create a mass produced, definitive vernacular translation, the existing ones (like the Old KJV that the idiot brigade swears by) were shown to be woefully inaccurate... and the people who assembled the KJV were supposed to be "scholars".

Before the NAB could be put together, the Vatican used old, authorized translations as the basis for their first release of English Bibles.  I have one of these books.  The citation for the New Testament is from the English College of Rheims and is dated 1582.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 10:25:58 pm by Supersoulty »Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2010, 10:38:09 pm »

Are there any implications with regard to the United States?  Would there still have been thirteen colonies situated along the Atlantic seaboard? 

There would be differences of course.  No Maryland, since there would be no need to establish a colony for Catholics.  If Virginia keeps the name it'll be named after the Virgin Mary, not Elizabeth.

New Netherland might get established with Spanish blessing if the Netherlands remain content under Habsburg rule.
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2010, 11:18:51 pm »
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Are there any implications with regard to the United States?  Would there still have been thirteen colonies situated along the Atlantic seaboard?  

There would be differences of course.  No Maryland, since there would be no need to establish a colony for Catholics.  If Virginia keeps the name it'll be named after the Virgin Mary, not Elizabeth.

New Netherland might get established with Spanish blessing if the Netherlands remain content under Habsburg rule.

You actually might still have Pennsylvania and Massachusetts established as Puritan colonies.

The real question is what happens to the French and Portuguese.  Without allies in the British crown would Portugal even decide to go fully independent again?  With Spain and England dominating the sea routes, and French interests in Central Europe (as stipulated in my scenario) what, if any, empire would France have overseas?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 11:22:58 pm by Supersoulty »Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2010, 07:12:47 pm »
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America: Probably more colonies advocating religious freedom and Protestantism. There simply would have been a greater need for it. Perhaps Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and a few others embrace Puritanism as simply an anti-Catholic protestantism. Thus America still has a protestant background, but has far more Catholics than today.

Ireland: Likely united today. Far less divisions between the planters and the people.

 
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2010, 07:39:08 pm »
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America: Probably more colonies advocating religious freedom and Protestantism. There simply would have been a greater need for it. Perhaps Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and a few others embrace Puritanism as simply an anti-Catholic protestantism. Thus America still has a protestant background, but has far more Catholics than today.

Assuming that something resembling the United States ever comes into being (doubtful, IMO), I think it quite likely that it would be far more Protestant today rather than less (or at least more Protestant as of 1920 or so, hard to say after that), and probably not a particular economic power or spanning the continent. Hostility towards Europeans Catholics would have been greater due to England being Catholic, and America would have taken a much harsher line against immigration by "Papists".
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2010, 10:31:17 pm »
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Many English Puritans and Quakers end up in places relatively tolerant of (Christian) minorities -- like Russia and Poland. There would be some strange city names in the Volga Valley.
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2010, 10:52:10 pm »
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Many English Puritans and Quakers end up in places relatively tolerant of (Christian) minorities -- like Russia and Poland. There would be some strange city names in the Volga Valley.

Why would they not have simply gone to America?  Those groups didn't come to the U.S. because there was so much tolerance in England.  They were hated in England, because once all was said and done, the only major change in the Anglican Church was lack of acceptance of the Pope... it didn't make the situation better for Puritans, who wanted to destroy all vestiges of Catholicism, or Quakers who had a combination of plain and strange practices, but were accepting of all religions.
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2010, 02:34:36 pm »
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I think people confuse the cause and effect of religion. England and Spain were allied by fear of France, and not by religion in the early 1500s and this outlasted both Henry V, Edward, and Mary, and went several years into Elizabeth's reign. Elizabeth spent her first few years an ally of Philip.

Furthermore this alliance collapsed not because of religion, but because of the eclipse of the monarchy in France following the death of Henry II, which did have a strong religious component, but was coming anyway as blow-back for the centralization under Charles VII and Louis XI. With France gone, England and Spain were left as the major rivals.

With a Catholic England there may still have been a break with Spain, still have been support to a Protestant revolt in the Netherlands for reasons of pragmatism, much as Catholic France aided the Protestants in the Thirty Years War. And there may still have been an Armada. And likely, a religious split eventually. The split, when it happened in the 1530s, was unfortunate from the perspective of everyone, since England's natural allies stayed Catholic, and had Jane Seymour lived, likely there would have been reconciliation with Rome, since both Anne and Catharine were dead. By the 1560 however, Protestantism would have been politically necessary.
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2010, 04:00:18 am »
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Ireland would still be British. My estimates have the island with between 6 and 24 million residents.

As well it's colonies would have seen a 75-25 split the other way. IE the US would not be 25% Catholic, it would be 75%.
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2010, 01:40:27 pm »
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Ireland would still be British. My estimates have the island with between 6 and 24 million residents.

As well it's colonies would have seen a 75-25 split the other way. IE the US would not be 25% Catholic, it would be 75%.

Tensions in Ireland were not cause by the religious difference in the slightest, although religion became a convenient way to delineate who fell on which side and eventually a source of bigoted stereotypes and slurs. Partitioning Ireland would have been much more difficult without religious statistics, though, and it is therefore possible although unlikely that Ireland would be united and independent.
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2010, 09:04:48 pm »
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One possible butterfly is what happens in America. With England being Catholic, as well as other parts of Europe such as Spain and France, I think there would have been a much less anti-Catholic attitude in America, possibly leading to an earlier Catholic President than Kennedy. Al Smith is the earliest example I can think of, but there are probably others.
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2010, 11:01:48 pm »
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Sir Thomas More would not be the stuff that martyrs are made of, that's for sure.
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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2010, 11:17:34 pm »
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Ireland would still be British. My estimates have the island with between 6 and 24 million residents.

As well it's colonies would have seen a 75-25 split the other way. IE the US would not be 25% Catholic, it would be 75%.

Tensions in Ireland were not cause by the religious difference in the slightest, although religion became a convenient way to delineate who fell on which side and eventually a source of bigoted stereotypes and slurs.

Can't agree with the strident nature of this. The Hiberno Normans, while resented by native Gaelic population, eventually blended into the larger population.  The old cliche was they became "more Irish than the Irish themselves".  The real warfare started after the Reformation and as part of the larger European age of religious wars. Then you had the settlements of Protestants from Scotland and England to keep the Old Hiberno norman and Gaelic Chieftains in line. Next was Irish rebellion/massacres against these planters followed by Cromwells revenge. You simply can't take religion out of the equation. There was a brief period of some non conformist/Catholic unity in the United Irishmen rebellions but these were squashed rather easily. Of course, presently religious differences are now largely just a matter of fact thing rather than the cause of the division.
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« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2011, 02:44:57 pm »
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Ireland would still be British. My estimates have the island with between 6 and 24 million residents.

As well it's colonies would have seen a 75-25 split the other way. IE the US would not be 25% Catholic, it would be 75%.

Tensions in Ireland were not cause by the religious difference in the slightest, although religion became a convenient way to delineate who fell on which side and eventually a source of bigoted stereotypes and slurs. Partitioning Ireland would have been much more difficult without religious statistics, though, and it is therefore possible although unlikely that Ireland would be united and independent.

Absolute nonsense.
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As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'

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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2011, 09:28:44 pm »
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 Henry VIII having a healthy son by his first wife does not automatically mean that England would have remained Catholic. The general population started becoming more Protestant, so regardless of who was on the throne, England would have, eventually, become Protestant.
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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2012, 06:43:02 pm »
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Henry VIII having a healthy son by his first wife does not automatically mean that England would have remained Catholic. The general population started becoming more Protestant, so regardless of who was on the throne, England would have, eventually, become Protestant.

On what basis do you make this claim? 
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« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2012, 05:31:34 am »
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bump -anyone want to have a crack at this? 

In practice, this would have meant Queen Mary living a lot of longer than she did which would have had all sort of consequences. Very unlikely in this historical scenario that the United States would exist actually.
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As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'

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« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2012, 01:47:44 pm »
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Hmmm...so would Scotland also remain Catholic, or would Calvinism still catch on there?
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2012, 08:39:31 pm »
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The breakaway Spanish Netherlands certainly would have been in for a rough time with no Protestant England to really care about their cause - although that was mainly for economic purposes based on their "friendly" religious relations, and England wanting to screw with Spain.
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