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Propaganda and the English Reformation: Persuading the Public

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Title:Propaganda and the English Reformation: Persuading the Public
Authors:Hollis, Corey
Contributors:History (department)
Date Issued:26 Sep 2014
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract:This paper deals with the government propaganda campaign in England under Thomas Cromwell in the 1530s during and after the critical years of the break with Rome. Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief advisor, was the key player in this campaign. In calling it a campaign of propaganda, I mean, in a broad sense, the deliberate dissemination of material to help or harm an institution. Cromwell’s campaign was mainly a political one, attempting to help Henry’s cause by opposing the Papacy; that his own beliefs coincided with the campaign was, to a large extent, secondary. Furthermore, the campaign was organized in the sense that Cromwell deliberately enlisted a variety of propagandists to accomplish specific aims and promote Henry’s cause among all classes of society. However, there does not seem to have been a concrete plan of action that detailed the specific goals and steps to be taken (at least none has yet been found), although Richard Morison enthusiastically espoused the idea of a propaganda campaign in general. Cromwell seems to have commissioned writers (often men who had sought his patronage such as Morison, Thomas Starkey, and Stephen Vaughn) and played the role of editor (as with Starkey’s Dialogue between Pole and Lupset) on a more indiscriminate than deliberate basis that nevertheless resulted in a fairly comprehensive plan of attack. It was not a rigid campaign; sometimes Cromwell used arguments or commissioned works designed to meet the exigencies of the time, and there was no definitive beginning or ending in that attempts to manipulate public opinion were not new. However, the campaign can be defined as lasting from approximately 1532 to 1540, starting with the Glass of Truth and ending with the death of the man who energized it.
Pages/Duration:viii, 89 pages
Rights:All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Honors Projects for History

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