England’s Empire

The word “empire” commonly holds the connotation of territorial expansion. In early modern Europe, England’s case for empire was unique because Henry VIII established England as an empire, and then further expanded his territory. Henry VIII used Parliamentary statute, the Act in Restraint of Appeals and the Act of Supremacy to make England an empire and to make himself, for all intents and purposes, emperor. Though the way in which England developed into an empire was quite unique, with a strong, centralized government and close relationship between king and Parliament, the English empire grew to be influential in Europe. Henry’s empire demonstrated how the term “empire” evoked both a consistent governmental stronghold as well as territorial sovereignty. It was only after this empire was first established did Henry then expand his imperium with the incorporation of Ireland and Wales. Continue reading