Would a Catholic England have handled colonialism differently?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,044
SoCal
#1
Had Henry VIII decided to avoid breaking with the Roman Catholic Church (for instance, he could conclude that having his daughter Mary succeed him is good enough for him and that he thus doesn't need a son and a divorce from Catherine of Aragon) and England would have remained Catholic, would it have handled colonialism differently than it did in real life?
 
Jan 2017
693
UK
#4
Wouldn't have made a huge difference to colonialism since religious motivation wasn't the major factor in the British Empire's expansion. One indirect aftereffect depends on religious tolerance of Protestants throughout the time period in question: The succeeding Kings and Queens would have to be Catholic and balance the competing religious issues during the early 17th century, whether or not the Huguenots seek refuge in England setting up silk weaving e.t.c.
 
Likes: Futurist
Aug 2010
16,055
Welsh Marches
#5
In my view it would have made a huge difference. One only has to contrast the English and Dutch approach in the early period of colonization and building of trading empires with that of the Portuguese and Spanish, for whom the spreading of the Catholic faith and conversion of native peoples was of primary importance. The attitude is just totally different. For Protestants commerce and efficiency always came first.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,044
SoCal
#7
In my view it would have made a huge difference. One only has to contrast the English and Dutch approach in the early period of colonization and building of trading empires with that of the Portuguese and Spanish, for whom the spreading of the Catholic faith and conversion of native peoples was of primary importance. The attitude is just totally different. For Protestants commerce and efficiency always came first.
Did England become much more interested in commerce and efficiency after it became Protestant?
 
Aug 2010
16,055
Welsh Marches
#8
I can't think thinking that that pushed things in that direction, taken together with political developments in the 17th Century (the crushing of royal absolutism and rise in the power of parliament).
 
Likes: Futurist

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,920
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#9
I wonder if a Catholic England would have looked for a political marriage with the Spanish Imperial family ... this would have linked the British colonialism to the Spanish one. Generating a curious mix.

Anyway, the proper English colonialism begun decades after that the Anglicans left the Roman Catholic Church. Probably, about this we should underline that Anglicans could be defined "Catholics without Pope". Technically there wasn't a great change, it was a political matter: the Crown substituted the Pope, in the bref term. Then, obviously, while centuries passed, there were some differentiations.

What's sure is that without the Reform the followers of John Wyclif and the Lollards would have known bad moments.
 
Likes: Futurist
Aug 2010
16,055
Welsh Marches
#10
It is indeed said that England has a Catholic church all of its very own! But although the Puritans finally lost the religious struggle in the 17th Century, England was much more narrowly Protestant from the 17th Century to the beginning of the Victorian era, than it was under the Tudors or in more recent times, that is a cultural factor that I think we are inclined to underestimate nowadays.
 
Likes: Futurist