When he decided that he wanted a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, the pope didn’t allow it. Henry VIII wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, and believed that his first marriage was invalid due to Catherine marrying his brother. It left Henry VIII one option: to break away from the Catholic Church. When you look at the future and how the religion kept changing, it can be easy to think that this was one of his bad decisions. However, he did move England out of the Dark Ages because of it.
England was able to focus on more modern beliefs; beliefs that were stretching throughout Europe at the time. The people had the chance to read the bible for themselves as it was slowly translated into English; however, not all people in the country could read at the time.
One of his biggest accomplishments through the religious reformations was to make England more financially secure. While the dissolution of the monasteries is seen as a negative thing and people did lose their lives, there was a lot of money gained from that. The monasteries never paid tax, despite taking up a large area of the country and being extremely wealthy. The land could be used for other things, and would put more money back into the country’s pockets through tax.
Much of the money was put back into the king's coffers. Anne Boleyn wanted the money to go to the people, as she was very charitably minded. It was a problem between Thomas Cromwell and Henry's second wife, which may have been part of the reason for her downfall.
Henry VIII also managed to take away a tax, known as the “Peter’s Pence.” This tax was sent straight to the pope. Since the king was now the head of the church, there was no need to send money to the pope. Not only did this keep some money in the country, it stopped England funding its enemies, which was how the money was used.