11 - Economic Development in the reign of Henry VIII

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  • Economic Development in the reign of Henry VIII
    • Trade
      • 1600-1650 trade increased
        • Rise in cloth exports, raw wool market declined
          • Woollen cloth exports almost doubled in Henry's reign
          • Increases in hides + tins exports
          • Increase in wine import
            • Spending of upper classes increased
      • Most common export route was London to Antwerp
        • Meant other ports (bristol, Hull + Boston) were used less
        • Southampton's trade had a short-term boom + especially with Venice
      • Increase in cheaper fabrics such as Kersey (coarse woollen cloth)
        • 70% of cloth exports were transported by English merchants but a lot of trade was in foreign hands before this
      • Woollen industry grew
        • It operated larely domestically with children, women and men playing a role in it's production.
          • Greatest growth was in Yorkshire, East Anglia + West Country.
      • Serious profits were made by entrepreneurial clothiers
      • Mining industries
        • Cornish tin remained a prize export
        • Lead mining became more important
    • Exploration
      • Henry was uninterested
        • Msde no attempts to build on his father's success
        • Merchants found interest in exploration but couldn't get royal revenue for it
      • Sebastian Cabot remained in Spain and only returned when Edward was on the throne
    • Prosperity and Depression
      • John Guy - 'England was economically healthier'
        • From 1525 population grew significantly + decline in mortality
          • 1520s agricultural prices rose significantly - an increase in farming incomes
            • Engrossing (joining 2 or more farms together) helped this
            • Debasement caused a short term artificial boom 1544-46
      • England was not economically healthier
        • Bad harvests - temporary rise in food prices (they almost doubled)
          • Real wages began to decline for many
            • Considerable urban poverty
              • Over 5000 migrants a year + growing unemployment amongst rural labourers
                • Engrossing caused homelessness
      • Impact of enclosure
        • Created a moral problem as people had to leave their homes
          • Thomas More's book 'Utopia' listed the harmful social effects of enclosure
        • Legislation against enclosure was passed in 1489 + 1515
          • It failed to grasp the extent of the issue
        • 1517 Wolsey launched an enclosure investigation
          • 188 people were found to have enclosed illegally
        • The bulk of the damage had happened before 1485
          • Further legislation in 1534
      • Population
        • Population increase was the main cause of economic distress
        • Put a strain on food supplies
          • Wahes weren't increasing with a lot of cheap labour
        • Agricultural prices + farming income increased
          • John Guy argued 'agricultural improvement promoted economic growth at the cost of peasant distress'
        • Society became polarised - undermined traditional ideas of social responsibility
          • Rich became richer, poor became poorer
          • The rich assumed the poor were poor because of idleness
            • Lead to stricter measures taken against vagrancy + begging


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