Parliament (Organisation, Henry VII, Early Henry VIII)

Pages 20-21 of Tudor Rebellions Book

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  • Parliament
    • Organisation
      • Two chambers
        • Unelected House of Lords
          • Hereditary peers and bishops
        • Elected House of Commons
          • MPs (two for each county, some towns even sent MPs to parliament)
          • Voting
            • Own property with an income of 40 shillings (£2) per year
              • Only wealthy could vote
          • MPs went uncontested
          • Nobility exercise patronage --> ensure their MPs win
            • EXP: Norfolk influenced eight boroughs
        • Interests of landed gentry and nobles
        • To pass an act, it had to go through both chambers, then the monarch
      • Voting
        • Own property with an income of 40 shillings (£2) per year
          • Only wealthy could vote
      • Problems arose due to taxation, finance, royal succession and religion
    • Henry VII
      • Forced to call periodically mainly to allow taxes to finance war
      • Cautious foreign policy
        • Called Parliament 7 times in 24 years
          • Sat for a total of only 72 weeks
        • Last called parliament in 1504
          • Had to take a smaller sum of money
            • Commons were reluctant to grant the sum
              • Due to allowance to exercise new right to withhold taxation until grievances were settled
      • Called first parliament to enhance claim to throne
        • Parliament passed Acts of Attainder (guilty without a trial)
    • Henry VIII (1509-23)
      • Legal status to Tudor succession
      • Before break with Rome
        • No need to call often
          • Met 4 times
      • Used to fund wars to prove himself on international stage
        • Against France and Scotland
        • By 1517, parliament is less keen to give money due to losses
          • Also partly due to fear of rebellion for the nobility if taxes increased
          • EXP: Wolsey faced resistance. £288,814 raised in taxes, but loans totalled £260,000
            • 1523


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