English Society and Politics in 1450

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  • English Society & Politics in 1450
    • Hierarchy
      • Rigid
      • King at the head
        • Stability of society dependent on the abilities of the king
          • Also based on the abilities of his senior men - his advisers
            • The safety of the population dependent on a few men
              • Consequences were far reaching
      • Aristocracy ruling class
        • Rights hereditary
          • Owned the position by birth
          • Not based on skills, abilities or merit
    • Key Terms
      • Dynasty
        • A sequence of rulers form the same family
      • Unsurpation
        • To take a position of power illegally or by force
      • Minority
        • The period where the heir is considered too young to exercise all their rights - ends when they reach the majority (adulthood)
      • Magnate
        • Nobleman with great wealth
      • Monarchy
        • The King/ Queen is the head of state and he/ she has power to legislate.
        • Constitutional monarchy
          • King/ Queen is head of state but parliament has the power to legislate
        • Dual monarchy
          • The king is head of more than one state such as England and France
    • Social Hierarchy
      • Heavily reliant on each other
        • Loyalty and service
      • Nobilityowed their position to the king
      • Gentry relied on support of local magnate
    • Medieval Society
      • more complex than a simple pyramid
        • Towns
          • Urban elite
            • Some commanded great wealth and authority in their town
        • Churches
          • Wealthyand significant stratumsociety
            • Stratum = a level of class to which people are assigned
          • Own vast areas of land
          • Similar to urban elite
            • Command considerable wealth
    • Women
      • 50% of society
      • definition in relationto their husband
        • If married
      • If not married their father
      • Stability heavilydependent on husbands or fathers
      • Only a few could act independently- businesswomen
      • Wealthywidows
        • Beholden to the rules of the governing men


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