AQA A2 History- Essay Plan on Edward and Mary

For those studying the A2 History course The Triumph Of Elizabeth, this is an essay plan for the title:

‘Between 1547 and 1558 extreme English monarchs imposed their unpopular religions on a reluctant and rebellious people.’ Assess the validity of this view. (45 marks)

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  • Created on: 22-05-11 19:34
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Essay Plan
`Between 1547 and 1558 extreme English monarchs imposed their unpopular religions on a reluctant
and rebellious people.' Assess the validity of this view. (45 marks)
How things were at the beginning of Edward's reign:
Edward inherited a half-reformed church it was Protestant on the outlook but remained Catholic
in doctrine, which many Catholics sought to accept.
Protestants were in the small minority
How things were at the end of Edward's reign and beginning of Mary reign:
Problems with the kingdom she was inheriting:
o Fundamental religious divisions
o She was not brought up to rule little political instinct to help her cope
o Most of her loyal supporters were not politically from the front rank and so had no
experience of government either
Northumberland's attempt to change the succession!
Her success was due to decisive actions and popular support.
How things were at the end of Mary's reign:
Majority of the country remained Catholic in sentiment
Given time and resources, Pole and Mary may have succeeded in their mission to properly
re-Catholicise England
The delay in restoring the Church's institutional structure and the divisions between Crown and
papacy did not help
Shortcomings of three main people did not help also:
o Mary's lack of knowledge surrounding the wider developments of the time before her
accession- unable to produce an heir
o Philip had no first-hand experience of English sentiment before his marriage
o it was too dependent on a repressive approach derived from the Counter-Reformation
Paragraph 1:- To what extent were Mary and Edward extreme monarchs?
Edward may have been extreme in his beliefs in comparison to his father and sister Elizabeth-
due to his upbringing by Protestants. However it was in fact Somerset and Northumberland who
controlled and put forward legislation so could argue the either extreme or not extreme
legislation reflects the beliefs of the Lord Protectors rather than the king himself.
Mary may not have been a strong Catholic in her beliefs however she was extreme in enforcing
her will and religion, which can be seen through the burnings of many protestants even those of
low birth to frighten opposition and in the 274 executions in the last 3 years of her reign.
Approved old heresy laws

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Repealed all religious legislation of Edward's reign apart from the dissolution of chantries and
was unable to return monastic land and restore them on a full scale.…read more

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Duffy ­ `an attempt to anticipate the Although some were motivated by
actions of the crown to save something religion, it can be linked to economic
from the wreckage'. reasons as the decline in local cloth
industry may have prompted some
poorer rebels into using it as a means
of revolt.
Morebath Case 1547-1550- purchasing Most importantly the main reason for
protestant objects left them bankrupt the rebellion was the dislike of the
and gutted by the reformation.…read more

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In Edward's reign his policy was more extreme concerning doctrine- this was why his religion was
unpopular amongst the majority. People were rebellious in the first part of his reign under
Somerset seen through both the Western and Kett's rebellion although this may have been due
to unpopular religion may also have been because of the weak leadership of Somerset. In the
second part of Edwards reign people weren't rebellious but were reluctant in accepting the
unpopular religion seen in the Morebath Case.…read more



This essay plan tackles the question of whether Mary and Edward were extreme and unpopular monarchs and it includes a sensible structure and a good level of detail.

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