Mid-Tudor Crisis 1540 - 1558

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THEMES OF MID TUDOR CRISIS

FOREIGN POLICY

REBELLIONS

SUCCESSION

RELIGION

FINANCIAL POLICY

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FOREIGN POLICY

HENRY VIII

  • At war with both Scotland + France
  • Significant lack of support/respect from Spain + Holy Roman Empire
  • Foreign policy = complete drain/waste of finances (HUGE EFFECT ON EVI + MI)

EDWARD VI

  • Most of Europe were Catholic = religious enemies of England
  • COUNTER REFORMATION MOVEMENT LED BY ROME - aggressive attack against Protestantism
  • Renewal of 'auld alliance' by Henry II ended peace between England + Scotland/France

MARY I

  • Spanish Marriage - upset France + cause national uprising
  • Loss of Boulogne + Calais = massive blow to English reputation
  • England ultimately removed from European power stage 
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REBELLION

EDWARD VI

  • 1549 YEAR OF CRISIS
  • 1549 Kett's Rebellion = economic issues of enclosure
  • 1549 Western Rebellion = religious discontent over Protestant Reform + Act of Uniformity
  • Caused domestic crisis for government combined w/ foreign policy issues w/ Scotland (BATTLE OF PINKIE) 

MARY I

  • Northumberland Rebellion = succession crisis
  • Wyatt's Rebellion = religious + foreign policy crises

HOWEVER DURING THE NORTHUMBERLAND REBLLION MI DEMONSTRATED THE SECURITY + AUTHORITY OF THE TUDOR CLAIM BY SWIFTLY ACTING + REMOVING LJG W/ AMPLE SUPPORT

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SUCCESSION

HENRY VIII

  • Second Act of Succession changed order of succession + reintroduced MI and EI as heirs after EVI and any possible children 

EDWARD VI

  • Changed will/final succession act pf HVIII + removed MI from succession
  • MI = replaced by Protestant Lady Jane Grey (very flimsy claim)

MARY I

  • Briefly replaced by LJG + led to Northumberland Rebellion against accession of MI

HOWEVER MI SUCCESSFULLY SECURED THE TUDOR SUCCESSION W/ SIGNIFICANT SUPPORT + DESPITE CATHOLIC BELIEF

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RELIGION

HENRY VIII

  • Uncertain religious changes w/ superficial + unconvincing Protestant Reformation
  • Catholicism w/o Rome = unstable (HVIII excommunicated)

EDWARD VI

  • Kick-started Protestant Reformation in ernest - supported by both Somerset + Northumberland
  • Western Rebellion = result of Protestant Reforms + uncertaity over doctrine/faith/worship
  • Caused significant issues w/ foreign policy + anti-English/anti-Protestant feelings across Europe

MARY I

  • Attempted to re-Catholicise England
  • Led to Wyatt's Rebellion + overall discontent among nobility + peasantry 
  • Led to exile + burning of important Protestant figures = creation of martyrs (Cramner)

LED TO HUGE CONFUSION OVER RELIGION LEADING TO + DURING THE REIGN OF EI

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FINANCIAL POLICY

HENRY VIII

  • Foreign policy = overall exessive waste of money + resources (3rd French War, war against Scotland)
  • Debasement of coinage = massive inflation
  • Dissolutions + sale of monastic land = wasted on foreign policy + aided inflation

EDWARD VI

  • Left w/ huge debt from HVIII = further debasement
  • Wasted £6,000 on war w/ Scotland + France
  • Poor harvests + overpopulation = rising prices + low wages
  • Enclosure = massive financial issue = caused rebellion

MARY I

  • 1555/1556 droughts + floods = bad harvests
  • Coins debased for THIRD time

BOOK OF RATES IMPROVED TRADE = IMPROVED FINANCES

EVI DEBASEMENT IMPROVED FINANCES + MI DEBASEDMENT STABILISED CURRENCY

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W R D JONES (HISTORIAN OPINION)

  • Agrees w/ concept of Mid Tudor Crisis - end of HVIII reign to death of MI

8 specific aspects together = crisis:

  • weak rulers
  • economic issues
  • failed foreign policy
  • rebellions
  • religious issues
  • conflict between court factions
  • issues w/ local governments
  • succession issues

GENERALLY PERIOD OF RELIGIOUS DISCONTENT + INEFFICIENT GOV + SOCIOECONOMIC ISSUES/REBELLIONS

= LARGE-SCALE DISORDER + DISASTER

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G R ELTON (HISTORIAN OPINION)

  • Considers the Mid Tudor Crisis the sole fault of MI
  • MI = "ill prepared" + "devioid of political skill" + "arrogant"
  • Mi was not suitable to lead England through/after the Reformation

KIND OF SEXIST + UNBALANCED VIEW

(DOESNT CONSIDER BLUNDERS OF HVIII + PROTECTORS OF EVI AS SIGNIFICANT FACTORS IN CREATING UNFAVOURABLE SITUATION FOR MI)

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M HUTCHINGS (HISTORIAN OPINION)

  • Disagrees w/ concept of Mid Tudor Crisis
  • Argues MI did significant work to stabilise England + made significant positive improvements as Queen
  • Claims EI piggybacked on achievements of MI + obscures progress/achievements of MI
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J LOACH + R TITTLER (HISTORIAN OPINION)

REVISIONIST VIEW

  • Revisionist views study periods before + after tradtional crisis years
  • Suggest period focuses on the failures of the nobility causing disorder rather than failures of the monarchs themselves 
  • Consider crisis years as a 'creative period'

CRISES OF EVI + MI WERE CAUSED MAINLY BY SOMERSET/NORTHUMBERLAND (IN TERMS OF REBELLIONS)

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D LOADES (HISTORIAN OPINION)

REVISIONIST VIEW

  • Argues against the concept of a Mid Tudor Crisis altogether
  • Argues the definition of a crisis + that for a real crisis to have occurred the main bodies of the monarchy incl. Privy Council would have been close to collapse (not true)
  • Argues Tudor authority during rebellions was still strong + effetive
  • Argues the scale of the issues face with rebellions + finance were not unusual for the period
  • Post-revisionism also suggests the rulers were not as weak as made out by the crisis

STILL SOME ISSUE WITH REVISIONISM PLAYING DOWN THE EXTENT OF THE ISSUES FACED BY MID TUDORS (NOT A CRISIS BUT STILL SIGNIFICANT + A THREAT)

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