Society and economy during reign of Henry VIII


Structure of society
Traditional nobility and greater gentry still a social elite that had political and economic influence. 

The Nobility
Increase the size of the nobility but only by 9 more peers than at start of his reign. 

Nobles expected to have great households and offer hospitality to their households and neighbours. Households remained crucial to the King in terms of maintaing law and order and the raising of royal armies. 

The Gentry
Size of gentry thought to have grown. Increase in number of justices of peace (JPs). 

Little change in standard of living. However, rise in inflation did lead to a drop in real incomes. 

Vast majority of people had few possessions and little chance of regular and stable employmeny. 

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The economy

English trade increased. Continued rise in cloth exports, market for raw wool declined.

Increae in import of wine, spending power of prosperous classes increased. 

Profits of cloth trade didn't always make it into English pockets.

Not interested in exploration and made no attempt to build on earlier achievements.

Increase in population. Considerable strain on supply of food which made it hard to meet rising demand. 

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