the economy: agriculture and trade
-population in Egnland at beginning of the 15C > around 2.2 million. -majority of people living in the country side and were relying on some form of farming for a living. -10% of the population who were urban dwellers lived in towns which were small by continental standards. London being exception (exceeded 50,000) - But no more than 20 towns had as may as 3,000 people.
-Amoungst provincial towns only Norwhich > 10,000 -Bristol, York, Coventry >8-10,000. In these Urban areas Wool and Cloth were main industries. (Others: mining tin, lead & coal; metal working; leatherwork, ship building)
-Although Henry VII was interested in building up his personal wealth he had no specific 'economic policy' as a modern leader would. the Acts of Parliment dealt with the economic matters were mainly the result of the private lobbying of merchnats who had vested interest.
The agrarian economy
-Income from land had declined in aftermath of black death, though it had thought to been a recovery in thr 1480's and 90's. - much evidence to suggest a move towards sheep farming. > reflection not only of the depressed profibilty of arable (crop) farming but imporved profibitly of sheep farming ...increased demand for wool as population grew and trade overseas developed.
-England> largely agricultural. Lowland zone > south and east Highland zone >north and west.
Lowland zone> Mixed farming was most common. (crops & animals) aswell as pastoral farming in Woodland areas. (rearing of animals > milk, eggs, wool or meat etc.)
- manorial system of Open-feild husbandry. (found in grain-growing areas of the southest and east Midlands) form of land holding. System came under pressure by enclosure in some parts of ENgland as the 16C unfolded.
Trade and Industry
-Cloth trade was responsible for about 90% of the vlaue of English exports. >certianly flourished in last quarter of the 15C. Jack Lander estimated that there was an increase of over 60% im the volume of cloth exprts during Hnery VII's reign.
> early part of the centry the bulk of exports had comprised from raw wool shipped from places like; Boston, Lynn and Yarmouth, through calais by Merhcants of the Staple.
> led to developmet of weaving, usually done as domestic process, and fulling and dyeing with were commercial enterprise. - places like Lewes, and Lavenham in Suffolk prospered. Others like parts of West country, East Anglia, suffered significant decay as cloth industry porgressed.
The Merchant Adventurers
-increasing proportion of the finished cloth was exprted from London through the Merchant Adventurers. this reinforced London's commercial dominance within the country and established a commercial axis with Antwerp.
-Founded in 1407, wealthiest and most influencial company of the City of London, trading organisation which came increasingly dominate with London's Cloth trade with Antwerp. Macthed dominace with Merchant of the (Calais) Staple > wool trade.
-Positive relationship with the crown was increasingly important. > could act as voice of industry when its commercial needs were subordinated to national policy > king also increasingly used their expertise in the negotiating of trade treaties such as Intercursus Magnus and the Intercursus Malus.
-M.A could not achieve complete domination of trade bacuse of they prved unable to overcome trading privileges enjoyed by the Hanseatic Leauge. (reasserted by treaty in 1474 and again in 1504) > Hen.7 may have agreed to reassert this treaty because he needed to ensure the H.L would offer any support to the Yorkist Claimant - the Earl of Suffolk.
-H.L> group of free citites, orginating in 13C, intention of controlling trade in Baltic Sea; dominated commercial activiy in Northen Europe from 13-15C.
- Egnland remained dependent in trading terms on the cloth industy. Failed to compete with continental competitors > Germany and Bohemia - superiror in mining and metallurgy (study of extractoin, allyoing, reifning metals) >Spainish, Portuguese and Dutch - Ship building.
-Most industrial activities > weaving/brewing, small scale. Didnt need much capital investment.Most suppled the basic necessities of life, food and shelter.
-Mining required ^ captial investment but remained mainly small scale.
Trade Law and treaties
- Crowns approach to trade had little consistency. Clearly interested in maximising customs revenue. however, equally clear that he was quite prepared to sacrifice revenue and trade in the interests of securing the dynasty, also happy for Parliment to legislate in favour of sectional interest. (interets of particular group within a community/ country)
-biggest issue stemmed from his embargo on trade in Netherlands which he imposed in 1493 as a result of fear and insecurtiy brought about by Margaret of Burgendy's support for Perkin Warbeck. Instead of trading directly with the Netherlands > through Calais >invited retaliation from the Netherlads. Embargo ended with the treaty > Intercursus Magnus.
-1503 > Henry panicked once again when the claim of the Earl of Suffolk was once again being taken seriously around Burgundy. > attempted to reimpose the embargo. He was fortunate that circumstances in 1506 allowed him to negotiate the Intercursus Malus, even if its full terms were never imposed.
-treaties were of minor importance and showed that Henry rated foreign policy and dynastic interests as greater importance than the English Merchants interest.
-Navagation act of 1485 and 1489 > encourage English shipping by trying to ensure that only English ships should carry certain products to and from english ports. Such legalislation held little usefulness as foregin vessels continued to transport a substatial proportion of English Exports.
Intercursus Magnus & Intercursus Malus
I. Magnus > set down that English Merchants could export to any part of the Duke of Burgundy's lands apart from Flanders, the merchant would be granted swfit and fair justice and that effective arrangements would be put in place for the resoulotion of disputes. Philip of Burgundy confirmed I.Magnus in 1499.
I.Malus > was in pratice extorted from Philip as a result of his weakess in 1506. Never became fully operative and by the following year trading relashionships had been restored on the basis of Intercursus Magnus.
Early English Exploration
- great era of exploration for Europieans > Portuguese (spice trade) and Spainish. English were slower to engage in such developments, however Bristol merchants and seamen were interested in the possiblities of transliatic discovery.
-John Cabot arrived in Bristol in 1494/1495 at a time when Bristol fish merhcants were looking for different fishing grounds to exploit, having been exploited from icelandic waters by Hanesatic leauge. J.C recieved authrorisation from Henry VII to look search for newland. 1497 - found newfoundland and extensive fishing waters. -1498 set off on anothe voyage and never returned so presumed lost at sea. - didnt step on america mainland.
-J.C son, Sebastian, was sponsed by the crown to follow his father and search for 'north-west passage' in asia in 1508, English exploration of the north atlantic tailed off with the accsession of Henry VIII.