Causes of Poverty and Vagrancy 1483-1603

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Main Causes of Poverty and Vagrancy ACROSS THE PERIOD



Demobilisation of soldiers: At times of peace in the land, soldiers were not needed and many found themselves unemployed. These roamed the land seeking work and joined the ranks of itinerant beggars. In particular, reign of Edward VI. 

Trade-  Trade was often disrupted as a consequence of war, particularly in the early 1570's during the Trade Embargo with Spain. With so many dependent on trade (in particular the cloth trade) during times of bad trade, many of the workers were reduced to dangerous levels of poverty. 

Spain: Under the rule of Mary I and as a consequence of her Spanish marriage, there was a great influx of Spanish silver which was one of the causes of the Tudor Price Rise which left many people unable to afford even a loaf of bread. Many were put out of business due to Spanish traders being given free reign of English trade routes.

Uncertain monarchy- This was the cause of many wars and this meant that homes and land were destroyed and trade disrupted. Landowners could remove tenants who were suspected to have sympathies for rival royal factions.  


Tudor Price Rise- As mentioned above, the Tudor Price Rise caused a great deal of stress for the people of England. 


Urbanisation- This meant there was a higher concentration of people in a small are (eg. London) and this meant a larger number…


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