What was England like in 1547?

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  • What was England like in 1547?
    • The Government of England
      • The royal household looked after the domestic needs of the king.
      • The age of the king gave opportunities for nobles to gain power and for factional struggles.
        • Parliament was not a regular feature of government, but called when the king needed money or new laws.
        • The King relied on nobles for advice and along with senior churchmen made up the privy council.
      • Law and order in the localities was maintained by Justice's of the Peace.
    • Monarchy in England
      • Henry had ruled England throughout the 1540's without a chief minister, making most of the decisions himself.
      • Henry's image was of a ruthless ruler, even tyrannical ruler in his last years.
      • Edward was only 9 when Henry Died.
        • Therefore a regency council was established to govern England until Edward was old enough.
          • The Duke of Somerset took charge making himself the chief delegate on the council.
    • Economic and Social Conditions
      • Henry spent all the money he had gained from the Dissolution of the monasteries on war and defense in the 1540's.
      • Henry had reduced the silver content of coins to raise money.
        • This had caused inflation.
        • Food prices rose quickly in the 1540's.
        • The population was rising and this put pressure on food and land.
        • There were complaints about land being enclosed for sheep farming.
    • England's position in Europe
      • England was at war with France and Scotland when Henry VIII died.
      • England was not a major power in Europe.
      • England had captured Boulogne from the French
      • There was a Scottish- French alliance.
      • Fear of a Catholic Crusade.
    • Religious Change
      • England had broken from he papacy and the monarch was now head of the church.
      • England was still largely catholic in doctrine, but without the pope.
      • All monastries had been closed down.
      • Most people in England were still Catholic.
      • A bible was available in English in all churches.
    • Rebellion and Unrest
      • There had been protests against the levels of taxation in 1525 with he amicable grant.
      • The rebels had forced Henry to abandon the Tax.
      • In 1536, over 40,000 rebels had risen in protest against a range of issues, including religion and economic grievances.
      • Without a standing army or a police force, it was difficult for the monarch to prevent unrest.
      • The Monarch relied on nobles and local gentry to put down unrest.


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