Economic and Social Issues Were the Main Cause of Tudor Rebellion in Tudor England.

Topics: Edward VI of England, Henry VIII of England, Elizabeth I of England Pages: 5 (1857 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Economic and social issues were the main cause of Tudor Rebellion in Tudor England. Tudor England encountered problems with their economy and society. The society suffered from economic issues such as enclosure and bad harvest but also, they encountered problems with the nobility and the government. These issues concerned the majority of the people that started off rebellions. However, there were evidently rebellions that did not emphasise the problems of economic and social issues and saw these problems as one of the reasons for the rebellion. This clearly shows that economic and social issues were not the main cause of rebellions. Therefore, it will be argued that economic and social issues were a contributory cause and that faction is the main cause of Tudor Rebellion in Tudor England. Henry VII faced two main tax rebellions under his reign – Yorkshire Rebellion (1489) and Cornish Rebellion (1497) while Henry VIII encountered the Amicable Grant (1525). The people in Yorkshire rebelled against the increased in tax in order to financially support the war against France. The people rejected this and rebelled due to the reason that they were supposed to finance a war in the south whereby they were geographically removed. They also saw themselves as a separate country because they had their own Parliament – The Stannery. In addition, counties of Northumberland, Westmoreland and Cumberland had been exempt on the grounds of poverty. Similarly, the people in Cornwall did not support the idea of increased tax in order to finance the war with Scotland in the north thus started a rebellion. Tax rebellion also occurred in Henry VIII’s reign. Amicable Grant was triggered because of Wolsey’s action in 1522 in forcing loans. The Grant also made excessive demands on the laity and clergy. Unlike the Cornish and Yorkshire who were regional rebellions such as Cornwall and York, the Grant was a national rebellion such as East Anglia, Wiltshire and Kent. Another difference is that Cornish and Yorkshire, Henry VII was able to negotiate with the Parliament about the increase in tax whilst Wolsey raised the tax without the consent of the Parliament. In the end, these rebellions were taken down easily by Henry VII and Henry VIII however the fact that these rebellions occurred suggests the instability of the crown as well as the resentment of the people to the king. Later on, the Tudors did not further on encounter any tax rebellions due to the fact that the Crown has been established and that Edward, Mary and Elizabeth focused on issues that threatened their position in the crown. These shows at the beginning of the Tudor reign, economic and social issues were the main causes of rebellions. Other economic issues caused problems in Tudor England. Kett’s rebellion (1549) and Oxfordshire’s rebellion (1596) was caused mainly by economic problems and social issues such as resentment towards the gentry and enclosure. Robert Kett rebelled against the enclosing of lands and denied the peasantry to graze their farm animals. They also rebelled against the landlords that had been obstructing government commissions that were investigating illegal enclosures. Similarly, Oxfordshire rebellion encountered the same problems. The villagers were denied the right to pasturage and common lands have been fenced off. The good harvests and pressure from landowners to bring more wasteland to cultivation also led to enclosure. These rebellions attracted support from people because this concerned the peasantry. The peasantry suffered from the changes the government established and also the treatment they received from the nobility. In fact, the gentry saw the problems of enclosure as a positive thing because they benefitted from it. Contrastingly, Pilgrimage of Grace (1536) and Western Rebellion (1549) showed that the economic and social issues were simply a contributory cause. The Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion was caused by one of the item in the 1536 Pontefract...
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