• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Between 1547 and 1558 England was almost torn apart by religious revolution. Assess the validity of this claim. (45 marks)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Emily Brown History A2 Between 1547 and 1558 England was almost torn apart by religious revolution. Assess the validity of this claim. (45 marks) A religious revolution is the complete change and reform of religious organisation. This is something that arguably occurred in England between 1547 and 1558, during which time there were two monarchs ? Edward VI and Mary I, with opposing religious beliefs. During Tudor England, religious identity was extremely important, and therefore religious ?revolution? was obviously going to affect the people, and the country significantly. To assess this statement each monarch, ?revolution? and its affect on England must be discussed. Edward VI came to power in 1547, at the age of just nine, and therefore although he did have a say, he was assigned a ?protectorate? and in the first half of his reign it was his Uncle, the Duke of Somerset. Somerset did himself appear to be Protestant, welcoming religious radicals such as John Hooper and Thomas Becon into his household. He also made a start on reforming religion; in July 1547 he introduced the Book of Homilies and paraphrases, a religious document that had to be placed in every Church. ...read more.

Middle

Although it is difficult to argue that there was not unrest, the country was far from torn apart during his reign. The rebellions were not a particular threat to Edward himself, and it could be suggested that Somerset?s incompetency and failure to act was the only reason that they lasted as long as they did, and that after 1549, Northumberland kept the country relatively stable. Alternatively, religious revolution may not be the primary cause of rebellion at the time. Many people were far more unhappy about Enclosure policies and taxation, for example the Sheep Tax that was introduced in 1549. Reasons for the rebellions may have been far from discontent at religious policies, the Devon Articles drawn up by the Western rebels were on religious and economic issues. Arguably factors such as the hatred of local government officials, and distrust between peasants and landowners, were far more important. The historian Duffy believes in the importance of ?class antagonism? when thinking about the cause of the rebellions, showing perhaps that actually religious reform had less of an impact than we have come to believe. ...read more.

Conclusion

However it is impossible to come to the conclusion that it tore the country apart, as generally life was never so disrupted that it stopped. What is clear though is that at the end of both reigns the country was neither one religion nor the other, due to a number of reasons, perhaps the most prominent being both monarchs lack of time to enforce one religion or the other. When Elizabeth came to the throne and successfully restored Protestantism, she had a lot more time, and had been handed what was following all of these different reforms, a more religiously neutral country. Whilst to an extent there was religious revolution, the revolution was coming from above, never below, and with very few exceptions, the people were most definitely not revolutionised. It could be argued that there was more revolution under Edward than Mary, due to the stable nature of the country during Mary?s reign, however the discontent under Edward was more due to social and economic factors than religious ones. In conclusion, religious ?crisis? and ?disruption? are more accurate terms to describe the changes and the resulting state of the country between 1547 and 1558, than religious ?revolution? and ?torn apart? are. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How Successful Were the Religious Reforms of Somerset and Northumberland?

    4 star(s)

    However, in 1549, Cranmer contributed to the crisis by introducing the 1549 Prayer Book, and the First Act of Uniformity. This was felt by some (devout Catholics) to be too extreme, (although in reality the interpretation of the Eucharist was ambiguous)

  2. Was there a mid-Tudor crisis during the reigns of Edward VI and Mary I ...

    Furthermore these rebellions changed Somerset's foreign policy as he withdrew troops from Scotland needed to suppress uprising, scaled down favoured policy of garrisoning Scotland and all these gave the advantage to French who in order took Boulogne in summer 1549.

  1. To What Extent Was England A Protestant Country By 1547?

    Following the Faction struggles of the 1530s and 1540s, it had become evident that the Reformers had won. This meant that they had control of a vast majority of the prominent positions within the Court and Council, and this would enable them to make the changes that they had been aiming to put into place for many years.

  2. How Protestant was England by 1547

    In 1536 the Pilgrimage of Grace occurred, this was a rebellion against the collection of taxes. It was lead by Lord Hussy, Lord Darcy and Robert Aske. The main target was Thomas Cromwell they wanted to stop his changes as he was affecting all levels of society, and people thought that Cromwell was influence Henry to make the changes.

  1. To What Extent Was England Protestant by 1547?

    The king executed both Catholics and Protestants as and when he wished. It seems that Henry did whatever suited him, and therefore his beliefs are not a strong argument for the case that England was still, to a large extent, Catholic.

  2. How influential was Dudley on the reign of Elizabeth 1st

    which inevitably infiltrated the foreign policy of Elizabeth stem back to her two greatest influences, Dudley and Cecil. Whilst Dudley was keen to bring about further reforms to the Church of England and favoured an aggressive foreign policy, Cecil was not, neither was Elizabeth who preferred a middle road as long as boundaries were clear in both matters.

  1. How far do you agree with Elton's interpretation of the roles of Somerset and ...

    However, the reforms were met only with discontent, for some it was too extreme and for others too moderate. The Treason Act, which ended restrictions on the discussion of religious doctrine, served only to make matters worse and led to disorder.

  2. Assess the validity of the view that the Rump and Barebones parliaments had no ...

    Also it must be mentioned that what it did achieve was in the face of a situation never encountered before. No people before had executed a monarch or had any tradition of republican thought in England. Thus in this unprecedented position of being both a government and a parliament, the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work