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Describe and account for the attitude of the Welsh people to the religious changes set in motion by Henry VIII's quarrel with the Pope.

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Introduction

Describe and account for the attitude of the Welsh people to the religious changes set in motion by Henry VIII's quarrel with the Pope. From Anglo Saxon times and Edward 1st's conquering of Wales in the 1400's the Welsh had largely become second class citizens. Due to Wales' bad communication and travel links Wales had become a political backwater and as a consequence a number of anti-Welsh laws had been passed. No Welshman could have a position of power or authority in Wales and a Welshman could never win a court case against an Englishman. There were very few priests, who tended to be illiterate anyhow. ...read more.

Middle

The Welsh peasantry saw the Tudor dynasty as Welsh; they were the Dukes of Pembroke. The Welsh people saw themselves as already having a Welsh king and therefore there was little point in rebelling against him. The king was considered to be Gods anointed and therefore whom were the Welsh peasants to argue? Henry VIII was chosen by God, he was Welsh therefore the Welsh peasants had no need to rebel. There were major communication and transport problems from England to Wales. Therefore many Welsh people didn't know they were supposed to be Roman Catholic in the first place, on being told they were Protestant they agreed as they were being told by a Welsh king who was Gods anointed or they agreed to prevent themselves from being hung. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Welsh people were largely apathetic to religious changes as the changes were not violent and the Welsh people were ultimately granted the same rights and laws as the English with the Act of Union in 1536. Wales ultimately became an extension of England with the Act of Union. With this the sons of the welsh gentry slowly started to return to Wales as they saw jobs in Wales. There were opportunities to buy monastic land and to be powerful and Welsh. There were Welsh MP's in Westminster and local government was run by local Welsh people. It was the same clique from Cambridge that slowly became more powerful in Wales and less opposed to Welsh religious changes. ...read more.

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