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The Tudors in the period 1485 - 1525 were more seriously threatened by revolts over taxation than by dynastic challenges to them. How far do you agree with this statement?

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The Tudors in the period 1485 - 1525 were more seriously threatened by revolts over taxation than by dynastic challenges to them. How far do you agree with this statement? Throughout the early Tudor period there was a succession of regional rebellions against the government's changes in the tax system. Twice, in 1489 and 1497, these revolts were ruthlessly crushed, and then twice again in 1513, but this time the resistance was passive and the rebellion succeeded. Of the revolts faced by Henry VII there were two caused by dynastic intention: the imposture of Lambert Simnel as Edward, earl of Warwick, and Perkin Warbeck as Edward IV's younger son, Richard of York. In addition to those and although the intention of the plot was never stated, Lord Lovell and the Stafford brothers were clearly intent on over turning Henry VII's usurpation, in possible favour of the earl of Warwick. All revolts are a possible threat to the king, but the circumstances, the support gained and the consequences determine whether the treat is serious. A rebellion does not have to be successful to be considered a threat. Undermining the king's authority, threatening his personal safety, rousing trouble within the nobility and limiting his actions in other areas of his kingship; such consequences of a revolt would suggest it as a serious threat to the monarchy. ...read more.


Having your gentry rise against you is a serious problem; as the king needed these people to help prevent rebellion, not join it. The sheer amount of people against him was especially threatening during the Cornish Rebellion as Henry was attempting to fight off a dynastic claim from a pretender who was potentially threatening to his throne and so did not need this extra trouble. The taxation rebellions also suggest a significant weakness in the Tudor state simply because they had the ability to threaten and successfully sustain the threat. Tudor monarchs always found the need for discussion and persuasion to obtain taxes from parliament. But in the event of the Amicable Grant the government proceeded from persuasion to concession in the face of extra-parliamentary opinion. Popular opinion had made a significant impact on foreign policy. The rising in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1513 raised under �40000 in tax rather than the �120000 suggesting that the government did not have the power, full support nor the enough of the major magnates to imposer a stricter tax regime and subsequently get the money that was wanted. Taxation became an even larger issue from the 1520s because Henry VIII was demanding more money to fight his succession of wars with the French. ...read more.


Direct taxation is an irregular occurrence from an irregular institution of Parliament, and as taxes are not always granted, it does not happen every year. It is granted for the king's unexpected expenses to enable him to protect the realm and carry out "commonweal functions". During Henry VII's reign along, taxation occurred in 1487, 1489, 1490, 1491, 1497 and 1504. The effects that the taxation had on the economy and the people emphasises the vulnerability of the Tudor state. Taxes were inconvenient and many found them difficult to pay, as they were unable to predict when taxes would happen and so did not budget. Taxes were also usually introduced when the king was in time of crisis, which also meant that the taxpayers were also hitting hard times. Taxation was also disruptive to the local economy as the taxes were paid in silver, which was then sent to London. This then meant that there was less silver in circulation and so less to trade with, this in turn had a negative effect on the trading industry. The substantial effect that taxation had on the people led to rebellion, and the fact that this could happen at any time the crown needed to tax was very threatening to the authority and freedom of the monarchy, as it restricted what actions the king could take. This is reflected in the Cornish Revolt, which had a major effect on the actions the king could take against James IV who was supporting an impostor. ...read more.

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