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

To what extent was government action the main cause of unrest in Henry VIII's reign and was government ever under serious threat?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent was government action the main cause of unrest in Henry VIII's reign and was government ever under serious threat Henry VIII faced arguably the two most serious threats in Tudor government. The Pilgrimage of Grace was by far the largest of all the rebellions seen under a Tudor king or queen and the Amicable Grant was the only rebellion to which a Tudor monarch gave way. Though, Henry faced the least rebellions, his were the most dangerous. Some historians have said that these two outbreaks had the ability to over throw the dynasty. Others believe that it was the changing atmosphere that created the uprisings. The Henrician Reformation was largely blamed for the Pilgrimage of Grace and the Amicable Grant rooted its problems in the action the government took against France. Following the capture of Francis I, King of France, by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV; Henry believed an opportunity was created to strengthen his claim on the French throne. War always required heavy finance which usually came in the form of tax. Regardless of Parliament's granting Henry the ability to accumulate the taxes, its implementation was extremely difficult. ...read more.

Middle

The Pilgrimage of Grace offers a more complex issue, since it does not have a single factor nor was a concentrated rebellion. The rebellion though largely in the north spread from Lincolnshire to Yorkshire (where the main rebellion took place) to Cumberland. It lasted a long time for a Tudor rebellion, beginning in October and ending in January. This added to the seriousness of the threat. Further more, Henry's forces were minute in comparison to the 40,000 strong revolt. Historians have varying opinions on the main cause of the rebellion and consensus cannot easily be found. Fletcher and MacCullock identify the Henrician Reformation as the main cause and to a greater extent it is true that the religion was an important theme that ran through the Pontefract Articles. However, it was indeed the gentry under the influence of the clergy who wrote the list of demands and hence further evidence is needed. Religion is also crucial in finding and umbrella under which a cross-section of society can come together. The dissolution of the smaller monasteries by Cromwell led to unrest in the north since charity was one of their prominent tasks as Davies hints. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is also important to remember that the Pilgrimage of Grace was not a single rebellion but a watershed term for several rebellions. Key nobles such as the Duke of Norfolk were against it, weakening the revolt's effectiveness. Nevertheless, it did catch the government unaware and did make Henry cringe at the thought of its possible success. In conclusion, Henry's government did face a relatively stable and long period of rule. This does mean that the threat may have over-thrown the comparatively short periods of reign of Edward VI and Mary I but for Henry and Elizabeth it was an unlikely situation. However, it is not to say that the threat is only a footnote, as in the end the two rebellions did achieve either all or most of their aims in the future. Hence, they were a point of influence upon him. In terms of government action being the main cause, it can be said with confidence that this was the case. The actions of Henry's chief ministers did lead to much of the unrest throughout the country, and though there were bad harvests and poor trade, the government was largely to blame when it came to change. The problem faced was the modernising of a conservative nation at such as rapid pace especially during Cromwell's period of influence. ...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. To what extent was government action the main cause of unrest in Henry VIII's ...

    It was his own selfish needs that put him in a position that made him look weak. In addition, resentment was worsened when certain counties were exempt from paying the taxes, mostly those that bordered Scotland. Historians such as Scarisbrick say '[the collectors] came upon lambs already close shorn'.

  2. How effective was Henry VII’s government?

    Henry was one of the only kings of his time to remain solvent when he died. This was a great achievement considering the ever increased spending levied on monarchs to govern their realm. One reason for this could be the variety of methods used to generate revenue.

  1. How successfully did James deal with religious problems throughout his reign?

    Unlike with the Catholics, James listened to the Puritans allowing them to voice their own opinions at the Hampton Court Conference. Although not passing any laws which were requested by the Puritan ministers, apart from the new translation of the Bible.

  2. How dangerous were the threats to Henry VII's government?

    Lambert Simnel's army however, was outnumbered. The Earl of Lincoln, now joined with the rebel force, didn't receive the support from his fellow nobles, as he hoped for, and would have outnumbered the king's force. So the rebels were defeated. Even though the rebel army was outnumbered by about 4,000, not all the nobles who supported

  1. Were the pretenders a serious threat to Henry VII's throne?

    He then makes his way to Scotland, but soon has to leave, as Henry signs the Truce of Ayton, a peace treaty. Finally, Henry uses force to capture Warbeck in southern England. Because of the lessons learnt from Simnel's escapades, Warbeck hardly comes close to a successful rebellion, and was

  2. The Henrician Reformation.

    Cromwell and Cramner's intension to revolutionise the religion of England started to emerge within Henry's decisions and these started to become popular with radicals in England. Although the motivation behind the reform was obviously political, Henry's argument and its acceptance by others should be considered with thought.

  1. How serious a threat did the pretenders pose to Henry VII's crown?

    band of followers took refuge in Burgundy, in the safety of his 'aunt' Margaret of Burgundy. Henry took decisive action and stopped all trade with Flanders , even though it threatened England's vital cloth trade. Warbeck found an even more powerful and influential backer in Maximilian (leader of the Holy

  2. Assess the nature and threat posed by Puritanism

    The Separatists were treated with such suspicion that distributing their works was viewed as high treason, something that Barrow and Greenwood were imprisoned for. This shows that they were a threat in theory, but like other forms of Puritanism, they were politically insignificant due to their small base of support and inferior numerical presence.

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