• 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 Northumberland more successful in solving mid Tudor political problems than Somerset?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Emma Miller To what extent was Northumberland more successful in solving mid Tudor political problems than Somerset? The first major political problem during mid Tudor period was the issue of foreign policy. Somerset continued the war for the sake of the national prestige and to retain the support of a large section of the elites, however this plunged the country further into debt, Somerset's idea to raise taxes to finance the war was unpopular with the elites and other taxpayers. However, when Northumberland came to power in 1550, his confidence and ability militarily was evident in his foreign policy. Northumberland realised the huge financial drain Somerset's Garrisons Policy was proving, and removed English troops from Scotland. The war situation in France had deteriorated because the French taking advantage of England's domestic problems, had declared open warfare in August 1549. Although many of the elites were eager to continue hostilities, Paget and other leading members of the Privy Council had been advocating a peace policy to avoid economic disaster. Therefore, Northumberland signed the Treaty of Boulogne in 1550. Although unpopular settlements, Northumberland unlike Somerset knew England's military could not strategically or logistically continue these campaigns, and the failing economy simply could not afford war. The Treaty of Greenwich was also finally abandoned, perhaps because Northumberland was sufficiently confident, as a solider, to face the threat posed by France and Spain without alliances. Northumberland's foreign policy was not glorious, however, in many respects he was far more successful than Somerset. ...read more.

Middle

At the same time, the administration tried to improve the economic situation and relieve poverty and distress. The existing anti-enclosure legislation was rigorously enforced, and the unpopular enclosure commission was withdrawn. Acts protecting arable farming were passed and usury was made illegal. Prosecutions for depopulation increased during Northumberland's rule, and under the Poor Law of 1552 collection were made from wealthy individuals and distributed amongst the poor of the parish. His realism, in contrast to the Duke of Somerset's ignorant idealism, converted concern for social justice to practical effective social legislation. In this respect, the Duke of Northumberland was more competent in dealing with social injustice. The issue of Religious policy was a major political problem for Somerset. He had to take some action over religious reform if he were not to lose the support of the Protestant activists. Such a loss of support might allow a catholic revival, which would endanger their hold on power. Yet if they went too far the reformers might provoke the Catholics into open rebellion. This was the reason Somerset's religious policy had been a compromise. Somerset removed the heresy laws, which allowed people to discuss religion freely without fear of arrest, while the ending of censorship on printing and publishing enabled the circulation of books and pamphlets on religion. The removal of the restrictive laws encouraged widespread debate over religion. Public meetings frequently ended in disorder and riots, with attacks on churches to break statues of saints and other catholic images. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even before his arrest it was clear that Somerset was discredited and had lost control of the political situation. Many members of the Privy Council were offended by his aloofness and his arrogance in using his own household instead of the council to conduct business. He had undermined the confidence of the aristocracy and the gentry because of his inept handling of the popular uprising. Northumberland was faced by equally pressing social problems. The debasement of the coinage in 1551 raised inflation still further. Grain prices rose rapidly; a situation worsened by below average harvests. In 1550, the country was still simmering after the recent popular uprisings and was further unsettled by the political power struggle among the privy councillors. Consequently, the administration had to act carefully and skilfully if further serious disorder was to be avoided. Here again the Northumberland administration showed a much more positive approach than that adopted by Somerset. In conclusion, it is difficult to assess whether Northumberland was more successful in dealing with political problems than Somerset because Northumberland came to power in 1550 and not 1547 and was able to adopt different policies with the full knowledge of the problems and errors of Somerset's policies. For example his ignorance of the importance of privy council his continuation of the war his unpopular laws and proclamations he passed undermined the confidence of the aristocracy and led to rebellions from the working class and his religious reforms that alienated even moderates in the conservative party. However, similarities can be drawn between Somerset and Northumberland it was said that both were ambitious, greedy and corrupt. Although their methods of government were very different, their policies and priorities were very similar ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. "Weimar Republic governments were remarkably successful in dealing with the economic and political problems ...

    One of the first threats came from the Left and the group called the Spartacists. This group was lead by middle class intellectuals, and these included Karl Liebknect, Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin and Franz Mehring. After the war Leibknect used his oratory skills to urge the public to reject Ebert.

  2. To what extent was religion the main causeOf rebellion in the reign of Henry ...

    The second policy was enclosure. The introduction of enclosures was new and only affected a few places in the north-west, and so only certain revolts. It really was only affecting large populated areas, mainly around York due to the shortage of land.

  1. The causes and the political and social consequences of the Dreyfus Affair in France

    service declared to the court that a "honourable" witness had asserted in March, 1894 and repeated in June, that there was a traitor in the "Etat Major": "the traitor there he is!" 8 Henry explained indicating Dreyfus. On December 22nd, 1894, after a hearing with a 3 hours plea by Ma�tre Demange, 7 judges were deliberating.

  2. COMBATING CORRUPTION IN BANGLADESH: SOME STRATEGIES

    Capacity constraints such as a lack of well-educated and highly motivated people can severely compromise the positive role civil society can play in combating corruption. A Word of Caution: Accountability and Legitimacy Issues Civil Society Organizations (CSOS are not democratically elected.

  1. How successful was Peel's Ministry 1841-1846?

    the working environment for workers safer, reducing fatalities where death was frequent. The '1842 Mines Act' forbade women and children under 10 to work underground, and the '1844 Factory Act' which was largely driven by Peel's home secretary, Sir James Graham, limited the hours children under 13 could work, and recommended safety improvements.

  2. How successful was the government of King Philip II of Spain?

    This shows a lack of dynamism to Philip's governing style, for though he added bodies he did not get rid of redundant ones and the Camara (Chambers) originally established during Charles's reign, was only reformed after 70 years. Philip also made no attempt to unify and codify these councils, resulting

  1. Minority Rights, Identity Politics and Gender in Bangladesh: Current Problems and Issues

    Religious Identity and Bangladesh State: Secularism was one of the four pillars of the first Constitution that was drafted in post independent Bangladesh. This principle was constructed largely in response to the use of Islam as an ideology of domination by the Pakistani state vis a vis the Bengali population.

  2. 'Asses the success of the Liberals from 1906-1914 in dealing with their domestic problems.'

    difficult to deal with their problems as many reforms would have been rejected by the Conservative-based House. However, although the Parliament Act did improve the overall democratic situation in Britain, it had little real effect on the ordinary, industrial worker, suggesting that the Liberals were less concerned with domestic life

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