• 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 The existing anti-enclosure legislation was rigorously enforced, and the unpopular enclosure commission was withdrawn.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. How successful was the government of King Philip II of Spain?

    With the exception of Castile no other region was wealthy enough to warrant this absolute control, and by gaining control over Castile on a "contractual basis" Philip ensured that for the most part his will was done. Yet Philip did have to make concessions and he became dependent on them

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

    Peel did ultimately split the party he had created by forcing through the 'Repeal of the Corn Laws' in 1846 however, he did it in the nations best interest, Britain's economic prosperity for the next 30 years bearing witness to this.

  1. 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.

  2. How has the role and impact of military rulers and civilian politicians differed in ...

    The IJI party whose actual founder was General Hameed Gul did his best to ensure that PPP gets defeated in polls26. But unfortunately the relations between Nawaz and General Baig started to deteriorate due to government's policy on the Gulf War.

  1. Pakistan's Political and Economic Development

    In his first tenure from 1990-1993 he followed a policy of privatization and the average per capita GDP growth rate during his tenure was more than 13%.19 A large percentage of the GDP went to debt financing, thus not helping the economic situation of Pakistan.

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

    THE HISTORIC CHRONOLGY OF THE AFFAIR. On December 19th, 1894, the trial of Alfred Dreyfus opened. The government Commissioner, the Commandant Brisset asked for it to be held "in camera". Maitre Demange acted for the defence of Alfred Dreyfus. On the 21st of December , Commandant Henry, of the secret

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

    Therefore the way in which secularism entered the political discourse in Bangladesh, did not mean the absence of religion nor a separation of the state from religion but rather each will observe their own religion and that no one will be allowed to interfere in the other.

  2. COMBATING CORRUPTION IN BANGLADESH: SOME STRATEGIES

    Increasing Political Accountability 2. Strengthening Civil Society Participation 3. Creating a Competitive Private Sector 4. Institutional Restraints on Power 5. Improving Public Sector Management 1. Increasing Political Accountability Political accountability refers to the constraints placed on the behavior of public officials by organizations and constituencies with the power to apply sanctions on them.

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