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1549 & 1554 Rebellions

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Introduction

Religious grievances rather than political and social discontent explain why rebellions broke out in England in both 1549 and 1554. How far do you agree with this judgement? In 1549, two rebellions broke out in England, the Ket's and the Western (Prayer Book) rebellion. There was no single cause of these rebellions. Religious, political and social factors all intertwined to create distress resulting in the rebellions. Religious policies initiated by Somerset continued to make their impact of the country. The prayer book rebellion was a catholic rebellion so religion was obviously important. The Ket's rebellion was against rising rents, entry fines and over grazing of the common lands. This shows how social discontent may be the reason they broke out. In 1554, Wyatt's rebellion broke out which publicly was against the Spanish marriage. However there were underlying religious factors as well. Source A only touches on religious reasons because the main causes of the rebellion were rising rents, entry fines and over grazing of the common lands. ...read more.

Middle

They wanted monastery lands to be restored. Even in the Western rebellion there was other factors leading to it but religion was very important. The economic and social distress was the reason the commons rebelled so readily against the Prayer Book. Source B only comments on religious factors but it was the clergy who drew up the rebels demands for the western rebellion so therefore are going to concentrate on the religious factors. In the year before the rebellions their had been a hot summer and crops had failed. Possibly 40% of the population lived on or below the poverty line. Things were made worse by price increases. The introduction of the sheep tax in Devon caused rioting because the commons couldn't afford to pay it. Source C says "You ask for a relief (tax) granted to us by Parliament on cloth and shearing sheep to be remitted, saying we have no need for it". The king even recognises the dislike of it. The economic and social distress helped fuel the anger for the rebellions. ...read more.

Conclusion

The rebellion was led by Croft, Carew and Wyatt who all held important offices at court. They feared the Spanish influence would endanger their own careers. This shows political discontent helped to provoke the Wyatt's rebellion. Overall, although religious grievances do help explain why rebellions broke out in 1549 and 1554, there are other important factors. Religious grievances were very important especially in the Ket's and Wyatt's rebellions but no single factor caused all the rebellions. Each rebellion started for different reasons. Poverty was worsening because of the debased coinage leading to inflation and price increases. This caused distress which help fuel the rebellions. Ket's rebels accepted the pray book so religious grievances wasn't a main cause. The western rebellion resented the Prayer Book and was against the Edwardian reformation but the economic and social distress was the reason the commons rebelled so readily against the Prayer Book. For this rebellion religious grievances was an important factor in why it broke out but political and social discontent was also important. In Wyatt's rebellion political discontent of the leaders, religion grievances and social discontent were all important for causing the rebellions. Religious, political and social factors all intertwined to create distress resulting in the rebellions. ...read more.

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