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AS and A Level: British History: Monarchy & Politics

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  1. What was the most serious problem faced by the Rump of the Long Parliament?

    The Rump was willing and prepared to fight enemies within and out of the Commonwealth. The Rump's position was not strong in 1649 as they had many problems. They had opposition from most political and religious groups in England and abroad. The Rump also received a lot of criticism from radicals, and the security of their government was under threat after rebellions in both Ireland and Scotland. There was a lot of social distress in the first years of the Rump as there was a bad harvest, which caused a major economic problem.

    • Word count: 2103
  2. Uncertainty is an important element of the Gothic genre, how do the uncertainties of "The Turn of the Screw" leave much of the story open to the interpretation?

    by a lady who had no art of relation, and no cleverness." In his journal, James confirms that "The Turn of the Screw" was meant to be a ghost story, and after its publication he wrote in a letter to H.G. Wells that it was initially written as a "pot boiler". Although these two pieces of evidence support the theory that the novel is simply a ghost story, Henry James never specifies that the ghosts in "The Turn of the Screw" are real.

    • Word count: 2113
  3. Changes in Crime and Punishment.

    The source also illustrates that the swimming test was still a recognised event in the countryside. This is because 'Thomas Colley, a local chimney-sweep,' had carried out the swimming test. This is quite significant as it shows that witchcraft was not seen as important as it had been a hundred years before. And it also shows that people in the countryside still accused people of witchcraft. Source B was written in 1987 and so can be seen as a little unreliable, however it still gives an insight into how views upon the swimming test had changed over a hundred years.

    • Word count: 2850
  4. How dangerous were the threats to Henry VII's government?

    With the Yorkist supporters, came the major Yorkist nobles, most importantly, John de la Pole. Two great families supported Lamberts cause, the Broughtons and the Harringtons. These two families were not pleased with the new monarch because they were losing out on certain lands, due to Henry VII giving lands to his most loyal subjects - mainly northerners. Support also came from abroad. Once Lambert Simnel was made King Edward VI in Dublin, he received backing from the most powerful foreign people, such as the archbishop of Dublin and the Earl of Dublin. Now that Simnel had moved up in the aristocracy, he now received support from Margaret of Burgundy - the most influential supporter of the uprising and now his 'new' aunt.

    • Word count: 2777
  5. How would you convey the significance of Henry's skills as a king to a modern day audience?

    He isn't afraid of battle and will take the right actions for whatever anyone has done. This makes Henry a good leader to follow because he has the right skills you need for becoming a strong and trusted leader. If we look at Henry in the play we can see that he can cope with the responsibility and pressures of being a king and he proves that things can be achieved if you act in the right way. If Elizabeth I used the skills that Henry does, she would also become a stronger Queen. If a leader doesn't posses certain skills then the country they are leading would fall apart.

    • Word count: 2963
  6. Explore the Nature of Kingship In "Henry V".

    The Chorus' praise for Henry is not only shown in Act 1 but in all of the Choruses. The Chorus describes the French King offering his daughter and "petty and unprofitable dukedoms". Henry however turns down the offer: "the offer likes not". Henry is shown to not back down for what he believes in, and Henry is portrayed as a strong and loyal King. Henry is also viewed as "the grace of all kings" so he views him as graceful and a righteous king.

    • Word count: 2603
  7. Henry VIII end of the reign.

    Unfortunately what came to follow meant that this could never happen. At the time of Henry's death the Radical party had gained control, this being partly down to the work of Henry himself. Gardiner and Norfolk were arrested which had accordingly weakened the Conservative faction. A balanced Government, in theory, is a good idea but in practice is almost impossible to impose especially when there is a "power vacuum" and "no longer a royal focus of authority" The "king himself was the mainspring of the state machine, and under his hand he kept all the apparatus of administrative depotism" Henry was always involved in his government and it worked effectively and efficiently, the administration council easily supported the new style government.

    • Word count: 2425
  8. Analyse how King Henry's character progresses and changes through-out the play and show why I believe Shakespeare represented the character in this way.

    At the beginning of the play, the Chorus started by describing Henry V with words like, "warlike Harry" and "the port of Mars..." The author wants to create an impression on the audiences that Henry V possessed great power, even comparing him with Mars, the god of war. He tries to show that the Henry V is a powerful and aggressive man who has fought many great battles; a man that everyone feared of. "Awaken our sleeping sword of war" and "combine blood, sword, and fire to win your right.", stated by the court, as they persuaded Henry V to conquer France by using words of honor and war.

    • Word count: 2217
  9. Examine the sun's coverage of the royal family in the edition of Monday 10th November and Tuesday 11th November.

    However Rupert Murdoch has used the Sun to attack members of the royal family. On the death of Princess Diana in 1997, the whole royal family including the queen was attacked. Most recently, Prince Charles has been singled out and compared unfavourably with his mother the queen, prince Edward and William and Harry his sons. The Sun gives blanket coverage of the royal family starting from page one all the way up to page eight except for the page three girls.

    • Word count: 2561
  10. Joe - creative writing.

    June came downstairs and into the dining room, smiling too and said, "Do you like the new arrival?" I asked June: "Are you and James going to look after the Hamster?" June, James' mother, replied: "No, its James' pet and he would look after it". I asked where is it going to stay? And June said, "In James' room." James said with a smile, "The name of the hamster is Joe after the lead singer of my favourite rock band, Slipknot." The hamster was brown and white and it is known as a Syrian hamster and it is a common one for pets.

    • Word count: 2215
  11. "Above all, the government feared a re-enactment of the French revolution on British soil" - Was this fear Justified?

    After the French revolution many of the working classes join started following reform groups. Middle class men who wanted reform in Britain led these. The most famous and powerful of these were called the Radical Reform movement or the Radicals. The government frowned upon the radical group as they were seen as a clear threat to their power and rule. So much so that they pasted treason laws against major radicals to intimidate those who wanted to push for reform.

    • Word count: 2964
  12. What was the Edwardian Reformation and how successful was it?

    It was the first time that a Protestant had near monarchial powers. From 1550-1554 the Earl of Warwick became the Lord President of the Privy Concil. He too encouraged the transformation of the Church of England into an unmistakably Protestant body. The first parliament of the reign in October 1547 witnessed the sweeping away of numerous statutes that were opppressive to the reformers. Included was Henry VIII's harsh treason laws along with the old De Haeretico Comburendo. There was from the onset a relaxation of religious restraining laws. The Act of Six Articles, or the statute for 'The Advancement of the True Faith', that had advocated a reversal back to Catholic doctrine was also repealed.

    • Word count: 2059
  13. To what extent was the Henrican Reformation imposed from 'above'?

    a Reformation'.3 There was supreme significance of the failure of Henry VIII to obtain the Pope's consent to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon. It contributed to the Reformation Parliament (1529), which was to embark upon a set of revolutionary statutes that were to lead to the break with Rome, and the establishment of Henry VIII as 'The Supreme Head of the English Church' (Act of Supremacy 1534). The political gains of such a break, such as freedom from the ecclesiastical powers of Rome, and the financial spoils, were extremely attractive.

    • Word count: 2449
  14. Why did Charles V fail to crush Luther?

    Therefore the promise of Imperial safe-conduct that Charles gave to Luther before the Diet of Worms, when he did not see Luther as being a potential threat, meant that Luther did not get crushed. Charles unwisely stood by his word, 'under the protection of his conduct he shall be escorted home, but forbidden to preach and to seduce men with his evil doctrines and incite them to rebellion.' and although he formally condemned Luther, he took no practical means of stopping him writing and preaching.

    • Word count: 2268
  15. How successfully did James deal with religious problems throughout his reign?

    After the Gowrie conspiracy of 1600, James repressed the Protestants as strongly as he had the Catholics. He replaced the feudal power of the nobility with a strong central government and maintaining the Divine right of Kings, he enforced the superiority of the state over the church. The overlapping of these problems from the prior Queen, were sure to reappear in James' reign were potential problems and so therefore a strong figure at the head of the church was needed. After centuries of persecution of the Catholics during the reign of Elizabeth I, Catholics prospered at chances of equal rights brought to them by the new monarch.

    • Word count: 2930
  16. To what extent was there a Struggle for Power between Elizabeth I and her Parliaments?

    Whilst the evidence does clearly show her lack of enthusiasm (during her 44 year reign there were only 10 Parliaments called with a total of 13 sessions.) Elizabeth viewed Parliament as an unfortunate necessity, with the emphasis on the word 'necessity.'6 However much of a necessity Parliament was to Elizabeth, many members believed the Queen was reserving too many decisions for herself but were reluctantly prepared to respect her wishes. When they didn't, sparks were likely to fly. An example of when sparks did fly was over the issue of marriage, and particularly the succession.

    • Word count: 2655
  17. 'Without the Divorce Crisis, there would not have been a Henrician Reformation.' Discuss.

    Church within England, allowing him to dissolve monasteries for wealth, largely coinciding with the decline of popular beliefs of the Catholics, leading to a rapid spread of Protestantism." Therefore some historians would argue that the reformation would have occurred without the divorce crisis, but this does not rule out that it was still an important factor. There are many who do believe that the divorce crisis played a major role within the Henrician reformation. Married to Catherine of Aragon, the King wanted his marriage to be annulled because she enabled to provide him with an heir.

    • Word count: 2272
  18. With detailed reference to Marxist debates about the relationship between literature and ideology, examine the ways in which The Turn of the Screw can be read as reinforcing, and/or undermining dominate modes of thinking.

    " From this, it is possible to interpret the notion that 'Ideology' presents a new way of thinking for Eagleton and thus is presented with ideas surrounding Poststructulism3, Nietzasche4, and Schopenhauer5. In relation to the question, it is possible to argue that through using the Ideological perspective of Marxism, we will be examining Henry James novel of 'The Turn of the Screw' from a new approach. Firstly, it is imperative that we gain an understanding of the term of 'Marxism' and how this holds a relationship to Henry James's novel 'The Turn of the Screw'.

    • Word count: 2272
  19. Assess the impact of the 1688 Revolution on British government and society.

    William's Declaration of Rights, which was to become statute within a year, echoed Lockean ideas of sovereignty, supporting a parliament that was to keep check on the authority of the monarch and protecting "Rights and Liberties" of the people. No King or Queen thereafter would be able to rule as James or Charles had done before them. In the years following the revolution a system of government working through the authority of the executive Privy Council and the houses of Lords and commons, headed by the monarch soon evolved into a working body that formed the basis of what we still have for government today.

    • Word count: 2370
  20. To what extent should changes in the relationship between monarchy and parliament from 1529 to 1640 be seen as arising from divisions over the future of the church?

    They resisted every step of the Protestant reformation. During Mary's reign (1553-1558), England briefly reverted back to Catholicism. She wished to restore Catholicism and papal authority. This provoked fears and opposition from old Henricians loyal to the King's memory and Edwardian Protestants and in order to do this she had to overcome strong resistance from the House of Commons. There was also opposition of her marriage to Philip II, King of Spain. He was an uncompromising Roman Catholic and was very unpopular in England. There was speculation that he would add strength to Mary to reverse the reformation.

    • Word count: 2588
  21. "Wormold…James Wormold." 'Our man in Havana', A parody of James Bond.

    Wormolds' fake reports home are intended to secure enough money for Milly and to keep the British content. When his fake reports are taken seriously and begin to come true Wormold, our 'real' man, is abandoned in the world of coded messages, gunfights, and poisoned dinner parties with top European traders, the world of James Bond. The comedy of 'Our man in Havana' is borne primarily from this parody of the super heroic James Bond, with the 'real human being' James Wormold. Ian Fleming had written six novels concerning the 007 spy character James Bond before the publishing of 'Our man in Havana', and they had proved a huge success in Britain.

    • Word count: 2836
  22. Although there is no absolute proof that King Arthur lived, the historical and literary information has made him an ideal representative of the middle ages.

    There are different periods for battles the he supposedly fought in and had he fought in them, he would have been over a hundred years old. Historians have said that this would have been impossible due to the Black Plague and numerous other plagues going on during that time. There is truth behind the legendary King Arthur and there is support to show that he did live, but historians are having a hard time piecing together the facts that are known.

    • Word count: 2512
  23. Why was the reform act of 1832 passed?

    All of these are main factors which led to an angry and dis-contented country, fighting for their rights and the enforcement of a reform act. Britain as a whole had not really moved forward with the industrial revolution which had swept over it in the last 100 years due to the fact that the government in power were the Tories who always had the policy of no change, maintaining everything in the country. However this led to the country being crippled and many things all rose together with a couple of main catalysts to the rise of the Whigs and the reform act in 1832.

    • Word count: 2504
  24. The Prince.

    Every year he'd demand that this girl was found and bought to him, and every year they couldn't find her. This had happened every year since the prince was 12, and to be honest, the servants were getting sick and tired of it. For over six weeks now the Prince had known what he was going to wear, and had got his servants to organize the whole event for him. "This year's evening is going to be fantastic," he'd said.

    • Word count: 2397
  25. Evaluate the reasons for Phillip II's unpopularity in the Netherlands.

    Phillip's economic policy certainly angered many in the Netherlands. The Spanish empire was affluent and vast, on which 'the sun never set'. However, Europe was a divided and conflicted continent during this period. England was facing turbulent religious and succession problems, France was locked in civil war between Catholic and Protestant factions, and the Ottoman Empire threatened Spanish interests in the Mediterranean. On top of this, on a broadly international scale, Spanish fleets faced raids from English and Ottoman parties in the Atlantic and Pacific and Phillip II faced a struggle to maintain power over Indonesian settlements.

    • Word count: 2686

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