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AS and A Level: British History: Monarchy & Politics

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  1. How far were the actions and beliefs of Charles responsible for the crisis of 1640?

    He received few complaints so religion was not a major cause of tension for him. There was irritation between James and Parliament due to disputes over rights and power, but James diffused a crisis, let matters drop to avoid conflict, and generally the relationship was good, due to his ability to maintain his clear views but compromise. Parliament wanted James to live off an 'ordinary revenue' from Crown Lands, wardship and justice among other things, but due to Elizabeth selling some of the Crown Lands, he was receiving else rent and he inherited a debt of over �100,000.

    • Word count: 2931
  2. In 1640 most MP's wanted and expected redress of grievances and a settlement of the problems created by the Personal Rule of Charles I. Why then did they find themselves at war in 1642?

    In 1640 Parliament, whose relationship with Charles had deteriorated from the start of his reign, were united against him and knew that by denying him money he had neither the funds or the support to find them, so they felt they were in control and in the position to make demands of the king. Parliament were not only united in their decision to make Charles correct his mistakes but the majority also had no desire to punish him personally, merely wishing for their country to be happy and for the grievances not to be repeated.

    • Word count: 2904
  3. Was Charles I responsible for his execution?

    The king felt he had more freedom and got loans, raised taxes and introduced two controversial new systems. The first was the Court of Star Chamber, it mainly relied on fining people for offences that they caused, but it also brought in money for the king. The King would persuade gentry and friends of the King to buy titles, if they refused to do so they would then be fined the same cost as if they had bought the title! This was good to solve the king's financial problems but it seemed to be an unfair and almost tyrannical policy.

    • Word count: 2832
  4. Account for the introduction of Absolutism as a form of Government in Scandinavia in the mid-to-late Seventeenth Century.

    In Sweden, Charles X Gustav ruled from 1654-60 followed by Charles XI, who came to power when he was only five meaning that for twelve years in Sweden there was regency. The interesting period of Absolutist Sweden starts after 1672 when Charles XI rules proper. The Danish example observes a more stable rule under Frederick III until 1670 and Christian V after that. It is Charles XI of Sweden and Frederick III who are most involved with the introduction of Absolutism and thus a large part of the essay.

    • Word count: 2627
  5. How radically and for what reasons did religious beliefs and practices change during the reign of Edward VI?

    Then later Thomas Cromwell with genuine protestant ideas, e.g. the spread of the English pray book. Another of the driving forces for a move to Protestantism was Henry's character; his personal feelings were involved in his decisions. For example when his marriage to Catherine Howard (a committed catholic) was terminated due to her adulterous actions with most of the court (she was only about eighteen, while Henry was fifty-nine), in 1542. Because of Henry's embarrassment he slowly excluded her uncle, Thomas Howard head of the Conservative Party, from the Privy Council.

    • Word count: 2035
  6. Henry VIII and Religion

    The struggle between these two factions, conducted in Council, Court and Convocation, really amounted to a battle for the support of the King. Neither group could claim the victory. Though it might seem that the Act of Six Articles and the execution of Cromwell signalled a conservative victory by 1540, yet Cranmer survived and a new circle of reformers gathered round the person of Henry's sixth wife, Catherine Parr, and the heir to the throne. Prince Edward, was taught by reformist tutors.

    • Word count: 2067
  7. Henry VII achieved the aims of his foreign policy. Comment

    Each had its own problems, which Henry was quick to resolve, and in some cases, make money from. F rance had been a rival with England since William the Conqueror invaded and took control of England. Evidence for this long running feud is the Hundred Years War. Henry VII had a good start this time though, he had been exiled to France and had made some good friends there. In the same year that he came to the throne, Henry negotiated a truce with France that would last until 1487 and after that Henry hoped that he would not need a peace treaty with France in order for them not to attack him.

    • Word count: 2209
  8. How effective was Henry VII’s government?

    His government can be divided into different sections of different policy: finance, law and order, administration and foreign. All are important when deciding whether his government was effective. The conventional view of Henry's skill with finances was that he was a very miserly man. This reputation was founded on the fact that, despite his spending, he managed his financial affairs well, making the most of all the opportunities for increased income. When he died he didn't leave a great fortune, but spent his money wisely, so contradicting the argument that he was tight.

    • Word count: 2422
  9. Do you agree with the contemporary view that the Reform Act of 1832 was a victory for the middle classes?

    Prior to 1832, Britain has changed little politically since the 18th Century. Power was firmly in the hands of the aristocracy and the landed interest, and the electorate was estimated to be around 500 000 from a population of 24 million. Constituency borders for Commons seats were largely obsolete due the demographic changes and population shifts brought about by the ongoing process of industrialisation. Within these constituencies, the qualification for enfranchisement varied massively; there was no national standard for enfranchisement.

    • Word count: 2780
  10. Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents Henry as both a private man and a public figure in the course of the play.

    As Canterbury says, "The course of his youth promis'd it not". Henry was known to be a wild youth, and historical records indicate he did not enjoy being at his father's court. It appears that when he became King, he was indeed transfigured, and that "an angel came and whipp'd th' offending Adam out of him, leaving his body as a paradise" which refers to the biblical story of the Garden of Eden, where Adam betrayed the orders of God by eating an apple from the tree of knowledge and was expelled.

    • Word count: 2018
  11. Henry V Assignment

    The effectiveness of the play depended on the audience using their imagination to "into a thousand parts divide one man." Henry is "The Mirror of all Christian Kings," how does Shakespeare build up his character to suggest this and why? Throughout the play, Henry V, Shakespeare gradually builds up a character who is almost perfect in every way. Not only a Christian but a good king. One that future kings should try to mirror themselves on. In this essay, I am going to talk about, first of all how other people in the play help to build up this character and then how Henry's own actions and words help us to create this image of a perfect king.

    • Word count: 2010
  12. How successful was Charles I as king of Spain?

    Often the period of Charles's reign from 1522 to 1556 is seen as remarkably tranquil after the turmoil of the years 1516-22. The absence of any serious social or political disorder has led some historians to conclude that this also constitutes another distinct and successful period of Charles's rule in Spain. Indeed, one historian has observed that 'it almost seems as if for 20 or 30 years the country had no internal history. There are various reasons why Charles was able to overcome the initially unfavourable reactions of his subjects.

    • Word count: 2560
  13. How stable was the government of England during the reign of Richard III?

    He would have to convince the nobles of the South of England that he was not a danger and was a capable ruler, although he had many supporters in the North already, a wider front of supporters in the South as well would prove beneficial to his cause. The Instability of Richard's reign- Firstly, Richard III was not the rightful heir to the throne, which many people picked up on. The fates of the Princes in the Tower, one of which was the rightful heir (Edward V)

    • Word count: 2168
  14. In what ways did Henry 8th attempt to extend his influence in European affairs in the year’s 1509-1529?

    Henry took this as no dream and believed this was a goal he could reach, with England already having the right to Calais this acted as a perfect offensive position where this lay the settings for Henry to claim what he thought was rightly his. Henry started his main foreign policy objective by "analysing" the situation of Europe. During the period of English dominance in France, the country had grown greatly economically and militarily. France had also foreseen a renaissance and was known as one of the strongest powers in Europe.

    • Word count: 2672
  15. What best explains the problems Henry III faced in England after 1258?

    Developments in local government were certainly an important factor for Henry?s problems after 1258, as many resented these developments, particularly the gentry. Their rise in power and influence in the twelfth and early thirteenth century led them to resent the changes that Henry had brought about during his personal rule which threatened their influence in the localities. They resented the appointment of foreigners and men from outside the county as sheriffs who ?abused their special privileges and enjoyed unfair economic advantages over their English-born neighbours and co-workers?[1] through the increments they collected, which I agree with as at this point

    • Word count: 2244
  16. How successful were Peels social and economic reforms between 1841 and 1846?

    It is however first of all key to point out just how tough it had been for Peel at the time to maintain control and order. The economy in Britain in 1841 hadn?t been at all strong- the previous Whig government had failed to balance the budget, and this had led to waves of unemployment in the industrial towns of the North. A weak economy had traditionally reduced the maneuverability of government and therefore it could be argued that this made it a lot harder for Peel to carry out his expertise and skills to a ?full potential?.

    • Word count: 2850
  17. How close to revolution was Great Britain in the 1790s?

    However, this was not the case. Although the years 1795 and 1797 were very difficult in terms of high bread prices and unemployment, the situation was simply not severe enough to make revolution a necessity for people in Great Britain. Hunger and famine were very sparse, in comparison to France. In fact, the standard of living of most people in the 1790?s had actually improved due to the industrial revolution taking place at the time. Pitt, thanks to his numerous reforms and changes to the government, such as increasing taxes and the introduction of the sinking fund, meant that the threat of revolution was significantly decreased.

    • Word count: 2323
  18. How well did Pitt deal with the radical threat?

    Not only did the act scare people away, but it also actually caught those who had indeed conspired to revolutionise, and so helped immediately lock up and extinguish those who posed a danger to the monarchy. Though this may seem very harsh and over the top, almost tyranny-like, the threat of revolution at the time was so great that Pitt was in no position to take any risks or compromises and despite the harshness of this and other acts, they prove that they were effective and that Pitt only helped himself in creating and remodelling acts, as the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Amendment act proves.

    • Word count: 2631
  19. Given The Circumstances In Which They Were Created The Rump Parliament And Nominated Assembly Should Be Regarded As Successes. Do You Agree?

    A higher proportion of the British population died during the English Civil War than WWI. The Rump and NA were really facing an unprecedented situation, they had to both attempt to return stability and normality to daily life whilst also pleasing an army as powerful as it was radical. On top of keeping this fine balance they had to face a number of threats to the nation including radical fundamentalist groups, a royalist uprising led by the king leading to campaigns in England, Ireland and Scotland and a war with the Dutch. As Barnard puts it they were trying to ?simultaneously survive and raise money?.

    • Word count: 2202
  20. How significant were the actions taken by Thomas Cromwell in strengthening royal authority in the short-term?

    Whilst the English Reformation was part of the wider process of the European Protestant Reformation[3], it is Cromwell who is often attributed as its main driving force[4] in England. Described by Elton as ?the most remarkable revolutionary in English history?[5], only Cromwell could devise a way out for the King who desired decisive action to secure a male heir, and consequently, dynastic stability.[6] The Reformation itself was a series of complex processes and manoeuvrings which asserted secular control over Catholicism by supressing its institutions and breaking with papal authority.

    • Word count: 2047
  21. Considered assessment of the Great War career of Field Marshal Douglas Haig.

    Further criticism to Haig's inability to listen to new ideas is given by Liddell Hart when he states that Haig "failed" in his poor "receptivity of ideas". However, some people hold the view that Haig and the other generals in The Great War were receptive to new ideas and did change tactics. The BBC History site says that "it is not true, as some think, that British Generals and troops simply stared uncomprehendingly at the barbed wire and trenches", "in reality, the Western Front was a hotbed of innovation as the British and their allies and enemies experimented with new approaches".

    • Word count: 2991
  22. Assess the significance of Owain Glyndwr's revolt

    It can be argued that the short-term significance of these events is great as they stirred Owain into action and R.R Davies assumed them to be ?the immediate trigger? for the following welsh ?act of defiance?. The long term causes for the rebellion however, appear to be of much greater significance to the feeling of nationalism that is still present in modern-day Wales. The one hundred years of English rule since the Edwardian conquest precipitated the overlooking of Welsh traditional rights and values which naturally spawned mounting bitterness towards England and the English overlords that ruled them.

    • Word count: 2404
  23. Thatcher only survived as prime minister 1979-1990 because of luck and the weakness of her opponents assess the validity of this verdict.

    The political landscape was transformed in 1982 by the impact of the war in the Falklands on domestic politics. A the beginning of 1982, Thatcher was one the most unpopular prime ministers in living memory, her attacks on local councils and the fact unemployment was approaching 3 million was causing major concern amongst the British public. There was also a genuine fear among Conservative MPs that the next election might be very difficult to win, however victory in the Falklands changed all this.

    • Word count: 2108
  24. To what extent can Gladstones first ministry be considered a great reforming ministry?

    The Elementary Education Act was needed because Britain needed to remain competitive in the world of manufacture and improvement. However, in doing this, it would mean that people would need to well educated. Parents still had to pay fees for their children to attend school, unless they were poor, which meant that boards would pay, even if they attended Church schools. Parents still had some control as to what they were being taught as they could withdraw their child from religious education, no matter what school they attended.

    • Word count: 2107
  25. Do you agree with the view that Wolseys domestic policies were disappointing?

    He worked with a variety of cases and favoured civil law over common law as it was a fairer system. We also see his hard work when we look at all the offices he held such as being Lord Chancellor, Archbishop of York and Durham and being a member of the Privy Council. Source 2 says that Wolsey was ?thoughtful, and has a reputation for being extremely just.? This shows that Wolsey was caring and tried to be as fair as possible to the common people and get them the same rights as the nobles had.

    • Word count: 2318

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