Do the sources suggest that local issues caused rebellions in Tudor England?

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Interpretation: Local issues caused rebellions in Tudor England

a) The interpretation deals with the causes of rebellions in the Tudor period. Local issues certainly caused rebellions in Tudor England as the interpretation suggests. There is an issue with the hypothesis however that needs to be considered; what is meant by ‘local issues’. The hypothesis is not suggesting that the only cause of protest was local issues but it’s making a claim about the importance of this issue. It is certainly possible to see local factors at work in sources 2 and 4 but additional issues are raised in sources 1, 3 and 5 and these might form the basis for amending the interpretation being suggested.

Taken at face value, Source 2 supports the view that religious problems, rather than local issues were the main cause of rebellions. It deals with the Pilgrimage of Grace (1536) which was the most widespread protest of the Tudor period. The title -Pilgrimage of Grace- has religious overtones and the demands of the rebels are inspired by religious changes such as Henry VIII’s decision to become head of the church of England, partly to get approval for his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and the dissolution of monasteries which was made possible due to the Act of Supremacy passed by parliament in 1534 making Henry the Supreme Head of the Church of England, separating England from papal authority. However in this source there is evidence to support the case for local issues being present. Robert Aske talks about ‘the poverty of his realm’ and the ‘north parts specially’ this is due to things such as communities being hit by poor harvests in the 1530s and the sheep and plough taxes that affected the northern communities rather heavily.  This source does therefore somewhat support local issues as a cause of rebellion in the mid Tudor period.

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Sources 1 and 3 raise causes of protest that lean more politically than locally. Source 1 refers to how 10,000 Cornishmen joined Perkin Warbeck, in 1497 where he claimed he was Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York when arriving at St. Ives in Cornwall. It describes how the Cornishmen ‘hated Henry VII’ and ‘wished to avenge themselves on the King’ due to a defeat in Blackheath previously that year. Source 3 reinforces the political tone of source 1 by asking, as one of the demands of the rebels in Lincolnshire October 1536 that ‘persons of low birth’ can be appointed ...

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