To what extent was government action the main cause of unrest in Henry VIII's reign and was government ever under serious threat?

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To what extent was government action the main cause of unrest in Henry VIII’s reign and was government ever under serious threat

Henry VIII faced arguably the two most serious threats in Tudor government. The Pilgrimage of Grace was by far the largest of all the rebellions seen under a Tudor king or queen and the Amicable Grant was the only rebellion to which a Tudor monarch gave way. Though, Henry faced the least rebellions, his were the most dangerous. Some historians have said that these two outbreaks had the ability to over throw the dynasty. Others believe that it was the changing atmosphere that created the uprisings. The Henrician Reformation was largely blamed for the Pilgrimage of Grace and the Amicable Grant rooted its problems in the action the government took against France.

Following the capture of Francis I, King of France, by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV; Henry believed an opportunity was created to strengthen his claim on the French throne. War always required heavy finance which usually came in the form of tax. Regardless of Parliament’s granting Henry the ability to accumulate the taxes, its implementation was extremely difficult. Previous taxes made Parliament’s decision unpopular and an already drained country was coerced to raise more money. Further more, the new taxes came during peace time making it harder for people to understand. For most people France was a distant place and it’s conquer was felt benefited them in no way, especially since most commoners didn’t even leave their own county.

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 The government is largely to blame for this episode and few other factors cause it. Had Henry not wanted to go to war with France this problem would not have arisen. It was his own selfish needs that put him in a position that made him look weak. In addition, resentment was worsened when certain counties were exempt from paying the taxes, mostly those that bordered Scotland. Historians such as Scarisbrick say ‘[the collectors] came upon lambs already close shorn’. This statement highlights what state earlier taxes had put the commoners and landlords in. Landlords as a result raised ...

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