• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Use your own knowledge to assess how far the sources support the interpretation that Protector Somersets mistaken policies were the main cause of the instability in 1549.

Free essay example:

History _                                                                Helen Curry

Use your own knowledge to assess how far the sources support the interpretation that Protector Somerset’s mistaken policies were the main cause of the instability in 1549.

Protector Somerset’s mistaken policies were not the main cause of the instability in 1549; many other factors and people influenced the instability.

Source A was written before 1549, when Protector Somerset’s policies were not thought to be a cause instability, therefore this source shows the economic situation before Protector Somerset set any policies. Source A emphasises the problems involved with enclosures, that the poor will starve and the rich are favoured, this shows that poverty was an issue and lead to price inflation. Debasement, the lowering value of the currency, then ensured that poverty was an issue in Tudor England. Source A also suggests that the long term economic grievances are the problems behind the rebellions so therefore this indicates that Protector Somerset’s policies were not the main cause of instability.

However Source A, was written by a protestant preacher and therefore is a one sided opinion and favours protestant policies, to use the churches wealth to help the poor.

Source B is written by a reliable source, an advisor to Somerset, so therefore the source should be an honest opinion. Source B states that Protector Somerset’s policies were meant to help the poor but have been misunderstood. The government were thought to resolve the problems of enclosures, but did not actually do anything to help, therefore the public tried to resolve the issues themselves and this was known as enclosure commissions, an extremely strong influence in the stability in the Tudor era. Enclosure commissions then lead to many other policies, such as “the sheep tax” and “vagrancy act.” Although these did not strengthen the government, the dissolution of the monasteries continued unabated, with the largest monasteries being dissolved in 1540, great tracts of land were seized from the Church and divided among the monarchy and its supporters.

Source C is another reliable, well informed source which suggests that religious changes were also an important influence in the stability. The religious issues lead to the prayer book rebellion where rebels were angry due to the prayer book being translated into English from Latin.

It emphasises that economic, religious and poverty issues were extremely important.

Source D is strong evidence supporting that Somerset’s mistaken policies were the main cause of the instability. He tries to remove the blame from himself and his policies. He seems to give the impression that he is angry and this could convince the reader that the instability of England could be due to other elements. Somerset does not approve of rebels and thinks that they are “the vilest and worst sort of men.” This tries to focus the attention on other peoples faults other then his own, and this indicated an unstable protector of Tudor England.

Source E indicates that the policy involving enclosures was not just undertaken by him but the whole council therefore not just be can be blamed. Although the policy in which he implemented proved to be counter-productive so therefore increased the instability.

Many issues influenced the instability of Tudor England in 1549, some direct and others indirect. Factors which could not be controlled were them such as economic issues, due to bad harvests and the debasement. Many illnesses were highly contagious, for example sweating sickness, which made an impact on stability as epidemics stop people taking part in their daily life’s, jobs and the country falls into economic depression.

However enclosures and class divisions had a direct impact on the stability and Somerset’s policies against these, were unsuccessful and made the country more unstable. Commission on enclosures, is a policy in which the population where made to think that the government would sort out the issue, but they had a laissez faire attitude and therefore the public thought that it was their responsibility to respond. However this magnified divisions from the poorer to richer statuses – where the richer became richer and the lower statuses became vagrants.    

Therefore I feel that Protector Somerset’s mistaken policies were not the main cause of instability in 1549.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Related AS and A Level History Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. How far do you agree with Elton's interpretation of the roles of Somerset and ...

    Somerset also inherited a nation divided on religion. Henry, although he had split from papal authority, never made the full transition from Catholicism to Protestantism as Northumberland did later in the Edwardian period. Rather, the doctrinal modifications, which followed the split from Rome, resulted in a confused nation.

  2. How far does Somerset deserve his reputation as the Good Duke? (Somerset (then known ...

    It was not until July of that year that the government sent out injunctions to further attack the Catholic church - this time picking up on things such as candles, bell ringing, stained glass windows and images of saints in Catholic churches across the country, with visitations made by government

  1. Statuary Interpretation

    using the literal rule is the Whitley V Chappell 1868 case involves the electoral Law which and the phrase in question was "it is an offence to personate another person entitled to vote". In Chappell and Whitley (1868) the defendant was charged with impersonating a dead man to obtain an additional vote in an election.

  2. Use the source and your own knowledge to explain what were the

    Could he rely on his neighbouring foreign powers anymore? Foreign military intervention itself wasn't so much a problem for Henry: there were no large-scale invasions of England during his reign and for the most part he managed to avoid war altogether.

  1. East of Eden: An Interpretation

    he wondered if it were a selfish and sinful thing to want greatness for his children, knowing that it would be a hard and lonely path. Perhaps this is the reason Samuel himself was so content with his own financial status.

  2. Economic and social issues were the main cause of Tudor Rebellion in Tudor England. ...

    their influence in the government in the northern counties and increase their financial and political fortunes. To finish, Essex?s rebellion was a weak revolt against Elizabeth and Robert Cecil. Essex?s revolt was his last attempt to restore his influence after his humiliating defeat and barging in to Elizabeth?s bedchamber without her permission.

  1. Using sources 1, 2 and 3 and your own knowledge: Were the changes in ...

    The reforms were simply not protestant enough, and although this would have been a cause for concern with those who were more dedicated to the Protestant faith, it would not have been a motivator for a rebellion. This is backed up in source 1, which sees the demands for religious

  2. Using your own knowledge to access how far the sources support the interpretation that ...

    Similarly in source B we are shown that the Radicals blamed their failures on the government and their spies. When Turner a conspirator of the Pentrich rising says that ?Oliver brought him to this?, it makes it sound like Oliver, like Edwards, acted as an agents provocateur and encouraged them to take action.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work