Henry’s failure to gain an important position in European politics was a bitter disappointment. He spent so much on maintaining a magnificent court, and on wars from which England had little to gain, that his father's carefully saved money was soon gone. Gold and silver from newly discovered America added to economic inflation. In this serious financial crisis, Henry needed money. One way of doing this was by reducing the amount of silver used in coins. But although this gave Henry immediate profits, it rapidly led to a rise in prices.
It was therefore a damaging policy Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница, and the English coinage was reduced to a seventh of its value within twenty-five years.
Henry VIII was always looking for new sources of money. His father had become powerful by taking over the nobles’ land, but the lands owned by the Church and the monasteries had not been touched. The Church was a huge landowner, and the monasteries were no longer important to economic and social growth in the way they had been two hundred years earlier. In fact they were unpopular because many monks no longer led a good religious life but lived in wealth Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница and comfort.
Henry disliked the power of the Church in England because, since it was an international organisation, he could not completely control it. If Henry had been powerful enough in Europe to influence the pope it might have been different. But there were two far more powerful states, France, and Spain, with the Holy Roman Empire, tying between him and Rome. The power of the Catholic Church in England could therefore work against his own authority, and the taxes paid to the Church reduced his own income. Henry was not the only European king with a wish to Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница “centralise” state authority. Many others were doing the same thing. But Henry had another reason for standing up to the authority of the Church.
In 1510 Henry had married Catherine of Aragon, the widow of his elder brother Arthur. But by 1526 she had still not had a son who survived infancy and was now unlikely to do so. Henry tried to persuade the pope to allow him to divorce Catherine. Normally, Henry need not have expected any difficulty. His chief minister, Cardinal Wolsey, had already been skilful in advising on Henry’s foreign and home policy. Wolsey hoped that his Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница skills, and his important position in the Church, would be successful in persuading the pope. But the pope was controlled by Charles V, who was Holy Roman Emperor and king of Spain, and also Catherine’s nephew. For both political and family reasons he wanted Henry to stay married to Catherine. The pope did not wish to anger either Charles or Henry, but eventually he was forced to do as Charles V wanted. He forbade Henry’s divorce.
Henry was extremely angry and the first person to feel his anger was his own minister, Cardinal Wolsey. Wolsey only escaped execution by Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница dying of natural causes on his way to the king's court, and after Wolsey no priest ever again became an important minister of the king. In 1531 Henry persuaded the bishops to make him head of the Church in England, and this became law after Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy in 1534. It was a popular decision. Henry was now free to divorce Catherine and marry his new love, Anne Boleyn. He hoped Anne would give him a son to follow him on the throne.
Henry’s break with Rome was purely political. He had simply wanted to control the Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница Church and to keep its wealth in his own kingdom. He did not approve of the new ideas of Reformation Protestantism introduced by Martin Luther in Germany and John Calvin in Geneva. He still believed in the Catholic faith. Indeed, Henry had earlier written a book criticising Luther’s teaching
and the pope had rewarded him with the title Fidei Defensor, Defender of the Faith. The pope must have regretted his action. The letters “F.D.” are stilt to be found on every British coin.
Like his father, Henry VIII governed England through his close advisers, men who were Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница completely dependent on him for their position. But when he broke with Rome, he used Parliament to make the break legal. Through several Acts of Parliament between 1532 and 1536, England became politically a Protestant country, even though the popular religion was still Catholic.
Once England had accepted the separation from Rome Henry took the English Reformation a step further. Wolsey’s place as the king’s chief minister was taken by one of his assistants, Thomas Cromwell. Henry and Cromwell made a careful survey of Church property, the first properly organised tax survey since the Domesday Book 450 years earlier. Between 1536 and Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница 1539 they dosed 560 monasteries and other religious houses. Henry did this in order to make money, but he also wanted to be popular with the rising classes of landowners and merchants. He therefore gave or sold much of the monasteries’ lands to them. Many smaller landowners made their fortunes. Most knocked down the old monastery buildings and used the stone to create magnificent new houses for themselves. Other buildings were just left to fatl down.
Meanwhile the monks and nuns were thrown out. Some were given smalt sums of money, but many were unable to find work and became wandering Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница beggars. The dissolution of the monasteries was probably the greatest act of official destruction in the history of Britain.
Henry proved that his break with Rome was neither a religious nor a diplomatic disaster. He remained loyal to Catholic religious teaching, and executed Protestants who refused to accept it. He even made an alliance with Charles V of Spain against France. For political reasons both of them were willing to forget the quarrel over Catherine of Aragon, and also England’s break with Rome.
Henry died in 1547, leaving behind his sixth wife, Catherine Parr, and his Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница three children. Mary, the eldest, was the daughter of Catherine of Aragon. Elizabeth was the daughter of his second wife,
Anne Boleyn, whom he had executed because she was unfaithful. Nine-year-old Edward was the son of Jane Seymour, the only wife whom Henry had realty loved, but who had died giving birth to his only son.
The Protestant—Catholic struggle
Edward VI, Henry VIII’s son, was only a child when he became king, so the country was ruled by a council. All the members of this council were from the new nobility created by the Tudors. They were keen Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница Protestant reformers because they had benefited from the sale of monastery lands. Indeed, all the new landowners knew that they could only be sure of keeping their new lands if they made England truly Protestant.
Most English people still believed in the old Catholic religion. Less than half the English were Protestant by belief, but these people were allowed to take a lead in religious matters. In 1552 a new prayer book was introduced to make sure that all churches followed the new Protestant religion.
Most people were not very happy with the new religion. They had been glad to see Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница the end of some of the Church’s bad practices like the selling of “pardons” for the forgiveness of sins. But they did not like the changes in belief, and in some places there was trouble.
Mary, the Catholic daughter of Catherine of Aragon, became queen when Edward, aged sixteen, died in 1553. A group of nobles tried to put Lady
Jane Grey, a Protestant, on the throne. But Mary succeeded in entering London and took control of the kingdom. She was supported by the ordinary people, who were angered by the greed of the Protestant nobles.
However, Mary Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница was unwise and unbending in her policy and her beliefs. She was the first queen of England since Matilda, 400 years earlier. At that time women were considered to be inferior to men. The marriage of a queen was therefore a difficult matter. If Mary married an Englishman she would be under the control of a man of lesser importance. If she married a foreigner it might place England under foreign control.
Mary, for political, religious and family reasons, chose to marry King Philip of Spain. It was an unfortunate choice. The ordinary people disliked the marriage, as Philip’s Spanish friends Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница in England were quick to notice. Popular feeling was so strong that a rebellion in Kent actually reached London before ending in failure. Mary dealt cruelly with the rebel leader, Wyatt, but she took the unusual step of asking Parliament for its opinion about her marriage plan. Parliament unwillingly agreed to Mary’s marriage, and it only accepted Philip as king of England for Mary’s lifetime.
Mary's marriage to Philip was the first mistake of her unfortunate reign. She then began burning Protestants. Three hundred people died in this way during her five-year Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница reign, and the burnings began to sicken people. At the same time, the thought of becoming a junior ally of Spain was very unpopular. Only the knowledge that Mary herself was dying prevented a popular rebellion.
Elizabeth, Mary’s half sister, was lucky to become queen when Mary died in 1558. Mary had considered killing her, because she was an obvious leader for Protestant revoit. Elizabeth had been wise enough to say nothing, do nothing, and to express neither Catholic nor Protestant views while Mary lived. And Philip persuaded Mary to leave Elizabeth unharmed.
When she became queen in 1558, Elizabeth 1 wanted to Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница find a peaceful answer to the problems of the English Reformation. She wanted to bring together again those parts of English society which were in religious disagreement. And she wanted to make England prosperous. In some ways the kind of Protestantism finally agreed in 1559 remained closer to the Catholic religion than to other Protestant groups. But Elizabeth made sure that the Church was still under her authority, unlike politically dangerous forms of Protestantism in Europe. In a way, she made tbe Church part of the state machine.
The “parish", the area served by one church, usually the same size as Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница a village, became the unit of state administration. People had to go to church on Sundays by law and they were fined if they stayed away. This meant that the parish priest, the “parson" or “vicar", became almost as powerful as the village squire. Elizabeth also arranged for a book of sermons to be used in church. Although most of the sermons consisted of Bible teaching, this book also taught the people that rebellion against the Crown was a sin against God.
The struggle between Catholics and Protestants continued to endanger Elizabeth’s position for the next Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница thirty years. Both France and Spain were Catholic. Elizabeth and her advisers wanted to avoid open quarrels with both of them. This was not easy, because both the French and Spanish kings wanted to marry Elizabeth and so join England to their own country. Elizabeth and her advisers knew how much damage Mary had done and that it was important that she should avoid such a marriage. At tbe same time, however, there was a danger that the pope would persuade Catholic countries to attack England. Finally, there was a danger from those Catholic nobles still in England who wished Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница to remove Elizabeth and replace her with the queen of Scotland, who was a Catholic.
Mary, the Scottish queen, usually called “Queen of Scots", was the heir to the English throne because she was Elizabeth’s closest living relative, and because Elizabeth had not married. Mary’s mother had been French, and Mary had spent her childhood in France, and was a strong Catholic. When she returned to rule Scotland as queen, Mary soon made enemies of some of her nobles, and to avoid them she finally escaped to the safety of England. Elizabeth, however, kept Mary as Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница a prisoner for almost twenty years. During that time Elizabeth discovered several secret Catholic plots, some of which clearly aimed at making Mary queen of England.
It was difficult for Elizabeth to decide what to do with Mary. She knew that France was unlikely to attack England in support of Mary. But she was afraid that Spain might do so. Mary’s close connection with France, however, was a discouragement to Philip. He would not wish to defeat Elizabeth only to put Mary on the throne. It would be giving England to the French. So for a long Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница time Elizabeth just kept Mary as a prisoner.
When Elizabeth finally agreed to Mary’s execution in 1587, it was partly because Mary had named Philip as her heir to the throne of England, and because with this claim Philip of Spain had decided to invade England. Elizabeth no longer had a reason to keep Mary alive. In England Mary’s execution was popular. The Catholic plots and the dangers of a foreign Catholic invasion had changed people’s feelings. By 1585 most English people believed that to be a Catholic was to be an enemy of England. This hatred of everything Catholic became Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница an important political force.
The new foreign policy
During the Tudor period, from 1485 until 1603, English foreign policy changed several times. But by the end of the period England had established some basic principles. Henry VII had been careful to remain friendly with neighbouring countries. His son, Henry VIII, had been more ambitious, hoping to play an important part in European politics. He was unsuccessful. Mary allied England to Spain by her marriage. This was not only unpopular but was politically unwise: England had nothing to gain from being allied to a more powerful country. Elizabeth and her advisers Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница considered trade the most important foreign policy matter, as Henry VII had done. For them whichever country was England’s greatest trade rival was also its greatest enemy. This idea remained the basis of England’s foreign policy until the nineteenth century.
Elizabeth’s grandfather, Henry VII, had recognised the importance of trade and had built a large fleet of merchant ships. His son, Henry VIII, had spent money on warships and guns, making English guns the best in Europe.
Elizabeth's foreign policy carried Henry VII’s work much further, encouraging merchant expansion.
She correctly recognised Spain as her main Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница trade rival and enemy. Spain at that time ruled the Netherlands, although many of the people were Protestant and were fighting for their independence from Catholic Spanish rule. Because Spain and France were rivals, Spanish soldiers could only reach the Netherlands from Spain by sea. This meant sailing up the English Channel. Elizabeth helped the Dutch Protestants by allowing their ships to use English harbours from which they could attack Spanish ships, often with the help of the English. When it looked as if the Dutch rebels might be defeated, after they lost the city of Antwerp Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница in 1585, Elizabeth agreed to help them with money and soldiers. It was almost an open declaration of war on Spain.
English ships had already been attacking Spanish ships as they returned from America loaded with silver and gold. This had been going on since about 1570, and was the result of Spain’s refusal to allow England to trade freely with Spanish American colonies. Although these English ships were privately owned “privateers”, the treasure was shared with the queen. Elizabeth apologised to Spain but kept her share of what had been taken from Spanish ships. Philip knew quite well Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница that Elizabeth was encouraging the "sea dogs”, as they were known. These seamen were traders as well as pirates and adventurers. The most famous of them were John Hawkins, Francis Drake and Martin Frobisher, but there were many others who were also trying to build English sea trade and to interrupt Spain’s.
Philip decided to conquer England in 1587 because he believed this had to be done before he would be abLe to defeat the Dutch rebels in the Netherlands. He hoped that enough Catholics in England would be willing to help him. Philip’s large army was already in the Netherlands Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница. He built a great fleet of ships, an “Armada”, to move his army across the
English Channel from the Netherlands. But in 1587 Francis Drake attacked and destroyed part of this fleet in Cadiz harbour.
Philip started again, and built the largest fleet that had ever gone to sea. But most of the ships were designed to carry soldiers, and the few fighting ships were not as good as the English ones. English ships were longer and narrower, so that they were faster, and their guns could also shoot further than the Spanish ones.
When news of this Armada Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница reached England in summer 1588, Elizabeth called her soldiers together. She won their hearts with well-chosen words: “I am come ... to live or die amongst you all, to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood even in the dust. I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.”
The Spanish Armada was defeated more by bad weather than by English guns. Some Spanish ships were sunk, but Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница most were blown northwards by the wind, many being wrecked on the rocky coasts of Scotland and Ireland. For England it was a glorious moment, but it did not lead to an end of the war with Spain, and England found itself
Elizabeth triumphant. The famous 1 ‘Armada portrait” shows the Spanish Armada in full sail (left) and wrecked upon Ireland’s shores (right). Under Elizabeth's right hand lies the world, a reference to Francis Drake's successful voyage around the world, the expeditions of other explorers, and England's growing seapower. Elizabeth enjoyed glory, and her great vanity shows Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница in this portrait.
having to spend more than ever on England’s defence. Peace was only made with Spain once Elizabeth was dead.
The new trading empire
Both before and after the Armada, Elizabeth followed two policies. She encouraged English sailors like John Hawkins and Francis Drake to continue to attack and destroy Spanish ships bringing gold, silver and other treasures back from the newly discovered continent of America. She also encouraged English traders to settle abroad and to create colonies. This second policy led directly to Britain’s colonial empire of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The first English Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница colonists sailed to America towards the end of the century, One of the best known was Sir Walter Raleigh, who brought tobacco back to England. The settlers tried without success to start profitable colonies in Virginia, which was named after Elizabeth, the “virgin" or unmarried queen. But these were only beginnings.
England also began selling West African slaves to work for the Spanish in America. John Hawkins carried his first slave cargo in 1562. By 1650 slavery had become an important trade, bringing wealth
particularly to Bristol in southwest England. It took until the end of the eighteenth century for this trade Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница to be ended.
This growth of trade abroad was not entirely new. The Merchant Adventurers Company had already been established with royal support before the end of the fifteenth century. During Elizabeth’s reign more “chartered” companies, as they were known, were established. A "charter” gave a company the right to all the business in its particular trade or region. In return for this important advantage the chartered company gave some of its profits to the Crown. A number of these companies were established during Elizabeth’s reign: the Eastland Company to trade with Scandinavia and the Baltic in 1579; the Levant Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница Company to trade with the Ottoman Empire in 1581; the Africa Company to trade in slaves, in 1588; and the East India Company to trade with India in 1600.
The East India Company was established mainly because the Dutch controlled the entire spice trade with the East Indies (Indonesia). Spices were extremely important for making the winter salted meat tastier. The English were determined to have a share in this rich trade, but were unsuccessful. However, the East India Company did begin to operate in India, Persia and even in Japan, where it had a trading station from 1613—23. The quarrel over Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница spices was England’s first difficulty with the Dutch. Before the end of the seventeenth century trading competition with the Dutch had led to three wars.
A map of the world drawn in the early years of the sixteenth century shows geographical knowledge decreasing with distance from Europe. Australia, for example, is still completely unknoun. Even so, this map was a great improvement on geographical knowledge a century earlier. By the end of the century far more accurate maps were appearing.
Closer to home, the Tudors did their best to bring Wales, Ireland and Scotland under English control.
Henry VII Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница was half Welsh. At the battle of Bosworth in 1485 Henry’s flag was the red dragon of Wales. It had been the badge of the legendary last British (Welsh) king to fight against the Saxons. At the time, Caxton was printing Malory’s poem Morte d'Arthur. Henry cleverly made the most of popular “Arthurian” interest to suggest that he was somehow connected with the ancient British king, and named his eldest son Arthur. He also brought many Welshmen to his court.
Arthur, Prince of Wales, died early and Henry’s second son became Henry VIII. But he did Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница not share his father’s love of Wales. His interest was in power and authority, through direct control. He wanted the Welsh to become English.
One example of the changes Henry VIII made was in the matter of names. At that time the Welsh did not have family names. They used their own first name with those of their father and grandfather, using ap, which meant “son of”. Names were long, and the English, who had been using family names for about three hundred years, found them difficult. From 1535 the English put pressure on the Welsh to use Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница an English system of names by preventing Welsh names being used in law courts and on official papers. By 1750 the use of Welsh names had almost disappeared, although not before one Welshman had made a final and humorous protest.
He signed his name “Sion ap William ap Sion ap William ap Sion ap Dafydd ap Itrhel Fychan as Cynrig ap Robert ap lowerth ap Rhyrid ap Iowerth ap Madoc ap Ednawain Bendew, called after the English fashion John Jones.1' Many Welsh people accepted wrong English ways of pronouncing their names. Others took their fathers’ first names and ap Richard Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница, ap Robert, ap Hywel, ap Hugh soon became Pritchard, Probert, Powell and Pugh.
Others who had not used “ap” were known as Williams, Thomas, Davies, Hughes and so on.
Between 1536 and 1543 Wales became joined to England under one administration. English law was now the only law for Wales. Local Welshmen were appointed as JPs, so that the Welsh gentry became part of the ruling English establishment. Those parts of Wales which had not been “shired” were now organised like English counties. Welshmen entered the English parliament. English became the only official language, and Welsh was soon only spoken in the hills Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница. Although Welsh was not allowed as an official language, Henry VIII gave permission for a Welsh Bible to be printed, which became the basis on which the Welsh language survived.
Although most people gave up speaking Welsh, poets and singers continued to use it. The spoken word had remained the most important part of Welsh culture since the Saxon invasion. The introduction of schools, using English, almost destroyed this last fortress of Welsh culture. The gatherings of poets and singers, known as eisteddfods, which had been going on since 1170 suddenly stopped. But at the end of the eighteenth century Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница, there were still a few who could speak Welsh. Eisteddfods began again, bringing back a tradition which still continues today.
Henry VIII wanted to bring Ireland under his authority, as he had done with Wales. Earlier kings had allowed the powerful Anglo-Irish noble families to rule, but Henry destroyed their power. He persuaded the Irish parliament to recognise him as king of Ireland.
However, Henry also tried to make the Irish accept his English Church Reformation. But in Ireland, unlike England, the monasteries and the Church were still an important part of economic and social life. And Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница the Irish nobility and gentry, unlike the English, felt it was too dangerous to take monastic land. They refused to touch it. When an Anglo- Irish noble rebelled against Henry VIII, he did so in the name of Catholicism. Henry VIII failed to get what he wanted in Ireland. In fact he made things worse by bringing Irish nationalism and Catholicism together against English rule.
It is possible that, without the danger of foreign invasion, the Tudors might have given up trying to control the Irish. But Ireland tempted Catholic Europe as a place from which to attack the Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница English. In 1580, during Elizabeth Ps reign, many Irish rebelled, encouraged by the arrival of a few Spanish and French soldiers.
Queen Elizabeth’s soldiers saw the rebellious Irish population as wild and primitive people and treated them with great cruelty. Edmund Spenser, a famous Elizabethan poet, was secretary to the English commander. After the rebellion was defeated he wrote, “Out of every corner of the woods . . . they [the Irish rebels] came creeping forth upon their hands, for their legs would not bear them. They looked like . . . death. They spoke like ghosts crying out of their graves. They did eat Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница the dead . . . happy where they could find them.”
The Tudors fought four wars during the period to make the Irish accept their authority and their religion. In the end they destroyed the old Gaelic way of life and introduced English government.
Ireland became England’s first important colony. The effect of English rule was greatest in the north, in Ulster, where the Irish tribes had fought longest. Here, after the Tudor conquest, lands were taken and sold to English and Scottish merchants. The native Irish were forced to leave or to work for these settlers,
The Protestant settlers Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница took most of the good land in Ulster. Even today most good land in Ulster is owned by Protestants, and most poor land by Catholics. The county of Derry in Ulster was taken
over by a group of London merchants and divided among the twelve main London guilds. The town of Derry was renamed Londonderry, after its new merchant owners. This colonisation did not make England richer, but it destroyed much of Ireland’s society and economy. It also laid the foundations for war between Protestants and Catholics in Ulster in the second halt of the twentieth century.
Scotland and England
The Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница Scottish monarchs tried to introduce tbe same kind of centralised monarchy that the Tudors had so successfully developed in England. But it was much harder, because the Scottish economy was weaker, and Scottish society more lawless.
However, James IV, James V, Mary who was executed by her cousin Elizabeth of England, and her son James VI made important steps forward. They tried to control the lawless border country with England, and the disobedient Highland clans in the north. For the Scottish kings there was always a problem. The most disobedient were often the best fighters, and no king wanted Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница to make enemies of those who might help him in battle against the English.
Knowing how weak they were, the Scottish kings usually avoided war with England. They made a peace treaty with Henry VII, the first with an English king since 1328, and James IV married Henry’s daughter Margaret. But Henry VIII still wanted Scotland to accept his authority. In 1513 his army destroyed the Scottish army at Flodden. It was the worst defeat the Scots ever experienced. James himself was killed, and with him over twenty Scottish nobles.
The battle of Flodden increased the disagreement between Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница those Scottish nobles who felt that Scotland should move towards a closer friendship with England and those who wanted to remain loyal to tbe Auld Alliance with France. The Scottish monarch had to find a balance between these two, to keep both his nobles and his neighbours happy. The Protestant Reformation in Europe, and particularly in England, also increased the uncertainty and danger. There was talk of a
Catholic invasion of England by France and Spain. Many Scots wanted to stay on the side of Catholic Europe in the hope of sharing the fruits of a Catholic invasion of England.
But Henry VIII Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница reminded the Scots that it was dangerous to work against him. He sent another army into Scotland to make the Scottish James V accept his authority. James’s army was badly defeated and James himself died shortly after. Henry hoped to marry his son Edward to the baby Queen of Scots, Mary, and in this way join the two countries together under an English king. An agreement was reached in 1543.
Ordinary Scots were most unhappy at the idea of being ruled by England. In spite of their fear of the powerful English armies, a new Scottish Pearson Education Limited, 8 страница parliament, aware of popular feeling, turned down the marriage agreement. For the next two years English soldiers punished them by burning and destroying the houses of southern Scotland. Rather than give little Mary to the English, the Scots sent her to France, where she married the French king’s son in 1558.
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