The Tudors and the Stuart

Numero di pagine:4
Formato di file:.doc (Microsoft Word)
Download   Anteprima (Dimensione: 5.32 Kb)
trucheck.it_the-tudors-and-the-stuart.doc     25 Kb
readme.txt     59 Bytes


The Tudors and the Stuarts

Henry VII
Henry VII, who came to the English throne, was the first king of the Tudor dynasty. During his reign he made the monarchy supreme. Henry’s foreign policy aimed at making England’s trading position stronger. He also laid the foundations of English naval power by spending money on building of ships so that England could have its own merchant fleet well as increase its military strengh.
The Reformation
Henry VIII succedeed his father; the main event during his reign was the Reformation. The religious revolution arose from Henry’s quarrel with the Pope. Henry had been married by special dispensation to Catherine of Aragon, who some years later had guven him a daughter, Mary, but was now unlikely to bear him a son. He had fallen in love with Anne Boleyn and asked the Pope for a divoirce. When it was clear that the Pope would not the clear his first marriage invalid, Henry broke with Rome and declared himself “Supreme Head of the Church”in England. The social charities such as schools and hospitals for the poor mostly disappeared. In 1536, Anne Boleyn, who had given Henry VIII a daughter, Elizabeth, was executed, and the king remarried four more times.
Mary I
During the short reign of her half-brother Edward VI Mary I lived in retirement and refused to conform to the new religion, since she was a devout Catholic. When she became Queen in 1553 she repealed anticatholic legislation and revived catholic practices. Her unpopular marriage to Philip II of Spain was followed by the persecution of 300 protestants, wich earned her the name of “Bloody Mary”.
Queen Elizabeth I
In 1558 Elizabeth became queen of a divided nation, the majority of wich was anticatholic and antispanish. Elizabeth brougth unity and defeated England’s enemies at home and abroad. Elizabeth ruled wisely through her Privy Council of about 20 members, great nobles and career officials, she moved round her country on royal journeys, staying with the principal noblement, so that a great deal of her people could see her. Her court was brilliant, and poets, musicians and actors were anxious to entertain and on honour her. The Queen was unmarried and used this as political weapon, encouraging the hopes of European princes with whom it was important to keep good terms.
The defeat of the Spanish Armada
Elizabeth recognised Spain as her main trade rival and enemy. At first open war was avoided and explorations and overseas trade expanded, making England a commercial and seafaring power. English sea-captains were secretly euncouraged by the queen, who took a shareof the profits. In 1588 the war against Spain started: 130 Spanish galleons appeared in the English Channel, they were slow and heavy, while the English ships were lower, faster and armed with long-range guns. However, the Spanish Armada was also defeated thanks to the help of bad weather.
King by divine right
James VI of Scotland, became the first Stuart king in England. He was a protestant and he based his rule on the theory of the “divine rigth of kings”. He summoned parliament only to ask for money. Religion was the most urgent problem of the new reign: Catholics were fined if they refused to attend the Church of England and the Puritans disapproved of both the rites and bishops of the Church of England. These Puritans were against any form of entertainment and underlined the importance of invidualism in religion.
England’s expansion abroad
Peace with Spain made it possible to lay the foundations of English colonial possessions in North America. In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers, religious dissenters who had first taken shelter in Holland, left England for America on the Mayflower and founded New Plymouth. The new world provided a convenient ground for unwanted religious and political agitators and also a valuable market for English goods which were exchanged for American products like tobacco.
The Civil war
Charles I suceeded his fhather James I in 1625; he could not avoid direct confrontation with the puritan party, whose members mainly belonged to the middleclasses, and which had given rise to a social and political movement holding a considerable majority in Parliament. Puritans wanted a true balance of power between King and Parliament. In 1642 the King was aked to give up the command of the armed forces; he refused and the Civil War broke out. The forces were divided into Royalists and supporters of Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell. The former had long hair and were known as Cavaliers. The latters were called Roundheads. The King was made prisoner in 1647; Cromwell took control of London and expelled or arrested more than 100 members of the House of Lords. The remaining members voted for the execution of the King on January 30, 1949. After Charles I’s execution, monarchy was abolished and the country was ruled as a rapublic, known by the name of Commonwealth.
The restoration of the monarchy
In 1660 Parliament ivited Charles II to return to his kingdom end the republic was over. The restoration of monarchy was greeted with relief by most Englishmen, who had felt oppressed by the strict rules of the Puritans. Charles II’s court was moust immoral in English history, so when the two catastrophes of the plague and the Great Fire hit the country, the Puritans interpreted them as God’s punishment for the king’s immorality. London was struck in 1665 by an aoutbreak of bubonic plague. A year later, a fire destroyed most of the city in four days.
The Glorious Revolution
Cooperation between Crown and Parliament became effective only with the so-called Glorious Revolution. The reign of William and Mary (1689) was a time of economic progress for England; London was becoming the financial capital of the world.
The growing importance of London
In the 17th century trade and transport were improved; markets were replaced by shops, and the towns which had shops grew larger. However, no othee English town approached the population of London. The prominence of London was due to many factors: most of England’s foreign trade passed through its port; the great trading companies were based in the city. Nevertheless, the reasons for the influence of London were not only economic, but political, social, legal and cultural. Every session of Parliament gathered over 400 members and their families; the inns of court, the city schools and the entertainment drew many people as well.