Was There a Mid-Tudor Crisis?

Was There a Mid-Tudor Crisis?

  1. Poor harvests, 1551, especially 1555-1556.
  2. War leads to high spending under Somerset with France and Scotland (£1 million), and under Mary.
  3. High inflation coupled with high unemployment.
  4. The fall of the Antwerp cloth market (1550).
  5. Three major rebellions, not to mention other risings and riots.
  6. Constant faction at court - due to lack of effectual leadership: a minor followed by a weak woman who depended on her foreign husband for advice.
  7. The attempt to put Jane Grey on the throne upset the succession.
  8. Crisis in the church - there are not enough clergy.
  9. 1557-1558 major flu epidemic. Biggest human catastrophe since the Black Death.
  10. The loss of Boulogne and then the loss of Calais.

  1. Henry VIII's Will was upheld. The succession went according to statute law.
  2. All of the rebellions were quashed easily. They were all localised. Not one of them threatened the Kingdom like the two Northern risings (1536 and 1569).
  3. The system of government did not break down - there was no revolution.
  4. Ideas about a 'social' crisis pertain to the whole of the Tudor period.
  5. The cloth market recovered from the Antwerp crash.
  6. There's no constant economic crisis that spans the full period from 1547 - 1558.
  7. The second part of Mary's reign is fairly peaceful.
  8. Many factors were out of the monarchs' control, so if there were crises they weren't of their doing.
  9. Historians have fabricated the idea of a mid-Tudor Crisis.
  10. There were bigger crises in other Tudor periods, like in 1594-5 and 1527.
  11. The period has been ignored for a long time, and it is only in the past decade that historians have started to research the period in depth. Perhaps we need to look more carefully at the original sources to get the real picture.

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