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A Brief History of the English Monarchy. Before the Tudors…. Prior to 1066 - British mainland was defined by the feudal system -Lesser kings from different Scandinavian regions were vying for power for centuries. Before the Tudors….

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before the tudors
Before the Tudors…
  • Prior to 1066 - British mainland was defined by the feudal system

-Lesser kings from different Scandinavian regions were

vying for power for centuries

before the tudors1
Before the Tudors…
  • 1066 - William of Normandy is victorious at the Battle of Hastings
  • For us, TWO major results:

1) Consolidates power over the region

2) Imposes French culture

before the tudors2
Before the Tudors…
  • 1087 - William dies (and the corpse…)

-His death = MASSIVE competition for the crown

  • England basically at war with itself off and on until 1485
before the tudors3
Before the Tudors…
  • 1450-1485 – The War of the Roses

-A thirty-five year power struggle for between the House of Lancaster and the House of York

  • 1485 - Henry of Lancaster wins and the conflict ends
before the tudors4
Before the Tudors…
  • 1486 - A politically crafty Henry extends an olive branch by marrying Elizabeth of York (daughter of the enemy)
  • Their marriage unifies England
    • He becomes Henry VII
    • Family is known as the House of Tudor
henry vii
Henry VII
  • Henry has two focuses

during his reign:

1) Consolidating Power

2) Acquiring vast amounts of money for the crown

*** Henry’s efforts build the foundation for Britain’s rise as a world power

henry viii
Henry VIII
  • 1509 - Henry VII dies

-His second son, Henry VIII, ascends throne

  • Henry VIII’s priority is maintaining, strengthening, and securing the kingdom his father established

*** What is the main ingredient in this recipe for success? A MALE HEIR!

henry viii1
Henry VIII
  • At 19, Henry VIII marries

Catherine of Aragon

(a Spanish queen)

  • They are married for about 20 years

-Despite multiple pregnancies, they have only one surviving child…

…a daughter (Mary Tudor)

henry viii2
Henry VIII
  • Henry desperately needs a son to secure his kingdom…

… So he makes a BIG decision, and life in England becomes really interesting…

henry viii3
Henry VIII
  • Henry decides to “rid himself” of Catherine and try again with Anne Boleyn
  • The Catholic Church did not recognize divorce, so he had two options:

1) Execute her – definitely lead to war with Spain

2) Divorce her – possibly lead to war with Spain, and definitely lead to excommunication

henry viii4
Henry VIII
  • Henry chose divorce, but since he could not rule as an excommunicated king, he wisely first divorced himself and England from the Catholic Church
henry viii5
Henry VIII
  • 1530s - Through massive legislation, Henry and Parliament refuted the Pope’s authority and severed England’s ties with Rome
  • The Anglican church (Protestant) is established, and Henry acts as its head
  • He “sold” this concept to his subjects in three ways:

1) Emphasized the Divine Right of Kings

2) Make the Pope out to be fraud.

3) Sacked monasteries, churches and cathedrals throughout the country

henry viii6
Henry VIII
  • And now back to the business of begetting an heir…
  • Henry does marry Anne Boleyn, but she gives birth to another daughter (Elizabeth)
  • Henry = Not Happy. Anne = Beheaded.
henry viii7
Henry VIII

A list of Henry’s wives and their demise:

  • Catherine of Aragon – divorced

-daughter, Mary Tudor

2) Anne Boleyn – beheaded

-daughter, Elizabeth

3) Jane Seymour – died

-son, Edward

4) Anne of Cleves - divorced

5) Catherine Howard – beheaded

6) Catherine Parr - survived

henry viii8
Henry VIII
  • 1547 – Henry VIII dies

Historically, the most important decision he made was to divorce Catherine of Aragon

***Henry’s decision to split from the Catholic Church was based solely on politics, but it had a massive impact on not only England’s history, but also the social, political, and religious climate around the world

edward vi
Edward VI
  • 1547 - Edward VI (son Henry VIII and Jane Seymour) ascends the throne at the ripe old age of 9
  • During his reign, he absolutely

reinforces his father’s break from the

Catholic Church

  • Why? If he doesn’t, he is considered an illegitimate child and likely faces execution
edward vi1
Edward VI
  • He’s a sickly child, and doesn’t last long…
  • 1533 – Edward dies

(without an heir)

lady jane grey
Lady Jane Grey
  • Once Henry’s only male heir had died, the power struggle began
  • Edward’s will forbade his sisters from succeeding him, so Lady Jane Grey, a cousin, is placed on the throne
  • Her ascension is deemed unacceptable by her political enemies, and her reign lasts only nine days (she is beheaded)
  • http://fineartamerica.com/images-medium/the-execution-of-lady-jane-grey-hippolyte-delaroche-.jpg
mary tudor
Mary Tudor
  • Mary Tudor (daughter of

Henry VIII and Catherine of

Aragon) assumes the throne

  • Before she ever took power, her reign was viewed as “problematic”
  • Why? Mary is thoroughly Catholic (born into Catholic marriage, raised Catholic)
mary tudor1
Mary Tudor
  • Mary’s reign was defined by an ideological religious

quest to undo everything her father had done

  • One of her first acts was to marry Phillip of


  • This was a blatant and bold political move for several reasons:

1) Reaffirmed her mother’s reputation/honor

2) Reestablished ties between Spain and

England (Spain is powerhouse at this


3) Sent a clear message that she supported Catholicism, not Anglicanism

mary tudor2
Mary Tudor
  • A strong, stubborn leader, Mary legislated the “undoing” of the English reformation
  • Earned the nickname “Bloody Mary” for the following:

1) Killed about 300 religious dissenters who refused to convert

2) Imprisoned her sister Elizabeth

3) Forcibly moved England back to Catholicism

mary tudor3
Mary Tudor

1558 - Mary dies, and without an heir

  • Side note: She was so psychologically desperate to produce an heir, Mary had several “phantom” pregnancies during which she actually stopped menstruating and physically appeared pregnant
elizabeth i
Elizabeth I
  • 1558 – Elizabeth I (daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn) ascends the throne
  • In a Catholic England, she could not lawfully reign because she

would be considered an

illegitimate child

  • So…
elizabeth i1
Elizabeth I
  • …Elizabeth sets about undoing everything Mary did in order to restore the Protestant England her father established
  • The “Virgin Queen” reigns until 1603 (45 years), during which:

-England experienced its own renaissance

-England became the world’s strongest naval power

elizabeth i2
Elizabeth I
  • This is the world Shakespeare was born into (1564)

-Religion and politics went hand in hand, and both

seemed arbitrary

  • Elizabeth I was an

active and generous

patron of the theatre

-Had her own acting

company called

the “Queen's Men”

elizabeth i3
Elizabeth I
  • Elizabeth stood against the Puritans who wished to close down the theatres

-Without her support the Elizabethan theatres would not have survived

  • 1590s - Court performances by acting companies became popular and Shakespeare's company was selected more than any other

*** Shakespeare does not refer to his queen very often, but he certainly benefited from her love of the theater

elizabeth i4
Elizabeth I
  • As you read Hamlet, consider the social, political, and religious turmoil the people of England had experienced in the past 50 years
  • Keep watch for Shakespeare’s dealing with such issues embedded in the text!
history rocks
History ROCKS
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_monarchs

-List of all the English monarchs; pictures

  • http://www.britroyals.com/tudor.htm

-Tudor family tree

  • http://tudorswiki.sho.com/page/Historical+TIMELINE+of+the+Tudors

-European timeline during the Tudor reign

  • http://tudorswiki.sho.com/page/SIGNATURES+of+The+Tudors

-Tudor signatures; awesome!