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Revolution In Government Was There A Revolution In Government Under Thomas Cromwell?
Who was Thomas Cromwell? • He was born in Putney 1485. His father was a ale-house keeper. • Settled in England after trips around the continent. • Had no formal education but he was able to speak French, Italian and Latin. • He was able to set up a successful legal practice and eventually took service with Wolsey, becoming a MP in 1920. • 2 Years After Wolsey’s death(1529) in 1931 Cromwell entered the royal service, becoming the King’s secretary and subsequently Vicar-General, with authority over the church. • Cromwell was a radical reformer which backed up by his actions such as the dissolution of the monasteries and supported the Royal Supremacy. • He was beheaded in June 1540, accused of treason and being a crypto-Lutheran. However there were other reasons that would warrant his beheading such as the failure of the Anne Of Cleves marriage, which blocked paths for a Anglo-French Alliance.
What happened in the 1530’s 1531 11th February – Henry is made supreme head of the Church of England 12th April – Royal approval for ecclestical laws passed 1533 12th April – Thomas Cromwell made Sectary of state 23rd May – Henry’s marriage was finally annulled to Catherine 11th July – Henry is excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Clement VII 1536 April – Wales incorporated into England 14th April – Reformation parliament passes the act for the dissolution of the monasteries 1st October / 5th December – Pilgrimage of Grace, the rebellion against Henry’s Church 1537 July – Pilgrimage of Grace / Robert Aske executed along with 200 other rebellion leaders Publication of the ‘Matthew Bible’ was written, the first complete translation of the English bible 1539 March – Invasion scare following reports of an alliance between Spain, France + Scotland May – The six articles reaffirm certain Catholic principles in Henry VIII’s Church of England, The Great Bible, in English, distributed to Churches
What was Elton’s Theory Sovereignty: Cromwell held the view that England was ( or should be) a unified state, Meaning that there should be just one power governing the lives of all those who lived within the realm- that power being the king. This process became established during the 1530’s where there was the course of struggle between the pope and king resulting in henry becoming supreme head of the church and subjects from this point on owing allegiance to the crown. Parliament: All through the 1530s all important changes were done through statues made by the king. Henrys supremacy over the church was god given, but parliament was needed to enforce it, In other words, him and Cromwell just saying it didn’t really mean much So basically, parliament decreed that certain acts were criminal, for example, denying that Henry was actually the head of the church, So when they had the break with rome, the authority of parliament was increased instead of all the ruling being done solely by the royal family Bureaucracy: The system of government that was dominated by ‘the household’ meaning a government which was run by the personal efforts of the king and the court officials surrounding him tended to break down when the king was not active or powerful. Cromwell degraded the household and replaced it. This was by a series of bureaucratic institutions which did not depend on the kings personal efforts but functioned efficiently whatever the monarch was like. This marked the transition to modern administration. TO SUM UP: Cromwell left England; A unified, independent sovereign state A constitutional monarchy in which all laws were made by parliament A modern, bureaucratic administration
What Was Accepted About Elton’s Theory? • The monarchy’s power increased during the 1530’s, enforced by Henry’s supremacy over the church and the dissolution of the monasteries increasing his wealth. • Most historians would agree that parliament’s status increased, it was used during the reformation setting a precedent, creating a constitutional monarchy. • Act of 1536 against franchises meant that Henry has total control over the country, therefore his royal sovereignty increased. The Act of Wales brought Wales under English Law, this meant that the monarchy could enforce their rules over a wider population.
Who Was Really In Charge Of The ‘Revolution In Government’ Henry was in charge of the reformation of the government, yet Cromwell carried out these duties and discusses these with him. Henry is the driving force for the revolutionary reform and Cromwell is just the small part of the decisions. If Henry had not staffed the privy council with Cromwell’s enemies who were religious conservatives who fuelled his fall. This was further enforced by Henry giving Cromwell a short back and sides when he tried to radically change religion.
How Has Elton’s Thesis Been Criticized? • Elton’s views • Cromwell restarted the Privy Council in 1536 • Cromwell made the financial system more bureaucratic, because he set up several different departments to deal with separate areas of finance. • In 1533, the Act of Appeals was created, Elton argued that this was completely down to Cromwell. • Opposition • John Guy argued that Cromwell would have no time for this as he was busy overthrowing the ‘Boleyn Faction’, and the Privy Council was full of Cromwell’s enemies; and it was actually up to Henry. • J. D. Alsop stated that the new system was not more bureaucratic, and was necessary as accountancy was more complicated, and so required more specific experts in the field of finance. • Other historianshowever, state that this reform was not completely created by Cromwell, as all Acts had to be approved by Henry, therefore this act must have had the King’s full support to be carried out. Conclusion: During the 1530’s, the seeds of change were sown, but reform continued for a longer period of time after Cromwell’s death. Henry was responsible overall for all major decisions in government throughout his reign.
To Conclude...... Everyone hates Thomas Wolsey