TO WHAT EXTENT WAS THERE A "MID TUDOR CRISIS"ÃÂ DURING THE REIGNS OF EDWARD VI AND MARY I? "The mid-Tudor crisis" is a term often used by historians to describe the reigns of Edward VI (1547-1553) and Mary I (1553-1558). This period can be seen as a crisis, due to the fact that there were so many problems financially, socially, religiously and constitutionally, which led to rebellions, and placed the country in a very unstable position.
It is clear that many of the origins of this 'crisis' have their roots in the reign of Henry VIII. He left a very difficult legacy to his successors, but it must be remembered that Somerset provoked the problems already in existence and Northumberland and Mary I then had the difficult task of resolving them. Henry VIII was only one contributing factor to the crisis.
However, before Henry VIII died in 1547, he had attempted to prevent a power struggle by setting up a Privy Council, made up of his most trusted advisors.
The members were to have equal powers and were to govern until Edward VI reached the age of eighteen. This council was meant to be balanced between the conservative and radical factions. But by the time of Henry's death, the radical party had gained control.
It could be argued that Henry VIII was partly responsible for this, as it was he who had expelled Gardiner and had Norfolk arrested. This weakened the conservatives, but it was almost inevitable that one faction would emerge stronger. Although a balanced solution is ideal in theory, in practice it is almost impossible to maintain. Especially when there is a power struggle and no longer a royal focus of authority.
From this struggle for power, Somerset emerged as leader. It is evident that he...