The Terrible Tudors

Essay by f16freakHigh School, 11th gradeA+, September 2008

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From the time of Julius Caesar, England has always played a role in the history of the world. Taking many centuries more to establish itself as a world power than its contemporaries in the rest of Europe, England was seen as most potent during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Of all the monarchial dynasties of that time period, none are more famous- or infamous- than the Tudor dynasty. This line of rulers reigned from 1485 to 1603, and brought about several changes that would drastically alter the laws, rulings, and religions of the people of England. Some, like Henry VIII and Mary I, are known more for their cruelty and punishments than their policies. But others, such as Elizabeth I, greatly increased England's influence on the shaping world. But with these distinct rulers, what was the effect on England itself?From 1455 to 1482, England fought a bloody civil war, known as the War of the Roses.

During this brutal schism, the houses of Lancaster and York vied for control of the throne, while attempting to eliminate the competition. This culminated in the almost complete destruction of the House of Lancaster, whose members where forced to leave the country or die. However, one of the last surviving members, young Henry Tudor, returned to England when popularity for the current monarch, Richard III, was in a dry spell, so to speak. Joining with those who opposed Richard, Henry usurped the throne and declared himself Henry VII, first of the Tudor rulers. He married Elizabeth of York, thus ending the long feud between York and Lancaster. Thus, the first objective accomplished in the Tudor dynasty was the ending of a civil war in England itself.

Perhaps the most significant change in the Tudor Dynasty as relates to the rest of England...