This essay sample on Wyatt Rebellion Causes provides all necessary basic information on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.
In 1549, two rebellions broke out in England, the Ket’s and the Western (Prayer Book) rebellion. There was no single cause of these rebellions. Religious, political and social factors all intertwined to create distress resulting in the rebellions. Religious policies initiated by Somerset continued to make their impact of the country.
The prayer book rebellion was a catholic rebellion so religion was obviously important. The Ket’s rebellion was against rising rents, entry fines and over grazing of the common lands.
This shows how social discontent may be the reason they broke out.
In 1554, Wyatt’s rebellion broke out which publicly was against the Spanish marriage. However there were underlying religious factors as well. Source A only touches on religious reasons because the main causes of the rebellion were rising rents, entry fines and over grazing of the common lands. The debasing of the coinage led to the rising prices and social distress. It says “We pray that all freeholders and copyholders may take the profits of all common lands and the Lords not to use the commons or take profits from the same. ” Lords using the commons led to overgrazing. This shows social discontent did help cause the rebellions.
The Ket’s rebels were against the enclosure of common lands but in East Anglia there had not been that much enclosure so it was just an excuse to rebel.
Source A says that if priests and vicars were unable to preach the words of God then their parishioners should be able to choose another priest. This indicates they wanted to raise standards of the clergy so religious grievances was a factor in causing the Ket’s rebellion. However religion was not a main cause of the Ket’s rebellion. Ket’s rebels accepted the prayer book but would have liked it to be more radical so religious grievance wasn’t important unlike in the Western.
The Western rebellion resented the Prayer Book and was against the Edwardian reformation. They didn’t like the fact the Prayer Book was written in English rather than Latin. They couldn’t understand the London dialect. Source B says “We will have the mass in Latin as before”. Religious grievances rather than political and social discontent may explain the reasons for the Western rebellion breaking out but not all three of the rebellions. Source B also says how they want images in every church, don’t want the new service and that Cardinal Pole should not only be freely pardoned but recalled from Rome.
The rebels were of a lower class than the gentry and hated the government officials who were desecrating their churches. They wanted monastery lands to be restored. Even in the Western rebellion there was other factors leading to it but religion was very important. The economic and social distress was the reason the commons rebelled so readily against the Prayer Book. Source B only comments on religious factors but it was the clergy who drew up the rebels demands for the western rebellion so therefore are going to concentrate on the religious factors.
In the year before the rebellions their had been a hot summer and crops had failed. Possibly 40% of the population lived on or below the poverty line. Things were made worse by price increases. The introduction of the sheep tax in Devon caused rioting because the commons couldn’t afford to pay it. Source C says “You ask for a relief (tax) granted to us by Parliament on cloth and shearing sheep to be remitted, saying we have no need for it”. The king even recognises the dislike of it. The economic and social distress helped fuel the anger for the rebellions. There also was influence from political factors.
There was intense unpopularity of the government’s agent, William Body who was eventually killed of the 6th April. He was disliked as identified with the new religious policy so religious factors are important as well. The sources are only about the Ket’s and Western rebellion not Wyatt’s. The public aim of the Wyatt’s rebellion was to stop the Spanish marriage. However historian such as Fletcher and MacCulloch believe that religion was the reason why rebels wanted to stop Mary’s marriage. The rebellion was led by the reforming faction of Edward’s reign which suggests religion was important.
Wyatt’s couldn’t use religious factors as the aim of the rebellion because this would split the country as some of the population was still Catholic. This would therefore limit his support. If Wyatt’s rebellion had been successful, Elizabeth would become Queen and she was Protestant anyway. Wyatt’s knew there was already wide-spread resentment of the Spanish marriage so used this to gain support. This indicates religious grievances do help explain why the Wyatt’s rebellion broke out. Some people thought the marriage was a political mistake as through the marriage she could give England away to a foreign empire.
However the marriage treaty meant Philip had no power to rule England, he couldn’t take Mary or their children out of the country without the consent of the council or drag England into Spanish wars. Also the nobility could resist the marriage to protect their own power and self-interest. “Unlike the uprising in 1549, this was a political conspiracy among the elites and there was little popular support. ” The rebellion was led by Croft, Carew and Wyatt who all held important offices at court. They feared the Spanish influence would endanger their own careers.
This shows political discontent helped to provoke the Wyatt’s rebellion. Overall, although religious grievances do help explain why rebellions broke out in 1549 and 1554, there are other important factors. Religious grievances were very important especially in the Ket’s and Wyatt’s rebellions but no single factor caused all the rebellions. Each rebellion started for different reasons. Poverty was worsening because of the debased coinage leading to inflation and price increases. This caused distress which help fuel the rebellions. Ket’s rebels accepted the pray book so religious grievances wasn’t a main cause.
The western rebellion resented the Prayer Book and was against the Edwardian reformation but the economic and social distress was the reason the commons rebelled so readily against the Prayer Book. For this rebellion religious grievances was an important factor in why it broke out but political and social discontent was also important. In Wyatt’s rebellion political discontent of the leaders, religion grievances and social discontent were all important for causing the rebellions. Religious, political and social factors all intertwined to create distress resulting in the rebellions.