History - The Sixteenth Century

15 important questions on History - The Sixteenth Century

The ‘Wars of the Roses’  were a struggle for power between which two groups?

One group supporting the house of Lancaster, whose symbol was a red rose and the other group supporting the house of York, whose symbol was a white rose.

Which illness broke out in the 14th century and what were its consequences?

The bubonic plague (aka Black Death) killed 1/3 of the population. 
The shortage of labour which it caused, and the increasing importance of trade and towns, weakened the traditional ties between lord and peasant.
The power of the great barons was greatly weakened by in-fighting. 

However, the Great Fire of London in 1666 destroys most of the city's wooden buildings, but is also destroys the bubonic plague which never reappeared. 

Due to what two things did the feudal structure fall?

Wars of the Roses + Black Death
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What is the Anglican Church and how did it arise?

The pope found it inappropriate for Henry VIII to get a divorce and didn't want to help him. Henry VIII founded the Church of England and was the head of this Church

Who was the most well known monarch of the sixteenth century and what was he known for?

Henry VIII of the house of Tudor. During his reign the Reformation took place. He established the church of England with himself as head of church and swept away the power of the Roman Church with the Pope. There came a new spirit of patriotic confidence and a feeling of conciousness as an island nation.

What big victory took place in 1588?

The English navy defeats the Spanish Armada.

Who was the most well-known monarch of the 16th century and what was he known for?

Henry Tudor was the most famous monarch. During his time the Reformation took place. He wanted a divorce, which the Pope would not give him. By making himself head of the 'Church of England', independent of Rome, all church lands came under his control and gave him a large new source of income. 

What were the consequences of the Reformation?

  • The country had finally lost any realistic claim to lands in France, thus becoming more consciously a distinct 'island nation'. 
  • England was closer to the geographical centre of western civilization instead of being on the edge of it.

Henry VIII was strong catholic believer and wrote a polemic against protestantism, for which the pope gave him a title. What title?

F.D. (Fidei Defensor)

What is the Gunpowder Plot?

A group of Catholics with its leader Guy Fawkes fail in their attempt to blow up the king in Parliament.

What caused Protestantism to become the majority religion in England and what did it consist of?

It was patriotism as much as religious conviction that had caused this. It took a form known as Anglicanism, which is not so different from Catholicism in its organization and ritual.

What happened with Protestantism in Scotland?

It took a more idealistic form. Calvinism, with its strict insistence on simplicity and its dislike of ritual and celebration became the dominant religion. It is from this date that the stereotype image of the dour, thrifty Scottish developed. The highlands, however, remained Catholic and so further widened the gulf between the two nations.

Ireland also remained Catholic. There Protestantism was identified with the English, who at that time were making further attempts to control the whole of the country.

Who was Elizabeth I?

She was the daughter of Henry VIII and the first of the three long-reigning queens in British history. She became known as the Virgin Queen, because she never married. She used this as a diplomatic tool. The state Virginia in the USA was named after her. 

Important dates in The Sixteenth century (1500-1600)

  • 1534 = The Act of Supremacy declares Henry VIII to be the supreme head of the church in England
  • 1538 = An English language version of the Bible replaces the Latin Ones in every chruch in the land
  • 1580 = Sir Francis Drake completes the first voyage round the world by an Englishman
  • 1588 = The Spanish Armada (a fleet of ships sent by king Philip of Spain to help invade England) is defeated by the English navy (with the help of a violent storm)

What was 'The Wars of the Roses' ?

Nobles, with their own private armies were divided into two groups challenging the position of the monarch. One supporting the House Of Lancaster (Henry Tudor, red rose) and the other the House of York (Richard III, white rose).
The war ended after three decades in 1485 when Tudor defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

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