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1.3.6 The Tudors

In the 15th Century, a major civil war took place, known as the Wars of the Roses, as the two sides, the House of Lancaster and the House of York were symbolised by a red rose and a white rose respectively. It ended in the victory of Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII, at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, where the Yorkist King Richard III was killed. Henry's son King Henry VIII (1491- 1547) was King of England and (later) King of Ireland from 1509 until his death. He was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty. He is famous for having been married six times and for taking and us­ing the most power of any British king.

Henry VIII in a famous portrait by Hans Holbein right

Several significant pieces of legislation were passed during Henry VIII's reign. They includ­ed the several Acts which severed the English Church from the Roman Catholic Church and established Henry as the head of the Protes-

tant Church of England, the Acts of Union 1536-1543 (which united England and Wales into one nation) and the Witchcraft Act 1542, which punished "invoking or conjuring an evil spirit" with death.

Henry is known to have been an avid gambler and dice player. He excelled at sport - especially royal tennis - during his youth. He was also an accomplished musician, author, and poet; according to legend, he wrote the popular folk song "Greensleeves", still played today.

Elizabeth I (1533 -1603) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 1558 until her death. Sometimes referred to as The Virgin Queen or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth I was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. She reigned during a period of great religious turmoil in English history when Catholics attempted to regain the throne, at one point through Elizabeth's sister, Mary Queen of Scots.

Elizabeth's reign is referred to as the Elizabethan era or the Golden Age and was marked by many changes in English culture. William Shakespeare, Chris­topher Marlowe, and Ben Jonson all wrote during this era. In addition, Fran­cis Drake became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe as well as lead­ing the defence against the Spanish Ar­mada during the major war with Spain during Elizabeth's reign; Francis Bacon laid out his philosophical and political views; and the English colonisation of North America took place under Sir Wal­ter Raleigh and Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Elizabeth was short-tempered and had a very strong character which probably saved her from bad political and marital alliances. She never married and ruled for 45 years.

Elizabeth 1 left

Virginia, an English colony in North America and afterwards a member of the United States, was named after Elizabeth I, the "Virgin Queen".

1.3.7 Civil War and Oliver Cromwell

The major English Civil War broke out in 1642, largely as a result of an ongo­ing series of conflicts between the then King, Charles I, who wanted more power

- 1.3.8 The Industrial Revolution

From about 1750, there was massive change as a largely agrarian society was

transformed by technological advances and increasing mechanisation, which was

the Industrial Revolution. Much of the agricultural workforce was uprooted from

the countryside and moved into large urban centres of production, as the steam-

based production factories could undercut the traditional cottage industries, due

to economies of scale and the increased output per worker made possible by new

technology. The consequent overcrowding into areas with little supporting infra-

structure saw dramatic increases in the rise of infant mortality, social problems and

many workers saw their livelihoods threatened by new technology. Of these, some

frequently sabotaged or attempted to sabotage factories. These saboteurs were

known as "Luddites".

The English economy boomed as the processing of raw materials such as cotton

and iron, and manufacture of goods in parallel with the growth of cities and major conurbations forever changed the face of England.

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