tudorterm paper

tudorterm paper - Alison Smith March 25, 2008 Tudor England...

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1Alison Smith March 25, 2008 Tudor England 1121 Tuesday/Thursday 9:30- 10:45 A.M. Factions and Politics in Tudor England Throughout history, subjects of rulers have been under the control of their leaders, whether they were military or religious leaders, emperors, or kings. However, in Tudor England, the people were moved to pursue their own goals but had to persuade the monarch that their goal would best serve the country and the monarchy itself . To do this, they needed not only an audience with but also the favor of the ruler. In this way, factions were born. Still, many things are unclear regarding use of factions, what their purpose was, how they influenced the different kings and queens of the Tudor line, and what could be gained by the separate factions. Even the true meaning of “faction” can be cloudy since some four hundred years have passed since the death of the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I. According to E. W. Ives, a faction is “a group of people which seeks objectives that are seen primarily in personal terms.” 1 This, however, still leaves much to be questioned. How can we know that they really existed? In a situation such as the Tudor monarchy, where many people were needed to serve the crown, the king or queen had to select those who would serve them throughout the realm, such as justices, sheriffs, keepers and so on. Without ministers or advisors to recommend individuals for these positions, the monarch would have had a very difficult time finding people appropriate for all of these posts. 2 That is where the leaders of factions, sometimes called patrons would become 1 Eric Ives, Faction in Tudor England (London, 1979), 1. 2 Ives, Faction in Tudor England, 3.
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useful for a king. The idea of a patron and client relationship— the basis of factions— came about far before Tudor England. Clients gave their patrons political support, gifts and cash, and— in return — patrons would advance their clients objectives with the king. 3 These objectives could be anything from a position in the clergy or advancement in court to subduing the ruler’s anger at an individual and sparing them punishment or letting them return to court. According to Ives, the relationship between patrons and clients can be explained as a plant. The stem was the patron and the roots the clients that were spread throughout the realm and the court, and both systems depended on each other. 4 The competition between these factions was the competition not only of who had the most money or favor, but also of three main goals among the nobility – dignity, status, and prestige. 5 The monarchy can only be run once all other alternative centers of political loyalty or all alternative sources of worldly advancement. 6
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tudorterm paper - Alison Smith March 25, 2008 Tudor England...

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