Acts of union
Crown and parliament to crown in parliament (Thomas Cromwell)
Empson and Dudley
Richard’s III’s shift in control of the North
The Acts of Union where very significant in the development of government. It unified Wales, which was seen to be a lawless country, to England and created one stable and powerful unit. The Acts of union in 1536 were very important to the development of politics and government in the period 1483-1547. It can be argued that this union was the most important factor towards this development due to the unrest and disorder beforehand. Crime rates within Wales before the Acts of union were very high. The local’s rebellious nature was shown in acts of piracy, disorder from peasants towards their landowners and general chaos. It was considered a big problem in the eyes of Henry VIII and his ministers. Without this act England was at threat of protest and rebellion but also of general unpopularity from the Welsh population. The Union also ended the Dual system of principality and Marches which caused a lot of tension. JP’s were now appointed by the King to localities and local disputes subsided. This is important as the country fell under direct control by the King. Therefore, the Acts of Union were significant because it was seen to maintain order and centralise government and power thus preventing any potential rebellions from thriving.
The significance of the issues associated with the disunity of Wales and England is evident in the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr. His aim was to make Wales entirely independent by rising up against Henry VIII. He gained a lot of followers in his attempts which was a great threat to the crown as it threatened their power and stability if Wales was lost entirely. This rebellion was crushed and the Acts of Union formed, which also diminished any other similar attempts to arise as Wales became part of the English government.
Wales has often been considered a platform for invasion of England as seen in Richard III’s usurpation. The Wars of the Roses was a significant problem for government, politics and the crown in this period and Richard saw this through the invasion of Henry Tudor. He used Wales as a bridge to invade England from France. This was a typical route for potential invaders and was a problem for English monarchs as it was a weak point in security due to the separation of England and Wales. Therefore, the Acts of Union were very significant as it lessened the opportunity for foreign attack but also meant that usurpers from abroad couldn’t gain as much support from Wales. This was very important for Politics, government and the crown as it bought control to the monarch and also stabilised the ruinous events of the Wars of the Roses. Although the Acts of Union was the most significant development of the period there were also other factors. The changes Thomas Cromwell made, for Henry VIII, between crown and parliament to crown in parliament was a very significant move for government. Elton describes this move as a ‘’revolution in government’’, emphasising its importance.
The shift was composed of the union between what was two separate entities to a combined power source with the monarch at the head. This was caused by the change in religious nature from Catholicism to Protestantism. Henry’s desire to perform a divorce meant he needed greater control over parliament because of his awareness of their unwillingness to comply with his wants. This shift was significant because parliament became a lot more involved in government, especially in respect to its regularity shown particularly by the end of Henry’s reign when they were meeting almost annually. It also meant that monarch had more power as they had to work together in order to make decisions and gave the monarch the ability to have final