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1.4 The Tudor Dynasty
Kings and Queens of the Tudor Dynasty:
In his book England under Tudors and Stuarts, Robert Raynes remarks that, "the advent of the Tudors marked the sunset of the Middle Ages and the sunrise of Modern times." Actually the reconstruction of the English society and civilization took place under the Tudors. The modern age started in England from the mid-fifteenth century. Some such changes took place from 1483, which had a lasting effect on the history of England as well as on the whole of Europe.
The Intellectual revolution hit London during the reign of Henry VII. The scholars that he sent to Italy learned Greek and Latin languages, which they taught in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Henry’s family was also devoted to the cause of learning and spreading modern thought. Books were made available throughout the country, which brought about the Renaissance in England, encouraging the study of sciences, arts, philosophy and literature. Thus, the rise of the Tudors in England and the Renaissance all over opened a new chapter of "Modern Age" in the History of England.
1.4a Development in England
During the Renaissance period many positive developments took place in Europe, especially in England. The spirit of Nationalism started to gain hold over the English psyche. The Roman Church started to loosen its grip over the people. The English people now became more united and trusted their own Church. A spirit of nationalism spread all over England. The English language, literature and people were now becoming more distinctive.
As far the Religious field was concerned, it was during the reign of the Tudors that the country was divided between the Catholics and the Protestants. The foundation of national religion was laid. As the ‘Holy Bible’ was translated into many languages, people read it and became aware of the facts in religion. People could gather courage and strength to talk about the deeds of Pope and Church.
Petty feudal lords ruled England before the Tudors took over the English throne. Henry VII took some major steps by which the power of the traditional feudal lords came to an end. Henry supported upcoming lawyers, small merchants, clerks, educated class, writers, small businessmen, etc. Common people thus started gaining prominence. Henry made his schemes so well and arranged finances from the parliament for their proper execution.
Marriage alliances were another form by which Henry kept up the balance of power and also managed to make England a very powerful country. He married his son to the princess of Spain, Catherine and daughter to the King of Scotland, James IV. This policy helped in maintaining peace and security for England.