tudor ascendancy

late medieval england

  • european backwater
  • england very poor place in 1485
    • wars of roses had sapped wealth
    • lost out on renaissance - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Renaissance
      • scotland more advanced until flodden 1513 culturally ?
      • building of palaces eg linlithgow
      • satire of the thrie estatis based on commedia dell’ arte
    • story has been one of decline since time of angevin empire
      • loss of lands in france through prolonged conflict (100 yrs war etc)
      • failure by edward i (and edward ii) to absorb scotland
        • results in creation of hostile northern neighbour
      • failure of colonisation of ireland
        • post black death collapse back to the pale
      • only successful expansion is piecemeal absorption of wales
    • debts to florentine bankers to finance failed wars
  • english not spoken much outside of england
    • requirement for knowledge of languages other than english
    • evidence of society in transition under tudors
      • henry viii still had plate armour, jousted
      • society still hierarchical obligated
      • society still catholic

wars of the roses

  • increased use of guns see use at towton versus bosworth
    • towton conventional injuries, bosworth 30 yr later more evidence of firearms

C16 events elsewhere

  • seminal event - Spanish discovery of new world
    • provided employment for post recoquista soldiers
      • reduced presence of spanish mercenaries in Italy
      • provided wealth for landless members of hidalgo class
    • released vast amount of wealth
      • silver and gold bought spain it’s world role
      • 'plomo plata plantana''
      • conquistadors from elsewhere who became spanish catholics

Spanish expansion in new world

  • saw spanish wealth and wanted some of it
    • inca gold
    • route tp Phillipines and spice trade
      • seeking to find new lands and new routes
      • rise of the adventurer companies
        • muscovy, east india, providence etc
    • global scale of the exercise
      • sarmienta de gamboa’s conversation with Elizabeth I
      • ambassador from Moroccos seeking pact with Elizabeth agaisnt Spain
      • thinking in new ways

Ships

  • late medieval improvements in ship design
    • naval battles virtually unknown until tudor times
      • sluys due to opposing fleets meeting by accident
        • ships difficult to maneuver
        • poor navigational techniques made near imposible to intercept other ships at sea
          • ships only used as means of transporting people to fight on land
  • enable basque fishermen to reach newfoundland
  • columbus reaches hispaniola
  • john cabot reaches newfoundland (also other bristol fishermen)
    • improvment in warships
      • role of Atlantic cod trade and role of whaling William Baffin and Nicholas Woodcock
      • search for North West passage and shorter route to India and China eg Martin Frobisher
          • North West passage seen as providing shorter route and bypassing Spanish and Portugese control of Africa and Cape Horn routes
      • side effect of improvement in ship design
        • closed decks
        • heavier rigs
        • construction techniques
    • improved canon made battles at sea and land bombardments possible
      • improved effectiveness of ships - could function as floating gun platform
    • cf Scotland and building battleships by James IV
      • parallel in increased use of guns at flodden (Scots technically better equipped but worse generalship ??)
      • airth shipyard/ royal dockyard
      • suppression of lordship of the isles in 1493 only possible due to naval power
      • naval power in Scotland began to atrophy after Flodden
        • naval power seen as attributes of building the Renaissance state
        • royal sponsorship of printing, arts, music, and buildings such as Linlithgow
        • England less attempt t consciously foster a Renaissance style court and state
  • better ships => more extensive merchant trade => ability to range further

Growth

  • countries/kings began building modern navies
  • not always successful cf mary rose
  • only armada victory made england a player
    • unlike Scotland much of development of fleet result of mercantile activities and priracy
        • piracy masquerading as voyages of exploration allowed interactions such as that between Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa and Elizabeth I
        • allowed knowledge of spanish expansion in Americas to enter popular consciousness
        • evidenced in plays about the exotic
        • desire for imperial expansion eg Davenant's Madagascar poem
  • only post armada start of imperial expansion (on a commercial basis)
    • continued right through commonwealth
    • done as profit based mercantile exercise (east india co, spice trade, virginia company, muscovy company, levant company, providence_company providence company)
      • created engagement with other cultures
      • Robert Shirley/Thomas Herbert enagements with Shah of Persia
          • Partially based on need of East India company to develope other outlets for English woolen goods
      • Thomas Coryat walking across Persia
    • inevitable conflict with growing dutch mercantile pwers
      • conflict with VoC in Ceylon
    • conflict with Portugese in India
      • mercantile empires less interested in trade than access to resources
      • => more agile than spanish empire
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