PEACE, COMMONWEALTH, AND THE CONDUCT OF WAR (1535-1559)
A combination of foreign and domestic factors touched off by the break from Rome left England less willing to go to war in the 1530s. For the next three decades, and even beyond, the policy considerations of Tudor monarchs corresponded more than ever to the emerging peace ethic that had arisen out of late-medieval, humanist, and Protestant thought on the problem of war. While fears over possible Catholic crusades against England were rampant, the government also understood the tentativeness of the new religious settlement. Any excessive levies used to defend these changes could potentially sow seeds of discord or, worse yet, social rebellion. As the Amicable Grant debacle of 1525 demonstrated, the English people were beginning to scrutinize justifications for war much more carefully. In addition, during these years, both nobility and crown were noticeably affected by a loosening of traditional roles and responsibilities and their replacement by more exacting obligations toward the commonwealth.11 The following discussion will examine the changes encountered byking and aristocracy and what effect these may have had on the understanding and prosecution of mid-Tudor military campaigns. It will then be helpful to look at how the idea of commonweal was being transformed and included in the more pragmatic notions of domestic and international peace, as economic issues assumed greater importance. Finally, through an examination of the mid-century wars and the thoughts of those who conducted them, we can better grasp the role of peace ideas in determining policy____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Imagining Peace:A History of Early English Pacifist Ideas, 1340-1560. Contributors: Ben Lowe - Author. Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press. Place of publication: University Park, PA. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 246.
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