Somerset's Foreign Policy

910 Words4 Pages
Somerset’s inability to meet any of the foreign policy aims set shows the large extent of the Mid Tudor crisis. Somerset’s aims during Edward’s reign were to keep stability within the country, marry Edward and Mary Queen of Scots to unite Scotland and England, conquer Scotland and avoid France. Somerset aimed to marry Edward to Mary Queen of Scots and did not achieve this, showing the incompetence and failure of foreign policy. Their marriage would have unified the two crowns which would have been beneficial for England as it would prevent a future war with Scotland. In addition, it would have also have prevented the Auld Alliance reuniting. Somerset’s failure to unify the crowns caused numerous problems for England which stemmed from his aggressive…show more content…
Somerset’s initial religious changes caused confusion amongst the lay people. The changes began with iconoclasm with numerous images in churches being destroyed which led to further drastic visual changes such as demolishment of statues. However, as there was little doctrinal change until Book of Common Prayer and Act of Uniformity in 1549, as suggested by C. Haigh “Somerset...blundered into a…ban on images…and got away with it,” which is supported by how there was little uprising until the Act of Uniformity was issued. Somerset’s balancing act may have kept in line with the need to keep religious peace however, it did not do anything to help it. The first prayer book angered both Catholics and Protestants because the book had major changes such as being written in English, yet still kept numerous Catholic features such as transubstantiation. Therefore the 1st Book of Common Prayer could be interpreted as a ‘safe’ option as it attempted to prevent an uprising and instead it only contributed to this. The 1st Book of Common Prayer was one of the most important factors in causing the Western rebellion of 1549. Somerset’s mistake in attempt to please everyone resulted in a “charter for revolution” (E. Duffy) and the rebel’s demands reflect this (six articles restored, mass in Latin, restoration of images, prayers for the dead and transubstantiation). The rebel’s demands highlight the rejection of the religious reformation Somerset was attempting to
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