The policy of the early Tudors respecting forestalling, engrossing and regrating
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The great characteristic of sixteenth century English government was the enormous power of the ruler. Beginning, in the last quarter of the fifteenth century, with the Yorkist king Edward IV, Parliament had become a less and less important part of the machinery of government. It was not called often and when called its meetings were largely formal owing to the dominant influence of the crown. This popular absolute monarchy, begun by the House of York, was developed more completely by the succeeding line of kings, the Tudor. Modern investigation has shown that such a political development was the logical outcome of certain economic-social changes that had taken place. The basis of the absolute power was an alliance between the rulers and the middle classes, especially the commercial classes, as opposed to the aristocratic elements of society. The Tudor monarchy was thus a popular monarchy, in contrast to the aristocratic parliamentary kingship of the Lancastrian period.