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The Constitutional Development of English Parliaments in the Fifteenth Century

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Title: The Constitutional Development of English Parliaments in the Fifteenth Century
Authors: Yonamine, Keith
Issue Date: 26 Sep 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: The study of fifteenth century English constitutional history covers a period of great political, military, and social turmoil in the era of much-romanticized "War of the Roses." Yet often overshadowed and even ignored, in this century of violence, civil wars, and the general decay of law and order, is the constitutional development that occurred in parliament. The records of fiftieth century England, the Rolls of Parliament, Statutes of the Realm, Paston Letters, and various chronicles, vividly recount the tumultuous acts of armed violence that periodically erupted throughout England during this troubled century. Historians reasoned that this era's lawlessness was due to weakening central government power: The steady decline in the prestige and resources of the monarchy since the end of the fortieth century had brought disaster and decadence to the government, and had made civil wars… inevitable. The extreme weakness of the … king[ship] under Henry VI [r. 1422-61 deposed, 1470-1 deposed, killed] had gravely jeopardized law and justice, administration, and economic development… The fifteenth century opened with the suspicious death (most likely murder) of the unlawfully deposed Richard II (r. 1377-99 and deposed) in 1400, witnessed the reversed fortunes of the English military despite the spectacular victories of the great warrior king, Henry V (r.1413-22), recorded the pitiful reigns of Henry VI (who was twice deposed and ignominiously murdered in 1471), chronicled the successes and failures of the three Yorkist kings Edward IV (r. 1461-70 and deposed; 1471-83 restored), Edward V (reigned, deposed, and probably murdered in 1483), and Richard III (r. 1483-5, killed), and finally closed with the authoritarian but peaceful rule of the shrewd Machiavellian, Henry VII Tudor (r. 1485-1509).
Pages/Duration: 82 pages
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for History

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