The Wars of the Roses and the Development of English Towns in the Second Half of the XVth Century

 
PIIS207987840000792-0-1
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
editionVolume 5 Issue 6 (29)
AbstractThe processes of social, economical and political development of English towns in the second half of the XVth century are the objects of research in the article. The concept of urban crisis is being criticized. Towns were active participants of the socio-political conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. In some of them or nearby battles took place (St Albans in 1455 and 1461, Ludlow in 1459, Northampton in 1460, Barnet and Tewkesbury in 1471). Belligerent parties used cities as a source of military force (formation of military contingents, town levy or mercenaries) and the finance for conducting warfare. For example, London repeatedly gave the Crown the sum of nine thousand pounds sterling and higher. What was the influence of the Wars of the Roses on the development of the towns? The sources contain inconsistent data on this question. The published data of municipal archives show that the population and incomes in different towns had both positive and negative dynamics. For example, the reduction in town taxes could be result of the financial decline and also political support. Among documents, transactions of property dominated during a peaceful period, instead of a warfare period. The documents reflecting events of the political strike are fewer. In the second half of the XVth century the parliamentary representation of English towns increased. Parliamentary petitions are the evidence of the growth of city consciousness, with prevailing attention to questions of social and economic development. Paving streets, erection and strengthening of protective walls and public buildings developed in many towns (Gloucester, London, Exeter, Canterbury, Southampton, Bristol). Thus, the display of the decline in the cities had local character. Political strike did not left noticeable marks on the faces of the towns. However, it promoted strengthening of connections between merchant class and lords, and also the Monarchy. It raised the informal status of the city estate as a whole. The development of the towns had slow advancing character.
Keywordsthe Wars of the Roses, the XVth century, the development of English towns
Received17.10.2014
Publication date10.11.2014
Number of characters18003
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