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When Adam delved, and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman?
The idea that God had created all people equal called for an end to feudalism and respect for honest labour. During that period the peasants took control of much of London. In fact the revolt was not only by peasants from the countryside: a number of poorer townspeople also revolted, suggesting that the discontent went beyond the question of feudal service.
In June, rebels from Essex and Kent marched toward London. On the 13th the Kentish men, under Wat Tyler entered London, where they massacred some Flemish merchants and razed the palace of the king’s uncle, the unpopular John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. The government was compelled to negotiate. On the 14th, Richard met the men of Essex outside London at Mile End, where he promised cheap land, free trade, and the abolition of serfdom and forced labour. During the king’s absence the Kentish rebels in the city forced the surrender of the Tower f London; the chancellor, archbishop Simon of Sudbury, and the treasurer, Sir Robert Hales, both of whom were held responsible for the poll tax, were beheaded, The king met Tyler and the Kentishmen at Smithfield on the following day. Tyler was treacherously cut down in Richard’s presence by the enraged mayor of London. The king, with great presence of mind, appealed to the rebels as their sovereign and, after promising reforms, persuaded them to disperse. The crisis in London was over, but in the provinces the rebellion reached its climax in the following weeks. It was finally ended when the rebels in East Anglia were crushed on about 25 June. The rebellion lasted less then a month and failed completely as a social revolution. King Richard’s promises at Mile End and Smith field were promptly forgotten, and manorial discontent continued to find expression in local riots. "Serfs you are," he said, "and serfs you shall remain."The rebellion succeeded, however, as a protest against the taxation of poorer classes insofar as it prevented further levying of the poll tax.
When Wat Tyler was killed, Richard II skillfully quietened the angry crowd. He promised to meet all the people's demands, including an end to serfdom, and the people peacefully went home.
9. The work of John Wyckliffe
English theologian and reformer John Wycliffe was a precursor (предшественник) of the Protestant Reformation. He was born in Hipswell, Yorkshire and was educated at Balliol College, Oxford University. He received a doctorate in theology in 1372 and taught philosophy at Oxford throughout most of his career, while nominally serving as a priest in a succession of parishes. Wycliffe gained prominence 1374 during a prolonged dispute between Edward III, King of England, and the papa over the payment of a certain papal tribute. Both King and Parliament were reluctant pay the papal levies. Wycliffe wrote several pamphlets refuting (опровергающие) the pope's claims & upholding the right of Parliament to limit Church power. He became known as a brilliant scholastic theologian and the most respected debater of his time. He entered royal service in 1374, when he was sent to Bruges to negotiate with papal representatives on the issue of tribute payments to Rome. The conference failed, but Wycliffe won the patronage age of John of Gaunt and leader of an antipapal faction (фракция) in Parliament. Becoming a figure in the anticlerical party of John Gaunt, Wycliffe attacked the rights claimed by the Church, calling for a reformation of its wealth, corruption, and abuses. He looked to the king as the legitimate authority for the Church purification. In 1376, Wycliffe enunciated the doctrine of "dominion as founded in grace," according to which all authority is conferred (дарованную) directly by the grace of God and is consequently forfeited (поплатился) when the wielder (владелец) of that authority is guilty of mortal sin. Wycliffe did not state clearly that he considered the English Church to be sinful and worldly (земной, светской), but his implication was clear. On February 19, 1377, he was called before the bishop of London, William Courtenay, to give account of 2. The interrogation ended when Gaunt, who had accompanied Wycliffe, became involved in a brawl (шумную ссору) with the bishop and his entourage. On May 22, 1377, Pope Gregory XI issued several bulls accusing Wycliffe of heresy. In autumn of the same year, however, Parliament requested his opinion on the legality of forbidding the English Church to ship its riches abroad at the pope's behest. Wycliffe upheld the lawfulness of such a prohibition, and early in 1378 he was again called before Bishop Courtenay and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Simon of Sudbury. Wycliffe was dismissed with only a formal admonition (замечание), however, because of his influence at court. During 1378, Wycliffe and certain Oxford associates defied (проигнорировали) Church tradition by undertaking an English translation of the Latin Bible. After the Great Papal Schism began in 1378, Wycliffe's views became much more radical. In De potestate papae (On Papal Power, 1377-78) he rejected the biblical basis of papal authority, insisted on the primacy of Scripture, and advocated extensive theological reform. Ten conclusions drawn from his writings were condemned in 1382, and his Oxford disciples were forced to recant (отречся); but Wycliffe himself was neither tried nor personally condemned during his lifetime. In 1379, Wyckliffe repudiated the doctrine of transubstantiation.This declaration caused such that John of Gaunt withdrew his support. Wycliffe in 1380 began to send out disciples, called Poor Preachers, who travelled the countryside expounding (излагая) his religious views. The preachers found a ready audience, and Wycliffe was suspected of fomenting (подстрекал, раздувал) social unrest. He had no direct connection with the unsuccessful Peasants' Revolt in 1381, but it is probable that his doctrines influenced the peasants. In May 1382, Courtenay, now the Archbishop of Canterbury, convened an ecclesiastical court that condemned Wycliffe as a heretic and about his expulsion (изгнание, исключение) from Oxford.
Wycliffe retired to his parish of Lutterworth. After Wycliffe died on December 31, 1384, his teachings were spread far and wide. His Bible, appeared in 1388, was widely distributed by his followers, called Lollards. Lollardism developed as a religious movement in the 1380s. The Lollards preached obedience to God, reliance on the Bible as a guide to Christian living, and simplicity of worship. They rejected the richness of the mass, most sacraments, and the supremacy of the pope. They denied that an organized church was necessary for salvation (спасение). Most Lollards were poor priests or people who were not members of the clergy. They wore long russet (красновато-коричневые) gowns, carried staffs, and lived on what they could beg. Тhe movement gained many followers among the common people. The movement began to lose support after 1420. The Lollards helped to pave the way for the Protestant Reformation.
After his death, Wycliffe was condemned by the Council of Constance (May 4,1415), and his body was ordered exhumed and burned.
10. The Wars of Roses
The Wars of the Roses were the series of dynastic civil wars whose violence preceded the strong government of the Tudors. Fought between the Houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne, the wars were named many years afterward from the supposed badges of the opposing parties: the white rose of York and the red of Lancaster. Both houses claimed the throne through descent from the sons of Edward III. Since the Lancastrians had occupied the throne from 1399, the Yorkists might never have pressed a claim but for the near anarchy prevailing in the mid-15th century. After the death of Henry V in 1422, the country was subjected to the long minority of Henry VI. Great magnates with private armies dominated the countryside. Lawlessness was rife (распространена) and taxation burdensome (обременительна). Henry later proved to be feckless (бесполезным) and simple-minded, and dominated by his ambitious queen, Margaret of Anjou, whose party had allowed the English position in France to deteriorate. Henry lapsed into insanity in 1453, causing a powerful baronial clique backed (поддержанной) by Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick (the "Kingmaker"), to install Richard, Duke of York, as protector of the realm (государства). When Henry recovered in 1455, he reestablished the authority of Margaret's party, forcing York to take up arms for self-protection. The first battle of the wars, at St Albans (22 May, 1455), resulted in a Yorkist victory and four years of uneasy truce (перемирия). Civil war was resumed in 1459. The Yorkists were successful at Blore Heath (23 September) but were scattered after a skirmish (стычка) at Ludford Bridge (12 October). In France Warwick regrouped the Yorkist forces and returned to England in June 1460, defeating the Lancastrian forces at Northampton (10 July). York tried to claim the throne but settled for the right to succeed upon the death of Henry. This effectively disinherited Henry's son, Prince Edward, and caused Queen Margaret to continue her opposition. Gathering forces in northern England, the Lancastrians surprised and killed York at Wakefield in December and then marched south toward London, defeating Warwick on the way at the Second Battle of St Albans (17 February, 1461). Meanwhile, York's eldest son and heir, Edward, had defeated a Lancastrian force at Mortimer's Cross (2 February) and marched to relieve London, arriving before Margaret on February 26. The young Duke of York was proclaimed King Edward IV at Westminster on 4 March. Then Edward, with the remainder of Warwick's forces, pursued Margaret north to Towton. There, the bloodiest battle of the war, the Yorkists on a complete victory. Henry, Margaret, and their son fled to Scotland. The first phase of the fighting was over, except for the reduction of a few pockets of Lancastrian resistance. The next round of the wars arose out of disputes within the Yorkist ranks. Warwick and his circle were increasingly passed over at Edward's court; more seriously, Warwick differed with the King on foreign policy. In 1469, civil war was renewed. Warwick and Edward's rebellious brother George, Duke of Clarence, fomented (подстрекать) risings in the north; and in July, at Edgecote (near Banbury), defeated Edward's supporters, afterward holding the King prisoner. By March 1470, however, Edward regained his control, forcing Warwick and Clarence to flee to France, where they allied themselves with the French King Louis XIE and their former enemy, Margaret of Anjou. Returning to England (September 1470), they deposed Edward and restored the crown to Henry VI. Edward fled to the Netherlands with his followers and returned to England in March 1471. Edward outmanoeuvred Warwick and defeated Warwick at Barnet on 14 April. That very day, Margaret had landed at Weymouths. Hearing the news of Barnet, she marched west, trying to reach the safety of Wales; but Edward won the race to the Severn. At Tewkes-bury (4 May) Margaret was captured, her forces destroyed, and her son killed. Shortly afterward, Henry VI was murdered in the Tower of London. Edward's throne was secure for the rest of his life (he died in 1483). In 1483, Edward's brother Richard III, overriding the claims of his nephew, the young Edward V, alienated (ну типа альянса) many Yorkists, who then turned to the last hope of the Lancastrians, Henry Tudor (later Henry VII). With the help of the French and of Yorkist defectors, Henry defeated and killed Richard at Bosworth Field on 22 August, 1485, bringing the wars to a close. By his marriage to Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth of York in 1486, Henry united the Yorkish and Lancastrian claims. Henry defeated a Yorkish rising supporting the pretender Lambert Simnel on 16 June, 1487, a date which some historians prefer over the traditional 1485 for the termination of the Wars.
11. The early Tudor England. Henry VII
In 1485, a different Britain was slowly to develop out of the wild and passionate times of the Middle Ages. The Wars of the Roses had ended and it was time for harmony. The arts were encouraged, the church was fairly treated, and the sick and the poor were regarded with compassion, though poor country people were cold in winter, ate rough food, and slept in huts and sheds. Even nobles had to live a rough life. Great lords and ladies had no privacy; their christenings, marriages, funerals, and sometimes even their deathbeds were public. There were also such public shows as executions, hangings, burnings, acted slowly out in front of crowds. But new times had come. A most glorious period in English history had started. It had begun with the Tudor rule in the country.
On 22 August, 1485, a new dynasty was born. Henry Tudor, the victor at Bosworth Field, became King Henry VII of England. He was born on 28 January, 1457, at Pembroke Castle. He was the only son of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond (c. 1430-56). He was very much a child of the civil War of the Roses, for his father had been taken by the Yorkists in the summer of 1456 and died a prisoner in Carmarthen Castle. When Henry VI was restored to his throne, Henry was brought to the Lancastrian court. Richard Ill's usurpation of the throne in June 1483 had antagonised many of the Yorkist nobility and subsequent rumours of the murders of Edward V and his brother brought Henry nearer the throne. He gained the throne when he defeated and his forces killed Richard III at Bosworth. This battle ensured a Lancastrian victory in the Wars of the Roses. To gain the support of Yorkists and to strengthen his claim to the throne, Henry married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV, of the House of York (1465-1503). She was the eldest daughter of Edward IV. In such a way Henry VII who was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 30 October, 1485, united 'the white rose and the red' and launched England upon a century of peace. England was moving into a period of unprecedented growth and social change.
By 1485, the kingdom had begun to recover from the demographic catastrophe of the Black Death and the agricultural depression of the late 14th century. The major obstacle to strong monarchy was the willingness of the nobility to take advantage of weak kingship, although in Henry VII and Elizabeth of York nobility faced clever and determined rulers. The power of the nobility had been weakened by loss of life and property in the Wars of the Roses, but it was still considerable. Henry VII was able to combine financial and political policies. During the course of his reign, about two-thirds of the great nobility found themselves dependent on the king's mercy for misdeeds they had committed. At best, if these great families offended the king, he could force them to pay heavy fines, and Henry was also able to enforce the Statute of Livery and Maintenance, according to which the nobility were forbidden to keep private armies. Such laws had existed before, but it needed a strong king to enforce them.
The Yorkist revolts continued until 1497, but Henry restored order after the Wars of the Roses by the Star Chamber and achieved independence from Parliament by amassing a private fortune through confiscations. Henry succeeded in crushing the independence of the nobility by means of a policy of forced fines. His Chancellor, Cardinal Morton, was made responsible for the collection of these fines (two of Henry's principal tax collectors, Empsom and Dudley were executed by Henry VIII), and they were enforced by the privy councillors. This form of taxation became known as Morton's Fork, the dilemma being that, if a subject liable for taxation lived an extravagant lifestyle, obviously they could afford to pay the fine; if they lived austerely (строго, аскетично), they should have sufficient funds saved with which to pay.
Henry was determined to make the monarchy rich and strong. He reclaimed royal lands that had been lost since the reign of Henry V and seized the estates of men who had opposed him in war or had died without heirs.
Henry's aim was to make the Crown financially independent, and the lands and the fines he took from the old nobility helped him do this. Henry also raised taxes for wars, which he then did not fight. He never spent money unless he had to. He was careful to keep the friendship of the merchant and lesser gentry classes. Like him they wanted peace and prosperity. He created new nobility from among them, and men unknown before now became Henry's statesmen. But they all knew that their rise to importance was completely dependent on the Crown. He also encouraged the spread of education by importing French scholars who helped to create the English Renaissance of the Tudor period.
Henry VII's dynasty was respected in Europe for his eldest son, Arthur, to marry the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon. When Arthur died in 1502, the Spanish royal family was keen that Catherine should remarry the younger of Henry's sons, the future Henry VIII. Henry's daughter married King James IV of Scotland5, a traditional means of attempting to secure good relations between England and Scotland. Despite Henry VII's desire for wealth, particularly in the last years of his reign, he maintained a splendid court to indicate to the nobility at home and rulers abroad that the Tudor dynasty was the established royal house of England.
He died on 21 April, 1509, at Richmond, Surrey, and was buried at Westminster Abbey. Henry VII's Chapel at Westminster Abbey has become a sumptuous mausoleum for the Tudor family.
12. Henry VII and his reign. The Reformation.
Тhe future King Henry VIII was born on 28 June, 1491, at Greenwich. As a young man Henry was a predictable prince of his age: lusty, ambitious and a religious conformist, whose pamphlet Assertio Septem Sacromentorum (Defence of the Seven Sacraments) earned him the title of Defender of the Faith, bestowed by Pope Leo X6. The younger son of Henry VI, he became heir to the throne only on the death of Arthur, his elder brother, in 1502. He ascended the throne on 21 April, 1509, and crowned at Westminster Abbey on 24 June, 1509. His authority was King of England and Ireland. He came to the throne on the crest of a wave of popularity, for this handsome, beardless youth of seventeen embodied a new age and seemed the antithesis of his father. He was tall and well proportioned, had a fair complexion and auburn hair. He was athletic, riding well, accurate in his marksmanship in the butts and determined to shine in jousts. He understood Latin easily, spoke French fluently, he had a profound interest in theological questions and in the problems of scholarship, possessed a flair for music-making of all kinds.
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