Thursday, July 28, 2011

Effects of the "Price Revolution" and Elizabethan Policy

~~Certain industries, like woolens, get an artificial boost from Elizabeth's new direction in policy and treaty-making
~~Aristocrat estates are rented on long leases--not very responsive to rising costs or sudden changes in economic plans--noble class grows weaker and poorer (allowing the monarch to get more powerful)
~~Gentry and yeomen switch to short-term leases, more responsive to short-term market trends (like enclosing lands to pasture sheep when wool prices are strong and kicking peasants off the land, or growing new varieties of wheat and making a lot of money)
~~Gentry and yeomanry grow powerful, aristocrats struggle, poor grow dramatically poorer and more numerous--75% of population are living below the poverty line and crime sky-rockets
~~Poor Laws--for the poor to work (not a lot to do, work habits slacken) or indenture them if they won't do so willingly
~~Young men and women are looking for a new place to start
~~~~~> Elizabeth's eyes turn towards Ireland
~~~~~~~~~~~~> The Irish Peace Policy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~> "Treat my subjects with civility" (The Irish, Elizabeth thinks, are a most "ungentle" people)

Early Elizabethan Policies
~~"Exemplary Plantations"--small model communities of English farmers to provide examples or orderly behavior and religious training for the hopelessly inferior Irish
~~Trade opportunities would bridge cultural differences

"Incivility" as a Justification for Use of Extra-Legal Methods Against the Irish
~~Speak "babble" (Gaelic, not English)
~~Practice trans-humance (shepheards following flocks, not many fixed residences)
~~Had vastly different views of ownership
~~Did not practice primogeniture (where the eldest son inherits most of the family's wealth)--the Irish divide their lands and livestock amongst all children
~~Not primarily agriculturalists (English perceive the Irish as lazy)
~~Ruled by clan leaders ("disorder"--hard to negotiate, little of the grandeur of a European court)
~~Diffuse authority structure--used concensual political model, no central city to occupy
~~Didn't need to buy Irish wool--the English thought the Irish wool was inferior and were irritated by the lack of trade opportunities with the Irish
~~Syncretic religion--a blend of Catholicism and animism
~~Resisted English occupation
Elizabeth saw the Irish as beasts and their land a wilderness and a threat to civil order. She authorized a war by all means necessary.

Punitive Plantations
~~1556--Plantation of Leix--lands were confiscated from the Irish as punishment for resistance. On those lands, the English poor from western England were settled and this became the dominant policy.
~~The local Gaels withdrew to the bogs and hills which surrounded the planstations, living in great poverty but still carrying on attacks against the settlements for the next 40 years.

The Rules of (English) Engagement
~~Strike terror into your enemies
~~Kill women and children "for the nits therein do make lice anon"
~~Break the will of the population and its means of providing for itself
~~Destroy property
~~Sell leaders into slavery
~~Reduce the population into submission by terror, then engage them in a massive religious reeducation campaign to make them fit to be English subjects

In 1588, the Spanish Armada was sunk due to a powerful storm refered to now as the "Protestant Winds", dubbed so by Queen Elizabeth because of the English (Protestant) defeat of the Spanish (Catholic). This meant that the shipping lanes to America were now open!

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