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The Dissolution of the Monasteries Essay

The most important consequences of the dissolution of the monasteries was its impact on society Explain why you agree with this view

The dissolution of the monasteries between 1536 and 1541 were significant in their own right. However, they also had far reaching implications in terms of their effect on England, culturally, socially and in regards to the Church, with the extent of the consequences being influenced by the short and long term implications of all three of these issues.

Firstly, the significance of the dissolution of the monasteries was profound not only because of the manner in which it effected society but also because of the far reaching affects in which it had on all sections of society. This in reality is highlighted by the apparent social vacuum which appeared as a result of the dissolution of the monasteries. The loss of Monastic hospitals which effected the locals as well as the Monasteries hospitality in supplying free food and care was also lost not only increasing destitution but creating an element of social resistance within England.

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When coupled with the timely increase in land in which the nobles ultimately received handing them further power and influence within the court whilst simultaneously increasing the scope of the elite, we see that whilst the real significance of the dissolution may be debatable especially when concerning the destitute, the far reaching implications in which the dissolution of the monasteries had on all sectors of society show that it was most important in the sense that all sections within England’s social spectrum in 1536 were to some extent effected.

Conversely though, the same conclusion cannot be applied when reviewing the significance of the dissolutions impact on culture. The architectural destruction on its own may not have been of great significance and neither may the loss of 600 books in Worchester priory at the time. However, the destruction of monastic buildings which partially aided with the facilitating of education shows the significance of the cultural consequence in which the dissolution of the monasteries had In regards to the fact that it paved the way for long-term social development via the means of current cultural alteration intentionally or not by Henry.

Finally the impact in which the dissolution of the monasteries had on the church took on importance more for what it represented than in a truly practical sense in regards to the fact that it represented the end of the work which had preceded it in 1535 via Henry’s attempts to consolidate Royal Supremacy. Furthermore the dissolution enabled a fundamental re-organsation of the Church which Wolsey in-particular had attempted to implement.

In conclusion, whilst the extent of the impact in which the dissolution of the monasteries had on society is up for historical debate, the manner in which all sections of society be it the poor via the continued aggravation of poverty or the nobles via increased influence, were affected both in the short and long term as well as the shift in power which would become significant in the near future means that in reality, the most important consequences of the dissolution of the monasteries was its impact on society

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