Rebecca Helfant and Emma Klahr 7104
  1. Area inhabited/ruled [if members of your group emigrated, immigrated, or established settlement (colonies) outside of their home country you should include an explanation of that travel or settlement in this section; include places traveled and reasons for leaving home country] Britain is a european country located in the Northern and Eastern Hemisperes that is made up of the cities of Wales, England, and Scotland. In the time between 1400 and 1603, these lands were still separate empires, but in 1604, King James joined Scotland and England into most of Great Britain. Later in 1536, Wales was officially added to the rest of the empire. Britain established trade routes in Asia and the Americas in the 1400’s and 1500’s. Soon after that, Britain began colonizing, starting with Ireland in the early 1500’s. After the treaty with Spain in the early 17th century, the Mayflower set out and landed on Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts in 1620. This lead to the settlement of the Caribbean and the thirteen colonies in North America. These colonies provided Britain with wealth, mostly from the successful sugar plantations in the Caribbean until they were lost in 1781 and 1833. tudor_map.jpg
  2. Everyday Life In the 1600’s, the population began to increase in England and rose to 4 million people. Most of these people were craftsmen, tenant farmers, or laborers. When pauper’s children were old enough, they were sent to be an apprentice to learn a craft to support them when they got older. These crafts included glass and brick making. Laborers had harder jobs, such as iron and coal mining.
    Education for children started when they were young, first at home and then at a petty school around age 5. At 7 years of age, boys went to a harsh grammar school to finish their education, where they were often beaten and abused. Girls were either taught by their mothers or sent to boarding school where they had restricted curriculums including lessons like writing, music, and sewing.
    The poor of London ate a plain, monotonous diet that consisted of bread, cheese, onions, and pottage, which was grain porridge with vegetables and sometimes meat or fish in it. A few new foods and drinks were introduced to the rich around that time because of colonization. These included bananas, pineapples, tea, coffee, and chocolate.
    When in public, men generally wore linen shirts under doublets with capes, knee length breeches, beards, and long hair, while women wore underdress-like shifts beneath long dresses. Walking the streets, taking a boat on the Thames River, or hiring a hackney carriage, were some of the ways of transport in the 17th century. There were bad plagues in London in 1603 and 1636 but they managed to recover each time.
    After work and school was done, people enjoyed pastimes like chess, tennis, shuttlecock, cards, bowls, draughts, backgammon, and fox and goose. The theater was also very popular, where many of the plays performed were written by and acted in by William Shakespeare. chess_board.jpg
  3. Social and Political Organization The British had a very organized social pyramid. Their social pyramid had the following in this order; king/queen, gentlemen, the church (a group of people not the building), archbishops, bishops, yeomen, citizens, clergymen, laborers, and beggars. The British believed in monarchy so the king was on top of the pyramid. One became king by either blood or upon the king/queen’s wish. Everyone had to serve the monarch or else they could be killed (most of the time they were but sometimes not). The king made all the laws, although there was a court system, no one would dare go against the king’s wish. Next there were the gentlemen. Gentlemen were born rich and came from families that had dukes, barons, and or earls. Most were important parts of the government. Whenever a king had to go on a progress (traveling to different parts of his kingdom to check up on things), gentlemen had to provide the lodging and transportation for the king’s court and the king himself which was as many as 300 people. The Church was also high up on the social pyramid. The Church was a group of very religious people who owned a lot of land. Their job was to preach to people what they believed. Archbishops were people who owned lots of land and were quite rich. They could help influence the monarch’s decisions and were part of the government. Bishops were people who were part of the churches, rich, and powerful. They were also part of the government. Yeomen come next. They were wealthy men (although not as wealthy as the gentlemen) and either owned their own land or rented it from the gentlemen. They were kind of like farmers except they would pay laborers to do the hard labor for them. Citizens were pretty much everyone else that wasn’t poor. They lived in towns and were either a rich merchant or craftsman. Merchants made their money from trading goods and craftsmen made money by selling their pieces for good prices. Clergymen came next. They would deliver church services, education for those who could not afford it, visiting the sick, and counseling the bereaved. They were highly respected in the community but weren’t paid well. Laborers were people who worked for the yeomen and citizens (they would do the jobs that required hard labor). They were paid 3 pounds a day in winter and 4 pounds a day in summer but sometimes if they were good they would get paid 5 pounds a day in winter and 6 pounds a day in summer. Sundays and major saints days were free. They would work in the winter from sunrise to sunset and in the summer from sunrise to early evenings. At the very bottom of the pyramid were beggars. They were unemployed and had to beg on the streets for money or food. The British’s social classes were very important to the order of their territory.Tudors_social_clases.jpg
  4. Religion The British’s religions were very important to the king/queen in the middle ages. There were multiple religions over that time and the kings and queens changed it based on what they so many times that it left many people confused. The people had to change what they believed, how they worshipped God, and how they decorated their church. Because of the strict beliefs of the king/queen, if one didn’t follow the religion they would be tortured, imprisoned, or even killed. If they followed the wrong religion there were risks towards their wealth, freedom, and life. There were 2 main types of religion that kept switching back and forth which were the Catholic and Protestant religions. The beliefs in these religions were so strong that many people were executed by not following all of them. There were 4 main differences between these religions which were church services, the bible, sins, and the churches. The Catholics believed that church services and the bible should be in Latin while Protestants believed it should be in the language of the people. The Catholics believed that priests were the only thing that connected people to God and that the pope was ordained by God. Both of them had to devote their lives to God and couldn’t get married. Protestants believed that people didn’t need a pope or a priest to connect to God and that the ministers could live a normal life. Catholics believed that priests could release people from their sins but with a cost. Gifts were given to the Catholic Church to free them of their sins. Protestants believed that only God could forgive their sins. The Catholics believed that churches should be designed with bright colors, shrines, and statues to celebrate God. Protestants believed that the church should be plain so people could focus on their prayers. There were many differences between the Protestant and Catholic religions and the British took them very seriously.
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  5. Arts/Technology/Developed Culture In Britain during the Tudor period (1485-1603), there were several major advances in art and technology. Architecture of homes was fairly basic in these times. Poor people’s homes were made of timber and later stone and then brick. Rich people’s homes were larger and showed off their wealth. Some of the wealthiest people lived in castles. In the beginning of the 1500’s, a new type of castle was created that was lower to the ground to be able to hold artillery better. Many of the castles built using this design were commissioned by Henry VIII. Also during that time, Thomas Digges and Thomas Harriot improved the science of astronomy. There were also improvements in technology, such as a piped water supply that sent water underground to houses throughout the city.
    In the Elizabethan era (1558-1603), the three writers Geoffrey Chaucer, John Milton, and William Shakespeare produced the first popular native writings of British culture. William Shakespeare was an actor, a writer, and a poet who lived in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. His known works were mostly completed from 1589-1613, and consisted of 154 sonnets (short poems), 38 plays, and 2 narrative poems. shakespeare.jpg
    In the 17th century, England became richer and banking was developed. Goldsmiths were the first bankers. People would give them their gold in exchange for a note that promised their gold back on demand. These notes eventually became the first form of paper money in Britain.