Northumberland and Somerset Were Effective Capable Rulers.

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“Somerset and Northumberland were effective and capable rulers” Assess the validity of this interpretation. Throughout the reigns of both Northumberland and Somerset there were inevitably issues and successes on both sides. The factors we can assess are Religion, social and economic and finally foreign policy. Northumberland undoubtedly had his problems, as did Somerset, although it is clear that both were capable rulers it was just the situations they both inherited that caused their downfalls. Northumberland’s religious views were unclear as he seemed to drift between beliefs in order to achieve the most power possible for himself. This asserted him as a strong politician as he was able to adapt to different situations and remain powerful. On the other hand it made him unpopular with the majority as he was seen as unstable and unreliable. During his time in power, Northumberland and the country made huge steps towards Protestantism whilst maintaining no rebellions. This tells us that he had firm control of the country, and was allowing change in the safest of manors. On the other hand the lack of rebellions may have been due to Northumberland’s ruthless nature during previous rebellions making people afraid of repeating the same outcome. The movement to Protestantism can be attributed more to the Kings wishes, and not represent what Northumberland himself wanted. Northumberland’s social and economic ideas were primarily aiming towards getting the government’s finances back to stability. After Henry VIII’s erratic spending the crown and country were in financial crisis and this systematic and logical approach made by Northumberland towards the crisis shows his ability in this area of ruling. Northumberland appointed William Paget as treasurer in 1550 and handed him the task of reforming finances. This consisted of Ending debasement, reducing expenditure and
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