Role And Influence Of Parliament 1485-1603

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How far do you agree that the role and influence of Parliament increased steadily throughout the years 1485-1603? Tudor Parliaments were an essential aspect of English government and administration in the Tudor period. Parliament was needed by the monarch in order to pass legislation, to secure the power of the monarch, to be a point of contact between the Crown and nation and most importantly for finance by raising money through taxation in exceptional circumstances for example in times of war. However it can be argued that the role and influence of Parliament was limited at this time due to a number of factors; The most important being the monarch had the royal prerogative and power over Parliament as they chose when Parliament was called, prorogued and was dissolved. The monarch also decided what Parliament discussed. When looking at Parliaments authority in the years 1485 – 1603 there are several important factors which can help to determine whether or not Parliament’s role and influence increased. The number of times the Parliament was called during each reign and used to pass legislation is important and can be used to explain how much influence Parliament had because the monarch was under no obligation to summon the body. However when looking at these factors they differ from reign to reign so it can be argued that the role and influence of Parliament did not increase smoothly and steadily as it depended on the monarch. The historian Chrimes describes Henry VII’s use of Parliament as ‘Little or nothing of much significance occurred in the history of Parliament in the reign of Henry VII’ However at the beginning of Henry VII’s reign the first Parliamentary session was of great importance to him as it acknowledged his claim to the throne. If Parliament had refused to do this there would never of been the Tudor dynasty. This is especially significant
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