This volume explores the transformation of the British Isles in the sixteenth century. England was an effectively governed monarchy, but its authority was not easily enforced beyond the more developed south-east and midlands and it was exerised indirectly in Wales and Ireland, while Scotland was an independent monarchy. In Europe, England was significant trading partner, but its language unknown. By the early seventeenth century, the London-based English government had extended its effective authority over the North and Wales, Ireland was subjugated and colonised, and the English and Scottish crowns united. The established churches of the British Isles had broken away from the Roman Catholic Europe and were now national, royal, and protestant. With the English Bible and Shakespeare, English had reached the maturity of a potential world language, while the British peoples, now protestant, stood poised on the edge of global expansion.
Publisher: Oxford University Press