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A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts

Season 1
Explore the Tudor-Stuart era: a captivating examination of the 229-year period from 1485-1714 during which England transformed itself from a minor feudal state into what has been called the first modern society. Award-winning Professor Robert Bucholz of Loyola University of Chicago presents a sweeping, 48-episode series on one of the most intriguing times in modern history.
202348 episodes
TV-PG
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Episodes

  1. S1 E1 - England 1485 - 1714, the First Modern Country
    July 19, 2023
    32min
    TV-PG
    Take a look at the scope of the series, the significance of English history, and why this Early-Modern period was crucial not only to the development of England, but to transatlantic civilization itself.
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  2. S1 E2 - The Land and Its People in 1485 - I
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    This episode examines England's so-called "island mentality" and its complicated relationship to both Europe and the Celtic lands of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.
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  3. S1 E3 - The Land and Its People in 1485 - II
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    The discussion of the physical world of the English people in 1485 continues with this look at the material and social topography of the English town, manor, and village, from the wealthiest residents to the poorest.
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  4. S1 E4 - The Land and Its People in 1485 - III
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Turn to to the mental landscape of the English people, and especially to the concept of the "Great Chain of Being" and the unyielding social hierarchy it implied.
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  5. S1 E5 - Medieval Prelude - 1377 - 1455
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Beginning with the end of the reign of Edward III, the English monarchy and constitution undergoes more than a century of instability prior to the accession of the Tudors. This episode begins the explanation of why this happened.
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  6. S1 E6 - Medieval Prelude - 1455 - 85
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Follow the 30-year period in which the Lancastrian and Yorkist claimants to the throne fight three different Wars of the Roses and produce a short-lived line of Yorkist kings, including Richard III, whose reign ends in the successful rebellion that begins the Tudor Dynasty.
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  7. S1 E7 - Establishing the Tudor Dynasty - 1485 - 97
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    This episode examines the steps taken by Henry VII to secure the crown after his victory over Richard III, the failed Yorkist rebellions that follow, and Henry's subsequent efforts to secure alliances that will deprive future rebels of allies or secure bases.
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  8. S1 E8 - Establishing the Tudor Dynasty - 1497 - 1509
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    This episode examines Henry's efforts to make England's government more efficient, less expensive, and more responsive to his wishes by following three old principles of medieval kingship: The king must be strong, he must govern with consent, and he must live "of his own" (within a budget).
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  9. S1 E9 - Young King Hal - 1509 - 27
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Look at the larger-than-life personality of Henry VIII and the early years of his reign, years dominated by Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, one of the most hated government officials in English history.
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  10. S1 E10 - The King's Great Matter - 1527 - 30
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    This episode explores Henry VIII's attempts to secure from the Roman Catholic Church a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and the complex implications that surround it.
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  11. S1 E11 - The Break from Rome - 1529 - 36
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    ALL
    Learn how, with the Catholic Church weak and divided at the top, Henry and his new leading minister, Thomas Cromwell, break England's allegiance to the Pope, secure the king's divorce, and initiate the Reformation in England.
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  12. S1 E12 - A Tudor Revolution - 1536-47
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Consider what some historians have seen as a Tudor plan to increase the power and efficiency of the monarchy, not only in religion, but in all areas of English life.
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  13. S1 E13 - The Last Years of Henry VIII - 1540 - 47
    July 19, 2023
    31min
    TV-PG
    Follow an aging king as he attempts to avoid invasion by the Catholic powers, and to balance the demands of Protestant reformers with his own desire for a traditional Church (under his command) that would retain many Catholic practices.
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  14. S1 E14 - Edward VI - 1547-53
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    In this episode, two successive advisors to the boy-king (only nine when he takes the throne) increasingly push the country toward Protestantism, including an attempt to alter the succession. But when Edward dies, the country still rallies to the Catholic heir, Mary Tudor.
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  15. S1 E15 - Mary I - 1553-58
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Failing to realize that her people have rallied to her only because she is the rightful heir and not because she is Catholic, "Bloody Mary" attempts to ally with the Spanish Empire and undo the Reformation at tremendous human cost.
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  16. S1 E16 - Young Elizabeth - 1558
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    In this episode, Queen Elizabeth uses her superb political skills to fend off both competing court factions and potential suitors. Rejecting marriage, she cultivates the image of "Gloriana," the Virgin Queen symbolically wed to the people of England.
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  17. S1 E17 - The Elizabethan Settlement - 1558 - 68
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Bitter religious divisions are tearing at England as Elizabeth takes the throne. This episode examines those divisions and how the Scottish Reformation, the rebellion against Mary Queen of Scots, and Mary's flight into Elizabeth's protection place in grave peril not only both women, but also the prospects for peace in the British Isles.
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  18. S1 E18 - Set in a Dangerous World - 1568 - 88
    July 19, 2023
    31min
    TV-PG
    Increasing tensions between England and Spain over trade and the Protestant Revolt in the Netherlands mark a period of plots against Elizabeth, the assembling of the Spanish Armada, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, and the defeat of the Armada by a newly strengthened Royal Navy.
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  19. S1 E19 - Heart and Stomach of a Queen - 1588 - 1603
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    The beginning of a world war with Spain has a devastating effect on England's economy and makes for a stormy relationship with Parliament. In the end, it is the cult of "Gloriana" that keeps Parliament and the people loyal and allows the smooth succession of the Stuarts to the throne.
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  20. S1 E20 - The Land and Its People in 1603
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    In the start of this eight-episode intermission from the political narrative, turn to the economic and social changes experienced by the English people since 1485, beginning with unprecedented stresses on the Great Chain of Being.
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  21. S1 E21 - Private Life - The Elite
    July 19, 2023
    31min
    TV-PG
    Embark on an examination of how members of the landed aristocracy (i.e., nobles and gentry) lived their lives circa 1603.
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  22. S1 E22 - Private Life - The Commoners
    July 19, 2023
    31min
    TV-PG
    Here, the same topics dealt with in the previous episode (education, courtship, marriage, and day-to-day living) are dealt with as they are experienced at the other end of the Great Chain.
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  23. S1 E23 - The Ties that Bound
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Take a look at the institutions, habits, and attitudes designed to promote meaning and community in England, including popular religion, paternalism, extended family ties, and the support of one's neighbors.
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  24. S1 E24 - Order and Disorder
    July 19, 2023
    31min
    TV-PG
    Toward the end of the sixteenth century, English men and women are convinced that disorder, poverty, and crime are on the rise. This episode examines whether they were right and how the system functioned to address these issues.
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  25. S1 E25 - Towns, Trade, and Colonization
    July 19, 2023
    31min
    TV-PG
    Here, England begins its movement out of the countryside to towns and fledgling colonies that form an alternative for those who cannot make a go of it in England, or who cannot conform to its rigid religious and social structure.
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Details

More info

Audio languages
EnglishEnglish Dialogue Boost: MediumEnglish Dialogue Boost: High
Subtitles
English [CC]
Producers
The Great Courses
Starring
Robert Bucholz
Studio
The Great Courses
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