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Great chain of being - Term Paper Example

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Although a strictly monastic society, there were well defined classes to which every individual belonged. These classes were commonly referred to as the Great Chain of Being. These classes were so well respected such that it was…
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Great chain of being

Download file to see previous pages... However, the passage of time saw this trend slowly fade away and the classes that were hitherto much respected soon lost significance. A good example of this can be seen from the Tudor Dynasty which tried as hard as it could to maintain the existence of the classes but at the same time developed policies that weakened the chain further.
According to Bucholz and Key (87), the Great Chain of Being was a system of governance that classified the English people by class, age and sex. From the divisions, it was able to differentiate who was and was not a knight, an esquire, or a gentleman (Bucholz and Key 11). The first of this class was the royalty and gentlemen who were the rulers of the community. This was the followed by the gentlemen and even among the gentlemen, there were still classes where the first and principal were the king, dukes, among others while next to these were knights, esquires, and simple gentlemen. Despite the strong social hierarchy, the passage of time saw this chain becoming weaker and weaker with the climax coming during the Tudor Dynasty. However, the Tudor Dynasty struggled to maintain the chain but at the same time carried out policies and actions that only led to weaken the Great Chain of Being further (Key and Bucholz 17).
In the beginning of the 15th century, the England went through a series of wars that affected both the economy and leadership of the nation. Following the war that was going on in the West Country, the king together with his advisers chose Richard, the then duke of York to be the protector of the Realm. By 1461, the duke of Yolk rebelled against the Lancastrian monarchy that he had sworn to serve loyally. Soon after Richard had taken the throne, he was killed in cold blood by his own son Edward who took power in 1461. However, the Lancastrians went on making rival claims based on origin as well as formal vows of loyalty and this led to widespread violence in the entire country. During the 1460’s and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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