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Discuss the Tudor policy towards Ireland and its impact.

The Tudor policy towards Ireland was one of attempted control and Anglicisation, which led to significant cultural and political upheaval.

The Tudor period, spanning from 1485 to 1603, was a time of significant change in Ireland. The Tudor monarchs, starting with Henry VII and ending with Elizabeth I, sought to exert control over Ireland, which had largely been ruled by autonomous Irish lords and Anglo-Norman nobles. The Tudor policy towards Ireland was characterised by attempts to centralise power, enforce English law, and promote Protestantism, in what is often referred to as the Tudor conquest of Ireland.

Henry VII began this process by establishing English control over the Pale, the area around Dublin controlled by the Anglo-Norman nobility. He also sought to undermine the power of the Gaelic Irish lords through a policy of 'surrender and regrant', where Irish lords were encouraged to surrender their lands to the Crown and have them regranted as fiefs, thus recognising the sovereignty of the English monarch.

Henry VIII continued this policy and took it a step further by declaring himself King of Ireland in 1541, a move designed to assert English dominance and undermine the Pope's authority, as part of the wider Reformation. This was followed by attempts to spread Protestantism in Ireland, which met with significant resistance and led to several rebellions.

Under Elizabeth I, the Tudor policy towards Ireland became more aggressive. The plantation system was introduced, where English and Scottish settlers were encouraged to move to Ireland and establish control over the land. This led to the displacement of the native Irish population and the erosion of Gaelic culture, as the settlers brought with them their own language, laws, and customs.

The impact of the Tudor policy towards Ireland was profound. It led to significant cultural and political upheaval, as the traditional Gaelic way of life was disrupted and the power of the Irish lords was undermined. The attempts to enforce Protestantism led to religious conflict and tension that would continue for centuries. The plantation system resulted in a deep-seated resentment and hostility towards the English, which fuelled further rebellions and conflict.

In conclusion, the Tudor policy towards Ireland was one of attempted control and Anglicisation. While it succeeded in establishing English dominance over Ireland, it also led to significant resistance and conflict, and had a lasting impact on Irish culture and society.

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