Some Aspects Of British Architecture Essay


My father's family is from Hampshire county in England. He lived in Gosport until age 18 when he attended to the University of Leeds (northern England). He worked in Manchester and London, and then he moved to USA. My father's family's roots on his mother's side can be traced to the French Huguenot family. They were Protestants being persecuted by Catholics and so they fled to Guernsey in the channel islands then came to England.

My father came to the USA in 1983 from England because Margaret Thatcher cut his funding with the Tropical Medicine Disease Board. He was working at St. George's hospital in London at the time. He moved to the Unites States because he had met an American in Bogota who had got him a job for with the US government. Like most migrants, he was looking for work.

My father went to work at Montana State University, but his visa expired so he left the Unites States and went to Canada to find work because he couldn't get a Green card. He will return with me & my mother years later in 1994.

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My family's roots are in, Gosport a town, district and borough that is along the southern coast of England in Hampshire county. It is the fourth largest city in Hampshire, and until the late 20th century it was a prominent military and naval center. Its location was ideal because it is in Portsmouth Harbor opposite the city of Portsmouth. This is important to me because my grandfather was one of the Queen's Royal Physicians in the Royal Navy for many years.

Naval activities declined in the last quarter of the 20th century and so installations related to these activities are open to the public and attract tourists. These include Fort Blockhouse and Palmerston Forts like Fort Brockhurst. Gosport and Portsmouth are popular tourist destination because of the historic significance, but this helped by the temperate climate in southern England. The winters are cold but it rarely snows. The summer is warm, usually temperatures in the 70s or 80s.

Royal Hospital Haslar closed in 2009. It was the last formally recognized military hospital in England at the time it closed and had been opened since 1753. Obviously many well-known naval officers were born and/or brought up in Gosport. Roger Black who was an Olympic Athlete that ran track was brought up there. He won individual silver medals in both world championships and Olympic Games. The origin of the name "Gosport" is controversial. Some believe it was derived from "God's Port" but other historians and linguistic specialist argue it could be derived from the word... "goose."

The importance of naval culture in southern England can be traced back to the Tudor period (1485-1603). The first naval ships were built by Henry the VII, the first Tudor monarch and the fleet was expanded by his son, Henry the VIII. English culture during Tudor times is fascinating. Not only was it when the Royal Navy was created, which has shaped British culture for generations, but Henry VIII initiates what is now known as the English Reformation which was the beginning of a religious yo-yo that lasted throughout the Tudor dynasty and has largely influenced English religion as we know it.

Tudor society was largely agricultural. Agriculturalists grew mainly rye and barley for bread and herbs and vegetables for soups. Most families were also pastoralists. They kept animals to produce cheese, milk and eggs. The most common animals were pigs and chickens.

The first Royal Navy was built, beginning of the British seafaring tradition. The officers and soldiers on board used information technology to locate and strategize on how best to attack and defeat their enemies. Southern England was especially affected because of its location. Before, the King had to borrow merchant ships to go to war, and as these ships weren't meant to carry many heavy canons and accidents were frequent so King Henry VII solved this problem of survival by building specialized ships. The new navy ships had gun ports so they could carry more canons and the canons would be secure. Southern England was ideal for construction not only because of close-by bodies of water such as the English Channel, River Thames and Portsmouth Harbor but because of the forests of Kent and Sussex that were needed for building materials for these ships. Naval yards were built in numerous locations in Southern England and many still play a role in today's culture, either politically because they are still used for military purposes or economically because of tourism. This began at the time of the Tudors and has influences the cultural dynamic in England today. We can tell the new navy was an important part of culture because we know so much about the ships of this time. The kings and queens in Tudor times were very proud of their ships. Pictures were drawn and stories were written about them, so we know a lot about what they looked like and the events out at sea.

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Industrialism was introduced during the end of Tudor period.  Coal lead and tin were mined, though this won't take off until the 18th century. It did, however, lead to increase in the number of towns and their size due to the migration towards the mines in search of work.

Technologies of industrialism were primitive. Industrialists used mainly shovels. This was possible because the mines were shallow and in some cases mining simply consisted of scraping the surface where the products could be found. Agricultural technology consisted mainly of plows, which were usually pulled by horses or other animals. Pastoralists'' technology was also uncomplicated. Their livestock lived in barns or small structures. In many cases they were fenced in. they were kept on the farm, near the house so they would have easy access to the products, such as milk and eggs. Shears for shearing sheep were an important part of pastoralist technology, as the demand for wool was high.

Ships were obviously the most important technology for those who subsisted using information. Though the special naval ships had been built, sometimes the king still had to borrow merchant ships to his fleet complete fleet. On board these ships were canons. There were two types sorted by weight: heavy and light. Specialized naval ships allowed more heavy canons to be on board. Hand-held weapons called pikes and bills were also on board, along with longbows, and towards the mid/late 1500's matchlock muskets were on the inventories of large ships. Gun shields were part of the ships protection, and primitive navigation technologies and surgical technologies were also used aboard naval ships. These were important because they helped interpret the information and keep the crew and soldiers healthy.

Division of labor during the Tudor period was very much gender related. Women didn't participate in industrialism. Boys and men worked in the mines, and the women stayed home and took care of the house. This meant cooking, cleaning and child-rearing. Though agricultural women also tended to the home, they grew food in gardens and, though the men did much of the work in the field, the women would take surplus to markets to sell. Pastoralist women were also housewives, but like agricultural women they had other jobs. They tended to the animals, which included feeding them and, for example, milking the cows.

When it came to jobs in the navy, the division of labor was different. There were no women in the navy, and the jobs on the ships were divided by specialization. On large ships like the pride and joy of Henry VIII the Mary Rose; there were 200 sailors to do the manual work on board. They took care of the ship since the next category of workers was the soldiers and officers. There were different rankings in the navy, much like today, and some are appointed by the king while others may be promoted. They were in charge of organizing and fighting the battles. On a ship like the Mary Rose, there were about 185 soldiers on board. The final group is the gunners, who were in charge of the weapons on board. there was also a doctor on board, to take care of the sick or those wounded in battle.

Henry Tudor came became England's monarch in 1485. He killed Richard III, and proclaimed that his power was legitimate "by conquest and God's judgment on the battlefield." A monarch's power is God-given. Henry Tudor became Henry VII King of England because he believed God had chosen him to defeat Richard III. He is immediately accepted as King because if a monarch chosen by God is questioned, God's authority is questioned. This would be unacceptable in these times. The system is centralized and individuals have yielded their personal sovereignty the monarch, who is God's representative. They are therefore indirectly yielding to God. There was also a parliament in Tudor times. Decisions are made by the King or Queen and a small group of advisers. Before the decisions become laws they must be approved by the parliament. The parliament, however, is submissive to the King for the most part. Since by questioning the monarch you question God, parliament rarely disagreed with the King. Again, all personal sovereignty is yielded to the head of state.

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For the most part, political participation of the general population was minimal. Parliament consisted of two houses, The House of Lords who are appointed because of their title and the House of Commons. They members of the latter are supposed to be elected by the people in the area they represent, but there are few voters so usually the largest landowner designates the representative. These were the first attempts to make citizens politically engaged, and though it didn't work well at the time, it contributed to the English culture we have today and how the culture is reflected politically.

There is still a royal family in England today, but they are constitutional monarchs, meaning they only have ceremonial and representational duties. The Prime Minister who holds much of the political power is democratically elected. The system remains centralized because though the people elect their leader, legitimizing his authority, they still yield their individual sovereignty to him.

There is still respect for the royal family. When Windsor Palace burnt down, the taxpayers agreed to rebuild it out of respect for the Queen. The royal family and is such an important symbol of English culture that symbols representing its prestige are valued to a high level.

The current Queen is very smart and seen as an authority. The prime minister goes to see her on a weekly basis to ask for advice and discuss matters of state. She has been queen since 1952, making her one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world. She is perceived as a valuable resource. This is why the people respect her today and why the royal family is an important and long-standing symbol of British culture.

Most of the good are produced by agriculturalists and pastoralists. The surplus food grown on their farms is taken to market to be sold. Negative reciprocity is used in the exchange of goods at the market. For example, craftsmen which produce pots needed by the agriculturalists need the food produced by the agriculturalists. The seller will try and get what he needs from the exchange by getting the better end of the exchange. This is the basis of capitalism. These markets are an example of primary and secondary economic sectors. The agriculturalists are selling raw material and foods (primary) and the craftsmen are selling finished goods (secondary). The currencies used in the negative reciprocity exchange are pounds, shilling and pence.

Tudor England was known for its wool, which accounted for 90% of English exports at the time. Later in the Tudor period industrialists' goods would also be exported but I smaller percentages. Imports were mainly for the benefit of higher socio-economic classes. These imports included tapestry, lace for fine clothing and art from Brussels, Venice and Iznik. Henry VIII was known for the large amount of French wine imported during his reign. This brings us to the tertiary sector: services. One example in Tudor times would be merchants, whose ships were used in the negative reciprocal exchanges with other countries, importing fine goods and exporting wool.

Henry VIII, the second Tudor king, spun England into religious turmoil. Religion was very important during the Tudor period. One of the cultural purposes of religion is to serve as a moral guideline for behavior. When Cathrine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife, failed to give him a son, Henry VII requested the Pope to grant him a divorce since the Roman Catholic Church was head of England's Church. The Pope refused. When the King failed to get a divorce, he decided that he would become the head of the Church of England, breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church. He was then able to grant himself a divorce, and marry his second wife Anne Boleyn. This was only acceptable because the Church had declared his marriage illegitimate. This marriage represented the victory of Protestantism. However, after Henry VIII and his son Edward's deaths, Mary I, his first daughter and a devout Catholic, was crowned queen. The ones responsible for her coronation was the group of Roman Catholics who still recognized her mother's marriage to Henry VIII legitimate since the Pope hadn't declared it illegitimate. This meant that she was still part of Henry VIII lineage and was entitled to his throne. Religion's cultural importance here is clear: it defines lineages and empowers individuals. Queen Mary I persecuted Protestants, trying to restore the Roman Catholic Church at the head of the Church England. After her death, Elizabeth was crowned queen. She finally was able to settle the cultural issue that had stemmed from the dispute regarding who was to be the head of the Church. She re-established the Church of England, but balanced the needs of the Puritans and the Catholics. This brings us to where we are today: the British Monarch is the head of the Church of England. Though religion is no longer as important as it was during the reign of the Tudor dynasty, there are far fewer Roman Catholics (9%) in England today that people who belong to the Church of England (20%). These statistics are the result of the religious yo-yo during the Tudor dynasty.

Family is the most basic form of social organization in any culture. The anthropological functions of marriage are clearly reflected in Tudor culture. Marriage is first and foremost to legitimize the children. When Henry VIII divorced his first wife and again when he divorced his fourth wife, the daughters he had had with them were declared illegitimate. At the time they were declared illegitimate, they were never expected to ascend to the throne because when the marriage dissolved they were no longer part of his lineage. Many marriages in Tudor times allied families and allowed for money, land or power to remain under a certain family's control. For example, after the death of Henry VIII's son Edward, Lord President Numberland hoped that Lady Jane Grey would become queen so he could marry her to his son, putting his family in a position of political power. Marriage is also the basis of kinship: when Mary I became queen, she declared that Henry VIII and Cathrine of Aragon (her mother's) marriage was legitimate. This meant she was still part of the Tudor dynasty and, had she had children, they would have ascended to the throne because they are part of Tudor lineage.

Tudor marriages were arranged, especially for richer families because large amounts of property, money and power were at stake. Marriages were monogamous: a man could only be married to one woman and a woman only to one man, hence the divorces, executions and deaths of five of the six wives of Henry VIII. This means that marriages were exogamous by sex: people married people of the opposite sex. However, people have a tendency to have endogamous marriages by socio-economic classes were expected and therefore the most common. Children were married young, girls usually between the ages of 15 or 16 and boys between the ages of 18 and 21. The life expectancy was only 35, so they had to be able to procreate and care for their children until they are no longer dependant.

Typical Tudor families tended to be nuclear and patrilocal.  When the father's parents died, his estates and other belongings and in some cases his title was passed down to his son or sons. Descent was unilineal and patrilineal. The husband or father was always head of the household, and women were generally considered inferior. Their role in the marriage was to take care of the household and give birth to sons to carry on the family name. Even today in England, many aspects of modern marriage remain patrilocal- for example, women lose their maiden name and take their husbands' names. This is another testament to the male superiority in Tudor times and throughout British history. The only reason to keep track of a woman's lineage would be if it was important in allying two families. For example, when Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves to ally himself with her German Protestant Brother, he later declared the marriage illegitimate, but didn't lock her up like he had Cathrine of Aragon. Instead she became an adopted sister to keep the alliance strong.

Four groups constituted the socio-economic classes in Tudor England. The first was nobility, which were primarily land owners. The second consisted of gentry and rich merchants. Gentlemen also owned land, and were educated. They never did any manual work, because it was considered beneath them. Yeomen and craftsmen, like gentry, owned their own land, but they weren't consistently educated and worked alongside those who worked for them. Finally, the lowest socio-economic class was the tenants who leased land from the rich. They were always illiterate and poor. Stratification was based on how much land one had, how educated the person was and how much manual labor they were required to do. It was possible to change stratification, or social ranking, in Tudor England, but it was very difficult and didn't happen often. With hard work, a tenant could purchase his own land or maybe learn a trade to become a craftsman.

Not all children in Tudor Times went to school. Only the children belonging to families higher in stratification went to school. Boys lower in stratification hoped to get an apprenticeship to learn a trade. Those higher in the stratification went to Chantry school until they were closed during the English Reformation. After Chantry schools closed down, wealthy families created "grammar schools". The smartest boys were able to attend University. There were only two in England in the 16th century. They were Oxford and Cambridge, and they still exist today and are among the most prestigious in the world. Women of lower classes, however, were never educated. Those belonging to a higher stratification had tutors come to their homes, or mothers taught their daughters.

Some aspects of British education have changed very little. For example, when my father was attending school, he went to grammar school and everyone learned Latin and Greek. These were subjects in grammar school in Tudor times. King Edward made many schools free, and today in England, there are costly private schools (though the English call them "Public Schools") but there are also numerous free schools and if a family cannot afford to send their child to university the government pays if the student gets good enough grades.

Tudors had to make their own entertainment. Those living in poverty often went to plays. Marlowe and Shakespeare were great playwrights, and they contributed to the integration of theatre into English culture. By 1595, plays were undeniably popular. Theatres were very popular in London. Up to 15,000 people attended plays each week in London! Before the popularity of plays lead to the building of theatres during Elizabeth's reign troupes travelled from town to town and performed informally in the streets. Elizabethan theatre is still an important part of British culture. We can go watch plays at the Globe Theatre in London, and plays by Shakespeare and other well-known playwrights from the time are performed all over the world.

The rich weren't as limited in their forms of entertainment. Though the middle ages were over, fencing and jousting were common among families of higher stratification. They also watched bear fighting and went hawking.