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Bringing Early Modern England to Life

  • Author(s): Tonascia, Victoria;
  • Marullo, Ben;
  • Young, Christopher;
  • Day, Chloe;
  • Moreland, Delanie;
  • Torres, Emma;
  • Na, Ina;
  • Van Ligten, Justin;
  • Nicholson, Kenneth;
  • Rosenthal, Leilani;
  • Kerkow, Ryan;
  • To, Sheldon;
  • Martinez, Suzette;
  • Robles, Victoria;
  • Nieves-Rivera, Yari
  • Advisor(s): McClendon, Muriel;
  • et al.

The early modern period in England (c. 1500-1800) is often best remembered for dramatic developments that transformed the political, religious and economic life of the country. Henry VIII’s rejection of the papacy in the 1530s severed the English church and its worshippers from the wider Catholic community. In 1649, the execution of Charles I at the end of the Civil War marked the beginning of a transformation in the relationship between king and people. That relationship continued to evolve and in 1689, it was recast in the Bill of Rights, which subordinated the Crown to the people. The economy thrived through much of the period and by the eighteenth century England was both a leader in European and in the overseas colonies for which so many nations vied. This exhibit seeks to explore the lives of ordinary people who lived through these dramatic events. While such developments were important, they did not always gure in the everyday lives of those who were not members of the political nation. For them, concerns about their work, families, education and spiritual lives loomed larger than the activities and debates taking place at Westminster. The objects here reveal the concerns, desires and fears of some of the English people during the early modern era and how they sought to manage them--not always successfully.

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