The most serious problems facing the governments of Somerset and Northumberland were social and economic. Arguably the most serious problems facing the governments of Somerset and Northumberland were social and economic. Issues such as high unemployment rates, inflation and shortfall in revenue would’ve been the hardest problems to solve. However, foreign policy was also cited as severe problem for both governments of Somerset and Northumberland especially when it came to dealing with the hostile Scotland and France.
Religious reforms were also serious problems that occurred within the government of Somerset and Northumberland. Social problems, such as a rapid increase in unemployment, became an issue for the governments of Somerset and Northumberland. When Somerset was in government unemployment rates were high because of a growing population, particularly in the urban parts of the country i. e. East Anglia. This meant that jobs were in demand and with a large population out of work standards of living dropped as people couldn’t afford the most basic things.
In order to solve this problem Somerset came up with the ’Vagrancy Act’ which many historians regarded as an malicious attack on vagrants and showed no compassion from Somerset. The failure of this policy was evident in the small number of local authorities who actually enforced it. The masses were also displeased and with rumours of riots Somerset hadn’t managed to solve the situation but created conflict that might’ve contributed to the riots of 1549 and his downfall as well. Northumberland took a different approach to the severe social problems left to him by Somerset.
By helping to end the Kett rebellion Northumberland had already solved the issue of unrest and rebellion amongst the masses. Northumberland had learnt from the mistakes made by Somerset and gotten rid some of the unpopular social policies such as the Vagrancy Act and introduced a poor law which urged Local authorities/parishes to help the crippled, old and sick. Although it did well to boost Northumberland’s image and popularity, it wasn’t the solution to high employment rates that had been caused by the Antwarp