Henry Vii Foreign Policy Essay

Was Henry Vii's Foreign Policy A Success

HENRY'S FOREIGN POLICY- SUCCESS OR FAILURE

It is possible to argue that Henry's foreign policy was a success. Under his reign England faced no foreign invasions and, largely, he was able to protect and preserve the Tudor dynasty. However, any achievements he made in terms of military victories abroad were little and insignificant - the tiny villages of Tournai and Therouanne being the only territory captured- and overall cost much more than they were worth, leaving England £ in debt.

At the beginning, Henry the eighth's foreign policy had centered around one thing- invading France. In the pursuit of his childhood dream of chivalry and glory Henry found allies in Europe and invaded a number of times. He won small victories in 1513 including the two townships of Tournai and Therouanne through siege tactics and his cavalry won the much-hyped 'Battle of the spurs' (supposedly named after the sight of a French Brigade digging in their spurs in an attempt to flee at the sight of the British troops) and once he got within 70 miles of Paris (in 1523). To Henry, however they were magnificent and he milked his glory 'royally'. In actual fact his new territories were small and insignificant. In addition they had cost the Kingdom dearly to obtain when taking into account the failed, disaster of his first invasion attempt in 1512 and the conning work of Henry's so called 'allies' who let him down time and again. He had joined the Holy League in 1511 and under cover of the alliance Henry had agreed to attack the South west of France with Ferdinand or Spain. The invasion was a disaster- Henry's ally Ferdinand had only his own interests in mind, merely using Henry and abandoning him at Guienne and the British troops returned diseased and mutinous. Henry had at least partly got what he wanted and had an army make a historic trip to France, but his naiveté showed in his foreign policy and he saw that alliances were by no means trustworthy. Allied abandonment was to become a feature in every invasion he launched (occurred again in both 1522 and 23) and Henry's foolishness to forgive and trust his partners was one of the main reasons that his offensive foreign policy largely failed. And it's failure had huge costs economically and after so many repeats of disaster, Henry found that he had lost the support of the people who later refused to fund war, turning down the idea of Amicable grants, when finally a strategic opportunity arose in 1525.

Peace treaties with France were as much a tradition as invading it, and Henry and Wolsey sought to find new glory in this area- temporarily changing foreign policy in an attempt to achieve prominence as a peace maker. The first step came in September with the signing of the Anglo-French peace treaty and in October the treaty of London was born. This event had been made possible by...

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Henry Vii Achieved The Aims Of His Foreign Policy. Comment

H enry VII thought an effective foreign policy was essential in the governing and security of the realm. Henry believed that a good foreign policy meant security, recognition and prosperity. Security: Henry thought it very important to prevent other powers from harbouring pretenders to the English throne. Recognition: the beginning of the new Tudor dynasty had to be accepted over seas. This gave Henry a secure position on his throne and the family marriages in Spain and Scotland were vital in his process to achieve international respectability. Prosperity: Henry knew that a rich king was better respected than a poor one. He was anxious to fill his pockets with foreign money and improve the trading of England's merchants. A successful example of this being the treaty of Etaples in 1492 with France giving Henry a £5000 pension paid to him every year for the rest of his reign.

Henry VII had several areas that he needed to concentrate on in order to prevent any clashes with foreign powers: France, Spain, Burgundy, Scotland and Ireland. Each had its own problems, which Henry was quick to resolve, and in some cases, make money from.

F rance had been a rival with England since William the Conqueror invaded and took control of England. Evidence for this long running feud is the Hundred Years War. Henry VII had a good start this time though, he had been exiled to France and had made some good friends there. In the same year that he came to the throne, Henry negotiated a truce with France that would last until 1487 and after that Henry hoped that he would not need a peace treaty with France in order for them not to attack him. However, in 1487, France was intending to take control of Brittany by marriage. Anne of Beaujeu was proposing the marriage of Charles VIII of France and Anne, daughter of Dike Francis of Brittany. Brittany called upon England for assistance in the matter. Henry agreed to send troops to Brittany, for a price though, while he acted as a mediator between France and Brittany. Brittany shunned Henry's help as mediator so he therefore renewed his truce with France for another two years. In July 1888 France took Brittany and made sure that the heir to Brittany could not marry without French consent. Duke Francis died 3 weeks later putting his daughter Anne in the custody of France and free to marry Charles VIII, the total take over of Brittany and its incorporation into France seemed imminent. Despite this Henry still felt obliged to defend Brittany so he and Maximillian, Holy Roman Emperor, sent troops to defend the border with France. A downside to this plan however, was that Maximillian could not be trusted as he so often changed sides. Out of Henry's control, Charles VIII marries Anne in 1891 and Brittany becomes part of France so Henry is...

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