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Assessment of Henry VII's foreign policy.

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Assessment of Henry's foreign policy. 'Relations abroad were subordinated by the need for the new dynasty to be recognised and respected, a necessity which usurpers had long recognised.' John McGurk Henry Vii displayed good diplomatic skills when dealing with the Scottish, despite his hot headedness. With the lower countries, Henry was selfish and ready to sacrifice his people for his interests. With Spain he tried his best to tackle the country without the element of luck which all too often played a role in his ruling. With France Henry manipulated luck and diplomacy successfully to a large extent. And with Ireland, he tried to stretch his limited military force with limited success. One of the main reasons for the collapse of the medieval English Monarchy had been the cost of the hundred year's war against France. Neither Edward nor Henry Vii could afford to implement the English kings claim to the French throne' Roger Lockyer. Henry was desperate to maintain good relations with France, so in the first few months of the reign, henry made a one-year truce with France, which was later extended from 1486 to 1489. Fortunately for him, the regency government of France wanted to be assured of English neutrality while it sought to take over the duchy of Brittany. ...read more.


He got no results bond wise but he got recognition as the overall head and Kildare's attitude to Yorkist pretenders was now more circumspect.Henry had little success in Ireland. He had persuaded the Irish lords to give up their support for the yorkist but he did nothing to increase the effectiveness of English rule in the pale, let alone the rest of Ireland, but with Henry's insecurity at home and limited military forces he could dispatch to Ireland , he could not really hope to achieve much more. With Scotland, the threat to Henry wasn't grave but there was a Scottish invasion of England and hostile relations between the kingdoms lasted a whole decade. Henry could have sought peace sooner. His offer of marriage for peace was traditional its wasn't a new innovative idea. Edward IV had also offered his infant child to the future James IV. Henry's main problem in this situation was that he overestimated the threat from Scotland and as a result created unrest in his own Kingdom by increases taxes which led to the Cornish uprising. The British and Scottish signed a three year truce in 1486 which lasted 7 years. There was also a successful marriage which guaranteed that Scotland would not be a threat to England for the rest of the reign .In this instance, he showed good diplomatic and was a better diplomat in this situation. ...read more.


The way Henry went about things. Henry's alliance with Scotland was too long in coming and was probably unnecessary given the limited strength of the scots without French backing. The Spanish raised great armies to conquer Granada between 1482 and 1492. Spain and France, and even Italian wars. England invaded France once and did no fighting at all. The fact that England did not join the League of Cambria in 1508 underlined the possibility that England did not join the league of Cambria in 1508 underlined the possibility that England was something of an irrelevance in European diplomacy. Henry's foreign policy was too expensive. He spent vast sums in pursuing the quest for a Burundian alliance and he spent vast sums trying to protect England from a very small-scale Scottish threat. He over reacted to perceive threats and overspent accordingly. It is not clear that foreign marriages which Henry promoted for his children were necessarily beneficial. Henry's policy was too fearful France, Spain, and the Low Countries had good reason to fear each other because they all had difficult and often ill-defined land borders to defend. England protected by the channel could afford to be rather more isolationist and Henry could afford to be rather more isolationist and Henry could have spent his money building up his defences at home- Both military and naval defences rather than spending it on uncertain diplomacy and unhelpful alliances to a great extent. ...read more.

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