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Henry VIIs main reason for negotiating with other countries was to increase the wealth of the crown. His foreign policy by the end of his reign had completely achieved his aims. Discuss how far you agree with these statements.

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Introduction

Henry VII's main reason for negotiating with other countries was to increase the wealth of the crown. His foreign policy by the end of his reign had completely achieved his aims. Discuss how far you agree with these statements. Henry came to the throne at a time when England was weak and his position on the throne being weaker still due to his weak claim to the throne. He also needed to improve trade and get more money into the country however this was not his main priority. England was surrounded by threats, Scotland to the north, France traditional enemies of England and the threat from Burgundy due to it being ruled by Margaret of Burgundy who was sister to Edward IV and Richard the III. Among the powers in Europe England was in a weak position therefore Henry needed to use foreign policy to secure his position on the throne and as a result strengthen England. France was a traditional enemy of England. Ever since Edward III's reign English kings had had a claim to the French throne. Although France provided Henry with protection and support in the form of troops and money so that we could invade England after he fled from Brittany, it was in the interest of France to keep England in a weak position and this did not change with Henry becoming king. ...read more.

Middle

In this situation Henry used foreign policy to his advantage although Brittany was lost to France Henry himself benefited greatly as he gained money as well as security from France and this as a result made Henry's position more secure and increased the wealth of the crown. Burgundy also proved a problem. In 1485, Burgundy was under the regency of Margaret of Burgundy who was the sister of Edward IV and Richard III. This meant that she was naturally anti-Henry VII as he killed her brother Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. Burgundy was a strong trading partner with England and Henry was able to use this to his advantage as he could threaten trade embargos with Burgundy. Even this proves that Henry valued security more than money and trade because he was willing to reduce his income drastically by cutting off trade with Burgundy. Henry used this tactic when Margaret harboured Perkin Warbeck. Later in Henry's Reign, Burgundy was inherited by Phillip Arch Duke of Burgundy. Philip was the son of the Mary of Burgundy and the Holy Roman Emperor Maxilian. At the beginning of Henry's reign he was too young to rule but during the last years of Henry's reign he became more important. ...read more.

Conclusion

This made Henry and Ferdinand rivals for marriage but also the questioned the unity of Spain due to the position of Castile. It now appeared to Henry that his major ally may now be the king of Aragon not Spain. Philip of Burgundy looked as if he would have to be regent of Spain as he was married to Joanne and this meant Henry struggled to keep good relationships with his allies Burgundy and Spain. This reduced his security as he was on the verge of loosing two of his allies. But he had secured the marriage of his son Henry and so as long as nothing major happened he would pass on the crown to his son. This shows how important it was to Henry to secure his dynasty. Overall Henry's use of foreign policy did involve a lot of trade treaties however the main use was to make himself more secure on the throne and to secure his dynasty thereafter. Henry's Foreign Policy was not always completely successful but if he hadn't used foreign policy as effectively as he did during his reign to secure his position on the throne then he may never have ended his reign the way he did passing the crown down to his son Henry. ?? ?? ?? ?? John Metcalfe 12GD ...read more.

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