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Henry VIII foreign policy

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How successful was Henry VIII's foreign policy? Henry VIII was a young king with many aims for England. His foreign policies mainly focused peace and security as expected by most kings however he choose to achieve this through war. Wolsey however wanted it through many peace agreements. Henry VII's foreign policy can therefore be split in to aims he tried to achieve. These were: to please the pope, to increase security, to maintain the 'balance of power' to increase his prestige and finally for the image of a glorious kingship or his own reputation. Henry had to try and please the pope as the pope was god's voice on earth and people were very religious including Henry in his youth. If the pope was an ally of Henry's he could gain more prestige and increase security. In 1521 Henry proved his loyalty to the Catholic Church by writing his book called defiance of 7 sacraments. This he wrote this after Martin Luther started Protestantism. This gave Henry the title of 'Fidei defensor' (defender of the faith) ...read more.


The treaty of London in 1518 increased security massively as it called a cease fire across Europe. However was also seen as a failure since it collapsed with the uprising of Charles V in 1519. The field of the cloth of gold also increased security as it cemented the friendship between France and England using competitive sports. This replaced violent confrontation with peaceful competition. On the other hand the treaty of Cambrai in 1529 was made by French, pope and Charles to exclude Henry from forefront affairs making him very isolated. In conclusion it was a short term success as the treaty of London did stop any wars for a short time however it collapsed but it was due to Henry so could still be a success because he could not stop Charles becoming powerful so could not stop the collapse. Also Henry was never invaded so in the long term it was still a success. Henry had to maintain a balance of power because if one country was to get too much power it would risk his security. ...read more.


Henry did not want to use treaties to gain the image as Wolsey suggested he should do. Treaty of more in august 1525 was therefore seen as a failure because Henry had to give back the land he had in France which he just spent time, money and men capturing for his annual pension to be resumed. In conclusion this was a short time success as the wars did give him a great image but the treaties to follow did not. On the other hand Henry is still remembered today but not as a glorious king but as a fat king with many wives. Overall henry's foreign policy was very successful but only in the short time. The treaty of London possible the best thing he did. However once Charles came to the scene everything went bad and his foreign policy did not work. Finally leaving the church left him very isolated and without support since all the big powers in Europe were catholic and he was not. ?? ?? ?? ?? Niall Ashton ...read more.

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