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How far do you agree with these sources that Wolsey monopolised political power?

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How far do these three sources suggest that Wolsey monopolized political power 1510-1529? (40 marks) Wolsey was not born into a noble family and at the age of only fifteen he entered Oxford University and his ambition was to be Pope which was the most powerful position due to religious beliefs, this can easily be demonstrated as his determination and hunger for power in political matters. Wolsey was always a very intelligent man yet, cautious; despite the various positions of power that he achieved by monopolizing Henry, he was always very careful as to what decisions he took because he needed to gain over Henry's trust in order to achieve more power, he could not upset the King in any way possible therefore, he kept Henry satisfied by providing him with his desire for military status. Although Wolsey was capable and ambitious, he was also very fortunate because many ministers that worked for Henry VII were old and ready to retire, this was Wolsey's opportunity to prove himself able to Henry VIII so that he could get involved in political matters, which is what Source Q and X commonly agree upon. Despite stating that Wolsey wanted more political power, source Q written by Elton, a famous historian; also states that he wanted ''to ignore the legal and constitutional traditions of England and substitute them for his own self-confident judgment'' which implies that not only Wolsey arrogant but also intended to change ...read more.


being put on standards that were nonexistent during Henry's reign therefore, easily forgetting the fact that no one dared to oppose Wolsey because if they were to criticize him they would have to also criticize the King which was considered a sin and was likely to result in death sentences. In 1528 Wolsey was asked to appoint abbesses at nunnery in Wilton and Wiltshire however, he ignored Henry's instructions with whom he should appoint. He then had to apologize to Henry, confirming that Henry was not easy to influence and that Wolsey did not fully monopolize political power. Furthermore, despite the fact that source V states that Wolsey's way of manipulating power was not particularly good, Dawson also says that Wolsey ''promised more than was delivered'', this implies that if Wolsey was really an Alter Rex and monopolized political power he would have delivered what he had promised therefore proposing that, he was rather a servant and did not fully monopolize political power. Wolsey only used parliament when he had to because he had caused so much bitterness between him and the nobles that they were unlikely to grant him what he needed. Parliament was not the heart of government; powers were limited and would only grant the King's requests which demonstrates that although Wolsey had immense power over political matters the nobility did not consider him an Alter Rex therefore, not granting any of his requests which goes to show that ...read more.


Despite great influence on Henry, Wolsey did not fully monopolize this power as many actions he took were known to Henry. During Henry's reign there are few situations such as the treaty of London in 1518 which was organized by Wolsey that demonstrates him monopolizing political power as he was able to get very powerful nations such as The Holy Roman Empire, France, Spain and many others to sign the peace treaty however, Henry was held responsible for this treaty meaning that all glory was Henry's rather than for Wolsey therefore, furthering the idea that Wolsey was a loyal servant rather than an Alter Rex which is what source Q and V both agree on and by being a loyal servant it implies that he did not have full control of political matters. Source Q and V are weighted towards the view point that Wolsey had a lot of power yet he did not know how to use it, commonly; source X states that Wolsey possessed great power however, source X goes on to say that Wolsey was in control of so much power that he ''began to regard himself as the equal to the kings'' suggesting that he had full control of political power. To conclude; source Q and V suggest that Wolsey did not monopolize political power at all instead, they imply that he had tremendous influence on the King whereas only Source X suggests that he had full control of political matters. ...read more.

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