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To what extent did Edward IV restore royal authority in the years 1471-83?

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Introduction

To what extent did Edward IV restore royal authority in the years 1471-83? Edward IV defeated Henry VI at the Battle of Tewkesbury making him the new heir to the throne. Henry VI was a particularly under-mighty king and did a poor job throughout his reign. When Edward IV came to the throne (for the second time) he did not have much of an act to follow, however, Henry had left him in a lot of debt and he needed to restore authority to the kingdom. There are many factors showing how Edward did to try and regain control, although it is hard to tell how many of them were effective! Edward was a very handsome and able king (which was very unlike the previous king ? Henry). He wore exquisite clothing, lined with fur, as well as fashionable shoes with pointed toes. These he brought to court as a popular item of clothing and was known for making the court more fashionable. The variety of clothes he dressed in were very costly making him always stand out from the crowd. His contrast to Henry was so significantly different that he became a spectacle and the powerfulness of his clothes automatically gave him authority. ...read more.

Middle

It guaranteed that Edwards?s bloodline would carry on. On the other hand, Edward was not entirely good at strengthening the monarchy. It was reported that many outrageous crimes were still committed throughout his reign; John Glyn Steward of Cornwall (to name one of the offenders) committed a lot of crime and managed to get away with it. Edward did put in place means to stop crime but it was not always followed up. This brought a slight shame on the monarchy and undid some of its already built up success. It has been said that whilst Edward did his best to try and make strong links with the people around him he may have overdone it! In 1465 he has to leave the country because of the threat of being overthrown by Warwick and Clarence. Their power has come about due to Edward and it is SO unsafe that he has to abandon the country ? this may have made him look incapable and weak. Upon his return he increase?s Clarence?s (his brother) power by allowing his marriage to Isabelle Neville, meaning that he was marrying into the rival family. ...read more.

Conclusion

This conflict with Scotland did not lead too much success. Although it did scare Scotland off, there was a lack of clear objectives and a large sum of money was spent on the march to Edinburgh. Overall, Edward did do many things that greatly strengthened the monarchy. He successfully increased his income and eventually became solvent as well as defeating the Lancastrian line making his status more powerful! However, he was greatly compared to Henry VI! This meant that he was always going to look a better king, as Henry was totally incapable of running a country. He had a great figure and stature to be king but on the other hand he made a lot of people over mighty and could have managed his assets in a more effective way. He tried to gain more power by starting wars with France and Scotland, however he never managed to gain what he truly wanted out of the war! He did gain a lot from this but never the true objective! If we examine the evidence looking at the previous failure of Henry then Edward was the perfect king but averaging him taking into account other leaders then he somewhat did a good job at strengthening the monarchy ? there was room for improvement! ...read more.

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