• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Who was more important in directing foreign affairs 1515-1529, Henry VIII or Wolsey?

Extracts from this document...


Who was more important in directing foreign affairs 1515-1529, Henry VIII or Wolsey? Henry VIII was more important in directing foreign policy, as it was usually he who decided on the policies, but Wolsey could be considered more important as it was he who actually directed and implemented the policies. It depends on the definition of "directed", whether one means it to intend that Wolsey instigated or actually carried out. Therefore both Wolsey and Henry VIII were important in directing English foreign affairs. Henry VIII was renowned for wanting to be a warrior king. He wanted to try to be like his ancestors, such as Henry V and the Black Prince, who had won many victories against the French - England's natural enemy. This was one of the main reasons that England had such an aggressive foreign policy from 1515 to 1529, except during the period of 1518-1521, when there was peace in Europe, partially due to the Treaty of London. Even then the peace was fragile and only lasted until Charles V became Holy Roman Emperor and actually had a reason to break the peace. ...read more.


This supports the evidence that Wolsey would plan policies according to Henry's needs and Henry would act as a supervisor, watching over him to make sure he was doing his job correctly. This can be seen because Wolsey as a member of the church and a humanitarian would have naturally wanted a peaceful policy, yet the policies followed for most of his "time in power" were war-like, so would have been dictated by Henry. Therefore, without Henry's influence Wolsey would have had no policies to direct, so from that point of view Henry was the more important in "directing" foreign affairs. On the other hand, it was Wolsey who actually implemented and directed the policies that Henry gave him the rough outline of. A clear example of Wolsey fulfilling Henry's wishes in his own way comes in October 1518. Many representatives from the countries of Europe came to England to sign the Treaty of London, declaring international peace in Europe. Henry was not a natural peacemaker, preferring the art of war to the art of peace. ...read more.


Still, it shows that it Wolsey even tries to follow a different policy to Henry he will eventually end up following Henry's, no matter how long it takes for him to come around. This would imply that it was Henry who was more important, because he ultimately got his way whatever happened. Essentially, Wolsey and Henry were a double act. Henry told Wolsey roughly what he wanted done and Wolsey did it for him. Wolsey worked to please Henry, which he usually did very well. However, because of their double act status it is very difficult to decide which of them was the more important in directing English foreign affairs, as directing could mean starting the policies or finishing them. The argument for Henry is that without him there would be no policies to start with, as he supplied the skeleton of the policies. The argument for Wolsey is that he actually did the most of the hard work in implementing the policies to put Henry's ideas into effect. Therefore, I think that Wolsey was more important in directing foreign affairs because without his efficiency and effectiveness Henry might not have achieved the foreign policies he desired. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    'In His Domestic Policy Between 1515 and 1529 Wolsey Promised Much But Achieved Little' ...

    4 star(s)

    for example, they knew that Henry VIII had a war-like tendency, and thus encouraged it. War would undoubtedly damage Wolsey's influence, due to his policy of trying to keep peace. He could not simply get rid of them, because he needed them.

  2. What Methods did Henry VIII and Wolsey use to achieve the aims of Foreign ...

    Therefore in order to maintain the aim of being at the centre of European politics and to receive recognition and glory, since they could not do this through military prowess they had to do it through diplomacy. Wolsey was also had a greater desire for peace and diplomacy than to

  1. Who was more important in directing foreign affairs from 1515-1529? Henry VIII or Thomas ...

    These examples are very important to England's position, however it is important to note that however successful Wolsey was, Henry had ultimate control. A clear example of this is the First French War. Wolsey emerged as a brilliant and efficient organiser of the campaign, which in turn fed Henry's xenophobia and increased his prestige.

  2. Who controlled English foreign affairs in 1515-1529 - Henry or Wolsey?

    For example when Maximilian and the Swiss defect to the French taking Henry's money and sign the Treaty of Cambrai with Francis in 1517, this left Henry "The laughing stock of Europe", as Scarisbrick states. A main aim Wolsey wanted was peace, the marriage treaty in 1514 between Mary, Henry's

  1. In what ways did Henry 8th attempt to extend his influence in European affairs ...

    Through Wolsey's high educational manner, luck and amount of contacts in the system Wolsey climbed up the great chain of being and was eventually to run the catholic church in England and go beyond that in the years to come.

  2. How influential was the role of Cardinal Wolsey in the conduct of England´s foreign ...

    Deserted by his allies, Henry arranged a marriage in 1514 between his sister Mary and Louis XII of France, with whom he formed an alliance. After one failure, he went in person to achieve glory in August 1513 at the Battle of the Spurs.

  1. 'Keeping The Favour Of Henry VIII Was The Dominant Factor In Wolsey's Conduct of ...

    When Wolsey and indeed Henry chose to support this, it would seem to imply that Wolsey was acting on the favour of the pope, supporting Pollard's argument. However, the event was also used to press for the legate that Wolsey so dearly wanted and Wolsey used diplomatic initiative and took control of the pope's plan.

  2. King Henry VIII.

    in 1519 when the emperor Maximilian I died, to be succeeded by his grandson Charles V. That event altered the European situation. In Charles, the crowns of Spain, Burgundy (with the Netherlands), and Austria were united in an overwhelming complex of power that reduced all the dynasties of Europe, with the exception of France, to an inferior position.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work