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How successfulwas Edward IV in restoring royal authority by 1470?

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Introduction

How successful was Edward IV in restoring royal authority by 1470? When Edward IV came to the throne in 1461, he faced many problems concerning the amount of royal authority due to a number of factors, most of which had been problems during the reign of the previous monarch Henry VI and had not been dealt with successfully by this incompetent king. Edward, a stronger character than Henry, was determined to tackle these problems in order to gain the support and respect needed to secure royal authority. A huge problem during Henry's reign was that of the nobility. The nobility was full of over-mighty nobles who dominated Henry and made his decisions for him. Henry favoured some of these nobles more than others so therefore patronage was not distributed fairly amongst them. This led to noble quarrels and corruption amongst the nobility. They had enough power to act corruptly without Henry's interference. Edward was met with this corrupt nobility and dealt with it fairly well. Warwick, who was expecting a much bigger play in government than the other nobles and was not pleased when parts of land which and positions originally occupied by Warwick were passed to other nobles, namely Lord Herbert and Lord Hastings. ...read more.

Middle

Edward has been successful in improving the finances of his country. In doing this, he is showing his capabilities as king and gaining respect and authority. However, when his reign ended in 1470, England was still in recession so therefore had not fully recovered financially and Edward has not completely succeeded in this aspect. Edward had successes and failures with his foreign policies. When there were first Lancastrian invasions from Scotland, he sensibly left Warwick to deal with this whilst he concentrated on the South, showing his French rival that he would not be easy to destabilize. However, when Warwick was keen to secure an alliance with France, Edward did not share the same enthusiasm, preferring to seek treaties with Brittany and Burgundy, nor did he choose to marry a French princess. In fact, Edward was ready to invade France. Because of this, Louis XI gave further support the Lancastrians, helping with a crucial invasion that led to Henry's restoration. Therefore, Edward has not fully succeeded in this area. He has provoked the French which helps lead to his defeat. ...read more.

Conclusion

He acted generously towards them, restoring their titles and giving them land in order to keep them from rising up against him. This to an extent was successful. It prevented immediate strong rebellions against the king. However, it was not stronger than the family loyalties of the Lancastrians and Edward was left to rely on his strong Yorkist supporters. The land remained divided with many Lancastrian uprisings throughout the country. Here, his royal authority had not been determined as the Lancastrian support seemed to be beyond his control. Edward had certainly restored royal authority to an extent by 1470. He has shown that he was not willing to be ruled by others and that he will take an interest in seeing that the country is run how he desired and that his authority should not be undermined. However, he is not entirely successful as there are still aspects which he failed to completely succeed in. Some of these may have been beyond his control, for example he could not have ensured the lawlessness of the whole country. He loses his crown the following year, showing that he had obviously not restored royal authority completely by 1470. ...read more.

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