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Was Edward IV's ruling between 1471-1483 effective?

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Introduction

Was Edward IV's ruling between 1471-1483 effective? Edward was the eldest surviving son of Richard Plantaganet, Duke of York, who was declared successor to Henry VI in 1460. Following York's death that December, Edward defeated Henry's Lancastrian supporters before being crowned Edward IV in June 1461. An invasion by Warwick and Margaret's Lancastrian forces In September 1470 forced Edward to flee into exile in the Netherlands. During March 1471 he and his brother Richard, duke of Gloucester, returned to England from the Netherlands. Taking London, he defeated and killed Warwick at Barnet before defeating the Lancastrians at Tewkesbury. Henry VI was put to death in the Tower. This was to be the start of Edward's, very successful, second reign. Edwards second reign (1471-1483), in contrast with his first (1461-69), was by far the more successful of the two. ...read more.

Middle

He gained the throne with the burden of being �400,000 in debt. This was not the only burden his father had left him with. Almost all the key nobles at Towton had backed Henry VI or chosen to stay out of these affaires. This left Edward with limited noble support. Edward regained the throne, in 1471, in a much stronger position. He was offered far more plaudits, and the financial situation of the government was much more stable. There were no more major revolts concerning Warwick and Edward had gained much more respect and support from nobles. Although these statements are true and in 1471 Edward did gain the throne in a much healthier position than he did in 1461, there is still little doubt that post 1471 Edward's government was much more effective. ...read more.

Conclusion

Parliament was only able to retrieve 25% of this money. Because of this Edward was looked poorly upon by both parliament and citizens. Keeping a peaceful war policy was not the only method used by Edward in order to improved the economy of the kingdom. He also had a large influence in trade and customs. Customs were up were up from $15,000 under the rule of Henry VI to around �35,000 under the rule of Edward. The success of Edward's policies when improving the economy gives good insight into Edward's ability as a ruler. Edward was a skilful manager of parliament using charm and sensible choice of speakers to ensure that there were no major difficulties within this area. When considering Edward's involvement in the council during his second reign he was not a prolific attendee. He participated in less than 50% of meetings involving the council. The magnates were not as prominent as they had been during previous reigns. 2 1 By Lewis Sadler ...read more.

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