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Was Cardinal Wolsey(TM)s Domestic Policies Successful?

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Introduction

Was Cardinal Wolsey's Domestic Policies Successful? When looked up the definition for successful is: 1) Having succeeded in ones endeavours, 2) marked by favourable outcome, 3) having obtained wealth or eminence. For this to apply to domestic policy then the points made above would have to apply to the whole country which they do not. It is easy to claim that Wolsey did all that he did for his own gain more than anything else but there are always different reasons for a person's actions. Wolsey's aims within his domestic policy were: to serve the king, discredit his opponents, apply humanist ideals, to fund the Kings policies and raise the standards of England. Wolsey was a very hard worker and served the king well but he was not completely successful because in 1529 he was stripped of all his positions, wealth and property, for failing to get Henry an annulment from his marriage to Katherine. He had practically ruled the country for the king for 14 years acting as an alter rex by doing as the king wanted and getting his many rewards for it. ...read more.

Middle

Wolsey can be seen as a humanist because, as stated above, he wanted a fair legal system but he was also a big patron of the arts and believed highly in education. He saw Education as important and founded lectureships at Oxford in theology, law, medicine, mathematics etc. He set up the Ipswich school as a feeder school for Oxford and found funds to establish Cardinals College at Oxford to house 500 students a year. This is main thing that Wolsey did that didn't directly benefit him it was for the good of the people and would have helped the country. Funding the king's policies proved difficult towards the end of Wolsey's career. In 1925 the king wanted to go to war against France but raising money for this proved difficult. Parliament was 'an event and not an institution'. If the King was not at war then the Crown was expected to 'live of his own'. Parliament was only called to make laws or raise money for the king. ...read more.

Conclusion

Did Wolsey's domestic policy reflect a commitment to raising standards or Was his more interested in his greed? During his fourteen years of chancellorship, Cardinal Wolsey had more power than any other servant in English history. As long as he was in the King's favour, Wolsey had a large amount of freedom within the domestic sphere, and had his hand in nearly every aspect of its ruling. For much of the time, Henry VIII was an 'absent landlord', more interested in foreign policy and long lasting glory than the day to day running of the country, so he was willing to give Wolsey a free hand in reforming the management of domestic affairs, for which Wolsey had grand plans. You cannot say that Wolsey's domestic policies completely failed because while he was chancellor England ran smoothly. There were no major disruptions other than the Amicable Grant revolt in 1525. It is safe to say that Wolsey was very concerned with his own status and protection and did abuse his power and position to get what he wanted but it did not do any major damage to the country. Hannah Gordon 12WJEM ...read more.

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