How Far do you Agree with the View that Wolseys Domestic Policies were Disappointing?

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How Far do you Agree with the View that Wolsey’s Domestic Policies were Disappointing?

    The view that Wolsey’s domestic policies were disappointing can easily be seen to be influenced by the time period in which Wolsey was in office; whilst Lord Chancellor it appears that there was more support towards Wolsey’s policies which, however, lessened over time towards his eventual demise as he gained more opponents. The source written by Polydore Vergil depicts Wolsey to have failed in his attempts to make positive changes and instead produced hatred from all areas of society. However, as Lord Chancellor, it is clear that Wolsey at least attempted to improve the fairness of the legal and political systems.

    Source T, written by Vergil, agrees with the view that Wolsey’s domestic policies were disappointing. Firstly, Wolsey’s “hostility towards the nobility” can be seen as supported by the resentment of the nobility following Wolsey’s work in the Star Chamber as they were targeted for abusing their aristocratic privileges and were considered, by Wolsey, as thinking of themselves above the law. Also, Vergil mentions how Wolsey “aroused himself the hatred of the whole country” which can be evidenced by the failure of the Amicable Grant. The Amicable Grant caused a huge rebellion as the people refused to pay for another loan on top of existing taxation. The Grant isolated many groups of society such as the Church and the poor and the fact that people were left with feelings of resentment showed that Wolsey’s domestic policy was a disappointment to not only the people, but also to the King as Wolsey was his chief advisor.

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   However, the reliability of the source can be questioned as Vergil had personally experienced Wolsey’s defensive nature after being imprisoned for writing negatively about Wolsey to the Pope, whilst Wolsey was trying for the title of Papal Legate. Vergil had been a close advisor to Henry VII and saw how Wolsey’s influence would lead to the sacrifice of his own position and saw how Wolsey’s failure in reforming the Catholic Church could be damaging to its survival. Therefore, although the Vergil’s view could be seen as reiterated by many members of the nobility, the source must be considered ...

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