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

Was Henry VII a successful monarch?

Extracts from this document...


Was Henry VII a successful monarch? The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic conflicts and battles that occurred during the period 1455-1485 between the noble houses of York and Lancaster, cadet branches of the House of Plantagenet. The end came when a relatively unknown Welshman named Henry Tudor was crowned king by his supporters after his success in the Battle of Bosworth on an August day in 1485. In this essay, I will analyse and evaluate the success of his reign based on five main aims; foreign policy, law and order, finance, the Church, and status/prestige. Foreign policy Foreign policies enacted by Henry were very successful as many guaranteed peace with other European countries as well as bolstering economic prosperity. A prime example would be the Treaty of Etaples. Although much land from France that was under the possession of the English monarchy had been lost over the decades, Henry had little interest in regaining them as he knew wars were costly- foreign ones especially- and he was not militarily experienced anyway. However, foreign monarchies were proficient at toppling other monarchies by lending support to figureheads who would start a rebellion, such as was already happening in 1492 when Charles VIII was supporting the pretender Perkin Warbeck. Consequently, when Henry landed in France with 26,000 men, the French were happy to sign a peace treaty guaranteeing that they would not support Henry?s enemies and paying a large sum on money for indemnities- they were perhaps more concerned with Italian wars to concern themselves with England. ...read more.


There have always been those who believed that Edward V and Richard of York were still alive when Henry VII took the throne, and that he had them killed, to be rid of such potential rivals. Whatever the truth of it, Henry could not produce a live Duke of York to show up Warbeck's imposture. In 1497 Warbeck was captured. He might have been awarded the same mercy as Simnel (who now worked in the Royal Kitchen), had he not tried to escape from his prison in the Tower. Henry could not afford now to let him live, and he was executed in 1499. Warwick, the innocent p**n, was beheaded at the same time, for, as long as he lived, there would certainly be pretensions on his behalf. To further reduce the threat of armed rebellion against his authority, Henry VII outlawed livery, and the maintenance of private armies. The armed bands that, wearing their feudal badges, had overrun the countryside, intimidated sheriffs, and bullied juries, now had their days numbered. Putting an end to the brigandage of the nobility required numerous statutes, since the feudal lords did not readily give up the practice of private war. But, by the end of Henry's reign, the typical English nobleman had been forced into other occupations than the medieval ones of riot and civil war. He raised the crown far above the nobles, and formed an alliance with the middle class, acting through their representatives in the House of Commons, who feared the return of the days of civil war, and realized that their survival and livelihood was dependent on the king's protection. ...read more.


restored the status and power of the English throne in such a way that people would?ve perhaps respected its authority enough to prevent any more rebellions or civil wars happening again in England. By the beginning of the 16th Century, Henry?s prestige in Europe and his security at home were assured. He had survived the ambitions of pretenders to the throne ? and without traces of too much blood on his hands; he was strong in central government and generally obeyed throughout the realm; he was successful in foreign war-albeit not absolutely heroic ? in the eyes of his subjects; England was almost unprecedentedly prosperous and growing daily richer in culture, with the extension to England of the arts and scholarship of the European Renaissance. Conclusion In conclusion, Henry?s reign was mostly successful as it managed to restore stability in England after decades of political turmoil and upheavals caused by the War of the Roses. His fiscally conservative policies repaired the financial state of the English throne, his foreign policies managed to guarantee peace with other European powers as well as forge alliances with them, and due to his assertiveness and leadership he controlled the nobility to ensure national peace during his reign. However, his accomplishments cannot be exaggerated as his reign became increasingly unpopular in its later half as financially prudent policies and the incredibly high taxes and fines he levelled on the nobility caused many to be disaffected and unhappy with his over-reaching power, as well as with his unadventurous and sombre nature and his obsession with government. ...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. Free essay

    To what extent did Henry VII reduce the power of the nobility

    4 star(s)

    Although he kept the select few in his court as means of keeping his friends close but his "enemies closer" as said by Sun Tzu, this was few and far between. The main result whether intentional or not was that Henry VII's appointing the peerage in his court meant they

  2. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent was Henry VII a successful monarch?

    3 star(s)

    This greatly pleased the citizens of England, as nobody liked the civil wars - it was a waste of lives and money, so this went highly into Henry's favour. Henry was also greatly - and probably the most - successful in his control over the nobles.

  1. This essay examines the actions of Charles VII in relation to events pertaining to ...

    He maintained three major voices: instability, distrust, and, the worst of them all, envy of others." As long as Charles mistrusted what he felt and thought, he could feel for others only mistrust and envy.17 Such anxieties caused him to be easily manipulated by his advisers as seen on several occasions and agreed upon by both English and French scholars.

  2. Shakespeare Portrays Henry V as the Model Monarch

    decide their own fait by telling the King that he should sentence a drunk who yelled abuse at him to death. And for such a small crime to receive a death sentence then the Traitors who would turn in their own King must certainly be sentenced to death, however they

  1. Essay on ways in which Henry VII was successful

    This was clever of Henry as now the yorkst could not complain that they should be on the throne as they had a yorkist queen and the descendants of the two monarchs would combine the two, meaning yorkist couldn?t rebel because they wold be rebelling against their own.

  2. Within the context of the period 1337-1471, to what extent can Henry VI be ...

    and Anjou in order to please her, and referred to her as ?the queen who had brought nothing and taken much away?-although as Gillingham points out ?it is unlikely that a fifteen year old girl could wield so much influence within a few months of her arrival at a strange

  1. How successful was Henry VII in securing international recognition in the years 1485 to ...

    The unifying factor was The League of Cambrai, ostensibly planned to finance a crusade against the Turks, but in reality designed to be an anti-Spanish alliance.

  2. How Successful was Edward Carson in His Defense of Unionism During The Third Home ...

    Carson needed to address the problem and focus the passions of his followers in a way that could demonstrate unity and discipline. Craig came up with and devised the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant and requested that all Ulster Unionists sign it.

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