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English Foreign Policy 1515-29 Free essay! Download now

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English Foreign Policy 1515-29

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 1500 | Submitted: 14-Nov-2006
Spelling accuracy: N/A | Number of pages: | Filetype: Word .doc


This essays details the Foreign Policy of England between 1515-29, including the arguement over whether it was Henry VIII's foreign policy or was controlled by Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey


By 1515 there were two main governing powers in control of English foreign policy – Thomas Wolsey and King Henry VIII. Wolsey was, by now, Archbishop of York and was decorated further in 1515 with the titles of Cardinal and Lord Chancellor. Both he and his King wanted England to have an active foreign policy, however their aims for achieving this were both different.
Wolsey knew that England was short on resources, especially money and realised that any prolonged conflicts would be costly and therefore he came up with a policy of ‘glorious peace.’ Henry VIII on the other hand wanted to emulate the successes of former kings such as King Henry V and therefore believed that no matter what the costs, benefits for his country could only be reaped by victory in war.
However, with both influencing powers contradicting each other, it was a case of who was more in control. Many historians analysing the period have said that Wolsey was often seen as ‘the real framer of England’s foreign policy in the first half of Henry VIII’s reign,’ and that Henry only existed to rubber stamp the decisions made by his minister. Even though this may have been the case for everyday domestic affairs of the country, it was clearly not the case for foreign affairs – in these Henry was keen to impose his rule, authority and point-of-view.
Therefore, to what extent was English foreign policy ‘costly and without benefit’ from 1515 to 1529?

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