How Effective Was English Foreign Policy 1515 -1529

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  • Topic: Holy Roman Emperor, Holy Roman Empire, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
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  • Published : February 1, 2013
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How effective was English Foreign Policy by Eniola (Enny) Salau The English Foreign Policy from 1515 to 1528 can often be described as incoherent; this is because the aims of foreign policy from 1515 to 1529 kept altering due to the change in balance of power in Europe. This meant that for England to keep acting as the centre for European affair the foreign policy would have to keep changing. A result of this was that the foreign policy seemed ineffective due to lack of structure, the high costs, and few territorial acquisitions was the traditional opinion on the foreign policy that it was a failure. However with all of these mentioned factors the foreign policy could also have been seen as very effective. This was due to its ability to adapt to situations that arose in the period 1515 to 1529. If you break down this time period into smaller sections you can look at them individually and see where the foreign policy was effective on a smaller scale. When looking at this way it is easier to get a bigger picture as to how effective the foreign policy actually was. Gaining international recognition and influence for England was a big part of Henry’s foreign policy; this was because England had not been an active part of European affairs since the end of the hundred year’s war in 1453. So with Henry’s ascension to the throne and wanting to make g his mark this was a very important factor on judging how effective the foreign policy was because this was one of the more consistent of the factors of the foreign policy from 1515 to 1529. An example was in 1513 Henry gained Tournai and Therouanne, this is a good example of how the foreign policy was effective as Tournai was a significant achievement as although it wasn’t a city of great economic or strategic importance it was internationally known therefore bringing England prestige, this would add to the international recognition got England. The capture of Therouanne in the same year also meant that Henry was gaining an ally and this was another factor that links in with whether or not the foreign policy was effective. This was because with Therouanne once England captured Therouanne it was given to Maximilian who wanted it and then burnt to the ground. Connections with Maximilian due to this exchange would increase England’s international influence as he was now in the league of major personalities in European affairs. Also during England’s campaigns in 1512-13 Emperor Maximilian served under the English flag and pay. This would build up English influence as it would mean that countries less important than England would start to look towards England as a powerful force as it had been good enough for the Holy Roman Emperor. This also links to personal glory and status of Henry during this period. Success at the Battle of the spurs and battle of Flodden in 1513 also increased England’s influence as it showed that England was eliminating enemies on the continent and those closer to home, showing that England was a powerful force even though she may not have been as powerful as countries such as England and France. During 1512 to 1513 the successful examples above shows that the foreign policy was very effective and did implement Henry’s aims. Although these examples also have negatives as territorial acquisition is a factor that can influence a country’s international recognition and influence as the more land you have the more powerful you were but due to what little territory was actually acquired with all the effort that was put in this made gaining international influence and recognition was a failure therefore making the foreign policy ineffective during 1512 – 13. Contrastingly from 1518 to 1521 the foreign policy could be seen as effective in gaining international influence and recognition for England as in 1518 the Treaty of London gained international recognition for England as using the international influence gained from 1512-1513 England had been able to bring the...
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