How Far Was Wolsey's Foreign Policy Defensive?

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How far was Wolsey’s foreign policy defensive?

Wolsey was Henry VIII’s chief adviser for fifteen years (1914-1929). He planned the French invasion in which Tournai and Therouanne were seized. He organized ‘the field of the cloth of gold’ and major peace treaties. Though to fully understand Wolsey’s foreign policies we need to know how the country was left by Henry VII to his son, Henry VIII. Henry VII was a cautious king, he spent more time writing his accounts of his expenses than he did ruling. This made him a wealthy king; he did receive help on this front though by his foreign diplomacy. In 1491 Henry launched a half hearted attack on France he wasn’t looking for glory though. It was a campaign designed to achieve three things; to save face over the loss of Breton independence, to obtain a sizeable pension from the French King and to receive a promise that France would not support Yorkist rebels. On these counts he was successful. The rest of his diplomacy rested on influential marriages the most notable being the marriage between his eldest son Prince Arthur and the daughter of the joint Spanish monarchs Catherine of Aragon. This tie between the Spanish Crown and the English Crown nearly fell apart after Arthur’s death in 1502 but after Pope Julius II granted it to be a twelve year old Henry was granted to hand of Catherine, once again the link with Spain was restored. So when his father died in 1509 the to be crowned Henry VIII had cause to be grateful to his father on four counts; the Crown’s finances were in good health, the localities were by and large under control, the authority of the Crown had been restored after the War of the Roses and the Yorkist uprisings and finally a ready-made marriage and alliance awaited.

Henry VIII’s was influenced by the legendary King Arthur and his ancestor Henry V this would cause problems for Wolsey in his attempts at uniting the dominant forces in Europe. In 1511 Henry sent an unsuccessful force of troupes...
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