How Important Were Wolsey's Foreign Policies in Strengthening the...

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How Important Were Wolsey's Foreign Policies in Strengthening the Royal Authority of Henry Viii?

By | July 2011
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In many respects Wolsey’s foreign policies were very effective in confirming Henry VIII’s royal authority and demonstrating his strengths, however in other ways they did not show this quite as well instead leaving him isolated. Many events need to be taken into consideration when deciding on the effectiveness of Wolsey’s foreign policies, these are the Anglo-Spanish treaty, the treaty of London, the field of cloth and gold, the election for Holy Roman Emperor after the death of Maximillian, his treaties during the second French war and finally his attempts at gaining an annulment for Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.

In 1515 Francis I won a victory against the Swiss, and so took power of Milan making him much more powerful. In response to this Wolsey set about creating an anti-French coalition via a Anglo-Spanish treaty and beginning agreements with Maximillian. Unfortunately England’s foreign policies were at the mercy of continental events so when Ferdinand of Aragon died leaving Charles I in charge, he made peace with France increasing their territory and thus their power yet again and so more of a threat to those who stood against them. Along with this Maximillian them made peace with France which meant that any talk of a anti-French coalition would be stopped as they could not compete with France and its allies. The only solution was to follow the heard and make peace with Francis I, this decision lead to the Treaty of London in 1518. Up until this point Henry’s authority had not been increased or demonstrated at all but this was due to events that Wolsey had no control over but it did mean that Wolsey had, had no impact Henry’s royal authority.

In 1518 the treaty of London was created. The idea spiralled from papal initiative to make peace among the countries so that war with the Turks could be more effective and ending in Wolsey’s getting 20 different European rulers to sign an extended version, the rulers included Francis I, Charles V, Maximillian...
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