Western Europe

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  • Topic: Jews, Henry VIII of England, Nation
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Politics and the State in Western Europe ca 1450-1521

Due to the ineffective leadership, the nation states of Frances, England and Spain utilized aggressive methods to rebuild their governments in the fifteenth century. This was accomplished though the revival of the monarchy and the unification of nations.

The French leaders led their people and nation states to success. Charles VII, a sovereign viewed as weak and frail, proved himself a powerful leader. Charles (reigned from 1422-1461) established peace between groups fighting a civil war and rid the lands (minus Calais) of the English. In addition to introducing taxes and creating the first permanent army, he reorganized the royal council and gave greater influence to lawyers and bankers. His son Louis XI (reigned from 1461-1483) built upon the army to conquer Burgundy and to control noble’s separate militias. Louis XII (reigned from 1498-1515) marriage added Brittany to the French lands. Lastly Francis I signed the Concordat of Bologna which allowed the King to choose bishops and abbots; and the Pope to collect the first years income of new bishops and abbots.

The English had their fair share of problems. Population was declining and the aristocracy continued to rule. The War of Roses caused a sharp decline in agriculture, trade and industry. Leaders such as Edmond IV (1461- 1483) focused on diplomatic relations instead of wars. Because of this the monarchy was not dependent upon Parliament of funds. The English monarchy strove to deny the nobility power and to focus on order and law at a local level. Henry VIII distrust of the nobility led him to

choose small landowners and men trained in law to be part the royal council. The royal council was involved with the Court Star of Chamber. This court prevented the aristocracy from causing them, by, using torture, and by having no jury. Contrary to the aforementioned, Henry VII left a legacy of peace, and wealth....
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