How Edward Dealt with the Problems He Faced in the First Part of His Reighn 1042-1053

Topics: Edward the Confessor, Foreign policy, Normans Pages: 3 (1322 words) Published: January 20, 2013
How effectively did Edward deal with the problems he faced during the first part of his reign, 1042-1053? When Edward came into power in 1042, England was in a poor state financially and also because of threats of an invasion and this made the first few years of his rule difficult. Edward was faced with many problems which he had to overcome. These problems involved; powerful Earls, (especially the Godwine’s), the foreign policy and the domestic policy. Edward both failed and succeeded in these problems due to a number of factors. These include a lack of knowledge about his kingdom and some may argue that he was naïve in his decisions. With some evaluation, we will be able to judge if Edward was a successful King or not. One of the problems Edward faced was because of the weak position he was in: He had been in exile for 25 years in Normandy; therefore he had no knowledge of the English politics and structure of the country. He also had no strong political allies such as Earls and Thegns to aid him with ruling the country effectively and to everyone’s best interests. One of his biggest rivals was Earl Godwine; Godwine was a politically powerful character at this time. Before Edward became King, he had allied himself to King Cnut and married Gytha who was a relative of Cnut. From 1040 onwards, he was the second richest man in the country after the king so therefore, he was in a very powerful position compared to King Edward as he had strong political allies, and great knowledge of England. Earl Godwine played a massive role in Edward becoming a King; he persuaded the Earls to accept him. This may be so that Godwine could dominate Edward in ruling the country or to convince him of his loyalty. In the early years of Edwards reign, Godwine took advantage of his weak position and got his family members; Sweyn, Harold and Beorn the position of Earls. His Daughter Edith, also became Edwards wife in 1045, Godwine had used his power and authority to get his family...
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