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How Important Were Wolsey’s Foreign Policies buy essay help Philosophy essay help

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 and the Pope, this should have meant lasting peace if the contract had been truly binding which unfortunately it was not.

Still thanks to this Henry was seen as a Peacemaker and this treaty a triumph. It confirmed his power and showed that he had an influence in European affairs. Some historians believe that Wolsey actions in the treaty of London made Henry appear more of a humanist as instead of organising a treaty for the sake of war he organised a treaty for a greater truce that would benefit the countries involved without harming others.

This showed other nations that Henry was powerful but also that he was a prominent part of Europe and that his authority could not be undermined. However other historians believe that the treaty of London did not do as much good, as it did not last and that although Wolsey had temporarily relieved the Pope of his status as peacemaker it was only temporary, and that no matter how ingenious the treaty was it was completely at the mercy of the European rulers which Henry could not control.

An example is the victory of Charles V in the imperial election in 1519 only one year later. If you agree with this theory then you could also assume that Wolsey’s foreign policy had no sway of Henry’s royal authority as although it may have been boosted at times, his policies did nothing to permanently show that Henry was one of the bigger players. In 1520 Wolsey organised a meeting between Francis I and Henry VIII to discuss peace. It took place outside Calais in the field of cloth and gold.

It was main meeting that took place in 1520 between Francis I and Charles V who both wanted to secure Henry as an ally before the Hapsburg-Valois war broke out. This competition between Charles and Francis allowed Henry and Wolsey to reaffirm the treaty of London and with it Henry’s authority in Europe. The set of meetings that took place allowed Henry and Wolsey to decide with who they wished to ally themselves and the field of cloth and gold is said to be one of the most important of all the meeting the centrepiece so to speak.

During this event no diplomatic decisions were made but that does not mean it wasn’t worthwhile, as it provided Henry with the illusion of honour and esteem that such an event should have brought him. Although as stated before nothing was agreed upon and within two years the two countries were at war. Here Wolsey’s dealings with France could been seen as failings and they did not help Henry assert his authority which in most ways is true, it simply gave the illusion even Henry went away from the event believing that it had been a success.

In 1520 any effect that the treaty of London may have had over the main rulers in Europe were gone after the death of Maximillian. This is because Charles, Francis and Henry entered into arguments over the election for the new Holy Roman Emperor. Charles won and it was evident that opposition in France would lead to an outbreak of war. This upcoming war was the reason for Henry’s popularity with the two sparing countries and the reason that the field of cloth and gold was initiated. War was declare in 1521 when Francis I invaded Luxembourg.

Wolsey’s desire to be named peacemaker lead to a conference at Calais but in reality was peace was never going to be achieved, it was just a way of wasting time, stalling, this included Wolsey. It gave him time to plan his next move if he had one and hopefully win praise from Henry. However Wolsey had no moves left to make and as Henry did not have enough leverage to act as a umpire he lost the title of peacemaker and so his royal authority was damaged and decreased. In this case Wolsey had affected henrys authority but he did not strengthen his position instead decreased it.

Wolsey new this and so after the meeting of Calais Wolsey met with Charles V and formed the treaty of Bruges under which Henry and Charles would declare war on Francis which would be announced after Henry received the next instalment of the French Pension. All in all this deal would secure Henry’s authority as it would show him to be one of the major players in Europe and also lead to the possibility of glory. Wolsey’s current foreign policies would seem to be increasing Henry’s authority as he was getting involved in more dealings with European powers and gaining more and more of a foot hole.

At the same time it could show that Henry was more of a pawn than an authority as war had been declared and all that was left for Henry to do was to decide on a side, what Wolsey should have done to really influence Henrys royal authority was build up enough power or influence to be able to act as referee, because of this Wolsey really didn’t effect Henry at all as even without Wolsey he would have chosen a side. When Henry declared war on France in 1522 Wolsey’s fears that Charles V would abandon them were realised.

England received no support as Charles was more concerned about invasions in Italy. The Duke of Bourbon turned against Francis and again Wolsey organised an understanding with him to team up and attack Francis. Again Henry was abandoned due to complications with the Duke of Suffolk’s army. Again Wolsey’s foreign dealings left Henry with nothing to show for his time and again making no impact in his royal authority in Europe. So far Wolsey had helped Henry out somewhat but his failings were easily visible and his victories had, had no lasting effects.

However after 1527 he would no longer contribute a substantial amount of positive dealings with foreign authorities and because of this his impact on the Kings royal authority would cease. His failings were due to Henry’s desire for an annulment which Wolsey would not be able to secure. Wolsey could not get a papal dispensation allowing the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon as Charles V had captured the Pope. This meant that due to his family connection with Catherin he would not allow an annulment and as he controlled the pope neither could he.

Wolsey would have to regain the Popes diplomatic independence which would mean going to war, but the English cloth workers protested against this course of action as it would shut off all trade with Antwerp. This would mean they could not obtain their products and so Wolsey and Henry made peace with the Netherland as they did not wish to cause outrage on the home front. Wolsey’s influence gradually lessoned and lessoned. As Francis and Charles made peace in Cambria, this was after the truce of Barcelona in which the pope and Charles had made peace.

Charles was now dominant and determined to prevent Henry’s divorce, this left Wolsey stranded as he could not progress with the kings great matter. After the battle of Landriano Charles again held diplomatic sway over the pope and so proceedings on Henry’s great matter were stopped and the last chance of an annulment was gone in 1529, Wolsey had failed and fallen from the Kings grace. His influence was also gone and for the last few years from 1527 onwards he hadn’t strengthened the kings royal authority in the slightest.

I believe that at the beginning of Henry VIII’s reign Wolsey’s foreign policies had contributed to strengthening Henry’s royal authority for example his dealing with Francis I at the field of Cloth and gold or the treaty of London, but that as Henry’s reign proceeded it became clear that Wolsey did not have the necessary power required to further influence the kings authority this was demonstrated in the Kings great matter, his annulment for Catherine of Aragon and in the treaties made during the second French war in 1522 to 1525 were he persuaded allies to side with them but did not secure their loyalty when the battles began which is when it counted, even the treaty of London could be said to have failed due to the elections for the new Holy Roman Emperor when it was ignored. Overall I believe that on the surface it appears Wolsey’s played a major role in securing Henry royal authority through foreign affairs but underneath his act had no substance and the treaties and events that he organised did little to strengthen the royal authority of Henry VIII.

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Dibetes leading to depresssion and inflammation induced by diabetes leading to depression.

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Dibetes leading to depresssion and inflammation induced by diabetes leading to depression

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