Henry VII foreign policy

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  • Created on: 10-05-19 09:38
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  • Henry VII foreign policy
    • aims
      • Dictated by two things: the circumstances surrounding his succession and his lack of money and, later on, his focus turned to trade, dynastic expansion and his own succession
      • In the first 5 years his aim was to seek acceptance as his right to rule from other monarchs
      • This was important because he needed acceptance for if he needed to seek shelter in other countries (as he did in Brittany) but also because favourable looks from other monarchs might increase acceptance in England
    • Breton crisis 1988-92
      • He did not rush towards war - would annoy France when pretenders to the throne were active & lacked funds
      • Opened negotiations with France while at the same time secretly allowing British troops to Brittany to help the help the bretons rebel against the French army 
      • When these failed he tried to win support at home and abroad for a small campaign - asked the rulers of the Netherlands and the median del campo bought off Spain 
        • Parliament eventually summoned a grant of £100,000 for a small force 
          • When the men crossed Henry made it clear that they were only defending Brittany and didn’t want to invade the rest of France 
            • The French didn’t like this and put more troops into Brittany 
              • Henry then lead a larger force of about 12,000 men into Brittany
                • However France didn’t want a long conflict as they were beginning to take interest in the Italian wars 
                  • Under the terms of the treaty of Etaples 1492 Henrys army left France in return fr a payment of 745,000 crowns - to cover the cost of the expedition, and an agreement by the French king to not support English pretenders to the throne - important in dealing with perkin warbeck 
                    • Military intervention was brief and didn’t damage Englands reputation
                      • however, Henry had failed to restore English glories in Europe 
    • expanding trade and exporation
      • Keen to encourage trade 
        • He knew encouraging trade would increase his wealth and secure his position on the throne 
      • He sought to break up the stronghold of the hansetic league 
      • Navigation laws were passed which encouraged the use of enlist ships to carry goods rather than forget policy 
      • An act was passed in 1489 which limited the sport of English wool and made it illegal for foreigners to buy wool for making into cloth on the continent 
        • At the end of his reign the export of raw wool was 30% lower than it had been in 1485 
          • Also tried to encourage the English cloth trade by making agreements with the rulers of Burgundy who controlled the port of Antwerp - the most important agreement was the intercurcus Magnus which meant English merchants could trade freely with all parts of Burgundy except Flanders 
            • Overall 60% more cloth was being exported to Europe than at the beginning of his reign 
      • His patterns seem inherent and as he was described as a optimist , his patterns seem conservative and inconsistent
      • Henry hoped though that trade with Spain would encourage trade in southern America and the ‘new world’ 
      • Also hoped to trade in the Mediterranean with Florence but Venice was the town that dominated trade there and as soon as Henry began to pervade merchants to trade in the area, Venice retaliated by imposing heavy tariffs on all English goods imported into Venice 
      • In 1490 a treaty was signed that allowed English wool to be imported into Pisa and Henry also restricted the sale of wool to Venice 
        • Therefore Henry had gained the right for England to trade with the wealthiest state in the Mediterranean 
      • He also started to build up an English navy - the ships were better but and better equip than other European countries also Portsmouth became the first fortified naval base 
      • He showed support in geographical discoveries 
      • His overseas policies achieved some success but in comparison to other countries the merchants were only trading small amounts 
      • The main importance is the foundations that were laid and with the way that the encouragement of overseas trade helped secure henrys position on the throne 
    • Foreign in policy in the last years of Henrys reign
      • Found it difficult to maintain his early achievement in the last years of his reign because of his changing situation 
      • The death of prince Arthur and Elizabeth caused worry about the succession 
      • The death of Isabella ruled out a Spanish marriage for him and there was no guarantee that Spain would stay united 
        • He was then offered to maintain good relations with Spain and burgundy but also a possible ally against France 
          • His actions were therefore frequently short term, reacting to the latest European situations 
      • In 1505 Henry was moving towards more friendly relations with Philip of Burgundy and this worsen relations with span 
    • How successful was Henrys foreign policy?
      • Wanted security from invasion and recognition of the succession after his death 
      • He wanted England to become a major player on the European field 
        • And to secure Englands trade 
      • Overall, he succeeded but not without a carefully thought out plan from the start 


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