Henry VII's relations with France

Refers to AQA AS History (Britain 1483 - 1529)

The reign of Henry VII: Political Power and Control.

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  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 05-05-13 18:31
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  • Henry VII's relations with France
    • What was France like in 1485?
      • Ruled by Charles VIII, a member of the house of Valois.
      • French monarch was Europe's strongest power
        • Used this to annex other provinces (Brittany, Navarre, Burgundy).
        • Brought France into conflict with many other European countries.
        • Consequently most challenging foreign relationship for Henry to manage.
    • The expansion of French into Brittany.
      • Henry divided. Owed Duke of Brittany a debt of loyalty for the shelter he provided in 1471-84, but knew additional territory would make France even wealthier.
        • Wealthier France = lower likelihood of King of England laying claim to French throne.
        • French expansion also raised security issues, threating Calais, England's last continental possession, and also trade in the channel.
      • Could not stand back and let France take Brittany unopposed. Military and financially weak so looked for allies.
        • Maximillian of Burgundy and Ferdinand of Spain were anxious about absorption of Brittany, and the subsequent strengthening of their enemy, France.
          • Both sent troops in 1487, but distracted by other wars (Maximillian against Hungary and Ferdinand against the Moors) so Henry was left to act alone.
      • Treaty of Redon, 1489.
        • Both sent troops in 1487, but distracted by other wars (Maximillian against Hungary and Ferdinand against the Moors) so Henry was left to act alone.
        • Promising to assist Brittany in defying French ambition
        • Sending 3000 English troops, paid for by Anne of Brittany.
        • Henry made it clear to France that he intended to defend Brittany only, and not assert his claim to the French throne.
      • What happened after?
        • Henry showed diplomatic skill and did not rush into conflict with France.
        • The negotiations he opened with Spain culminated in the Medina del Campo. Also looked for support neutrality from the Pope and other states.
        • BUT despite Henry VII's displeasure, France did absorb Brittany when Charles married Anne in Dec 1491. The French also accepted Warbeck at court and poured more troops into Brittany.
        • Henry summoned Parliament to grant a subsidy to fight a war against France. Launched a short campaign late in the fighting season.
    • The Breton Crisis
      • The expansion of French into Brittany.
        • Henry divided. Owed Duke of Brittany a debt of loyalty for the shelter he provided in 1471-84, but knew additional territory would make France even wealthier.
          • Wealthier France = lower likelihood of King of England laying claim to French throne.
          • French expansion also raised security issues, threating Calais, England's last continental possession, and also trade in the channel.
        • Could not stand back and let France take Brittany unopposed. Military and financially weak so looked for allies.
          • Maximillian of Burgundy and Ferdinand of Spain were anxious about absorption of Brittany, and the subsequent strengthening of their enemy, France.
          • Treaty of Redon, 1489.
            • Promising to assist Brittany in defying French ambition
            • Sending 3000 English troops, paid for by Anne of Brittany.
            • Henry made it clear to France that he intended to defend Brittany only, and not assert his claim to the French throne.
          • What happened after?
            • Henry showed diplomatic skill and did not rush into conflict with France.
            • The negotiations he opened with Spain culminated in the Medina del Campo. Also looked for support neutrality from the Pope and other states.
            • BUT despite Henry VII's displeasure, France did absorb Brittany when Charles married Anne in Dec 1491. The French also accepted Warbeck at court and poured more troops into Brittany.
            • Henry summoned Parliament to grant a subsidy to fight a war against France. Launched a short campaign late in the fighting season.
        • Conflicting Interests
          • Brittany: wished to maintain their independence from France.
          • France: Wished to absorb Brittany into their Kingdom
          • England: Honour Tudor's obligation to Brittany, yet avoid (expensive!) conflict with France.
          • Spain and the HRE: Prevent France from absorbing Brittany (in their own interests)
        • Timeline of events
          • 1487 - Plan for Charles VIII to marry Anne of Brittany declared.
          • 1489 - The treaty of Redon was signed. Henry made agreements with Ferdinand and Maximillian for an Anti-French alliance, while the Bretons agreed to cover the costs of the English army of 3000.
          • 1491 - France took control of Brittany.
          • 1492- Treaty of Etaples was negotiated, with an annual pension of 50,000 crowns paid by the French, and agreement that Charles VIII would not support any imposters, and a promise that Henry would withdraw English troops from Brittany.

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