Why did Richard III usurp the throne?

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  • Created by: Alice
  • Created on: 05-04-14 10:14
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  • Why did Richard III usurp the throne?
    • Means, motive and Opportunuity
      • Edward IV named him (on his deathbed) as Lord Protector of his two sons
        • Made him responsible for the two princes, giving him the opportunity to control what happened
        • But did have to get Parliament to accept as the Earl of Rivers and some of the Woodvilles believed they had been made Lord Protector
          • Had them executed for trying to take charge of the throne, but more likely to gain more control
      • Executed Lord Hasting as he was a threat to Richard's plan
      • Once in full control of the Princes, began to bully parliament into postponing the coronation, put the princes in the tower
      • Ordered a public Sermon declaring that Edward IV was a bigamist and illegitimate because his mother's affair with a french bowman
        • This made all his children illegitimate
      • Therefore had successfully taken the means, motive and opportunity to usurp the throne.
    • Legitimate Claim
      • Direct descendant of Edward III
        • Therefore as much reason as the Prince who he had named illegitamate
      • But even if the Princes were illegitamate the throne should have passed the George Duke of Clarnece's son, Edward Earl of Warrick
      • Therefore unlikely to be the reason he made himself King
    • England's Stability
      • Richard experienced many battles during War of the Roses
        • Wanted to bring peace to England - many noble lines died out and bankrupting England
      • Civil War made England more vulnerable to foreign invasion and financial problems
      • Putting a 12 year old, unexperience boy on such a unstable throne could restart civil war that Edward IV managed to calm down
      • Henry Tudor could be more of a threat
        • Civil War made England more vulnerable to foreign invasion and financial problems
      • Therefore better for him as the older, more experienced leader (control of the North) to take the thrine
    • Was acting as Temporary Regent
      • Protect his nephew on a temporary basis
      • Regent was someone who was appointed to administer a country because the monarch is either a minor, absent or incapacitated
      • Protect the country until Edward V came to age
      • Possible that while Richard was acting as regent the princes were murdered so Richard was forced to become King


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