Henry VII's Foreign Policy

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Henry VII ­ Foreign Policy
What were Henry VII's foreign policy objectives?
1. Security and recognition of his kingship (+dynastic security)
Henry was after all a usurper with little blood claim to the throne except a bastard claim through his
mother's line. Henry was also acutely aware that during the Wars of the Roses 3 English Kings had
been deposed through French or Burgundian support and Henry didn't intend on being a 4th.
2. Prosperity
A rich king would have respect in England and abroad. Would discourage nobles from rebelling if the
King was financially secure. Henry wanted to improve the trading position of English merchants. With
prosperity came political and social stability.
3. Maintaining prestige whilst keeping costs down
England had ceased to be a major European power after defeat in the Hundred Years' War. It was
now a `third rate' power. Henry realised intermarriage with foreign royal families could establish
strong alliances.
Major treaties/ Issues:
France: Tension over Brittany Crisis (1487-1492). England could not stand by and allow France to
annex Brittany. Henry would look weak. Maximilian and Ferdinand also unsettled by France's action
and begin forming an anti-French alliance. HRE and Spain withdrew their support in 1488, their focus
was now on the Italian Peninsula, leaving England to act alone. 1489 TREATY OF REDON: ANNE OF
BRITTANY ­ HENRY VII. Agrees that Anne will pay for the upkeep of a 3000 strong English army in
Brittany. 1491 ­ Charles VIII marries Anne of Brittany. France also shows its dissatisfaction with
England by supporting Perkin Warbeck. Henry reasserts his claim as the King of France and besieges
Boulogne. 1492 TREATY OF ETAPLES: CHARLES VIII ­ HENRY VII. Agreed the French would pay annual
pension of 50,000 crowns. Charles would not support any impostors (hence Warbeck fleeing) and
Henry would withdraw his troops. GREAT SUCCESS FOR HENRY ­ He had managed to achieve all his
foreign policy objectives. The treaty of not supporting impostors helped to secure his Kingship. He
achieved Prosperity through the French Pension (accounted for 5% of Henry's annual income).
Maintained Prestige by appearing strong. Kept costs down by avoiding a major campaign.

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1) Protect trade with Burgundy ­ wool trade with Burgundy accounted for 90% of exports of
2) Henry saw an opportunity to marry Prince Henry to Philip's daughter Eleanor ­ Philip was
already the Duke of Burgundy, heir to the Throne of the Holy Roman Empire. If he could
become King of Castile thanks to Henry then he would be richly rewarded
3) Secure Edmund de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, `The White Rose'.…read more

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Henry would send
3000 troops to help
Treaty of Etaples England- France, 1492 French would pay an
annual pension of
50,000 crowns (5% of
Henry's annual income)
Charles VIII would stop
Henry would withdraw
his troops from
Boulogne and France
Intercusus Magnus, The `Great England-Burgundy, 1496 Ended the trade
Settlement' embargo (since 1493)
Established good
trading rights for
English merchants
Truce of Ayton England-Scotland, 1502 James IV would marry
Henry's daughter,
Princess Margaret
Treaty of Blois Spain-France, 1505 Marked…read more

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Henry recognised
Philip and Joanna the
Mad as rules of Castile
Prince Henry would
marry Philip's sister,
Margaret of Savoy
League of Cambrai France, Spain, Burgundy, Holy England ultimately left
Roman Empire, Papal States, isolated
1508 Anti-Venetian alliance
Left England out and
once again confined it
as a `third rate' power…read more



great summary of the treaty's :)


sound m8



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