“Henry VII passed his throne securely onto his son.” How far do you agree that this was his only achievement?

Henry VII passed his throne securely onto his son.” How far do you agree that this was his only achievement? Essay

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"Henry VII passed his throne securely onto his son." How far do you agree that this was his only
I don't agree very far that it was his only achievement. Although Carpenter says "successfully passing on the
throne was his only achievement. He got lucky." and Elton says "1485 is simply a date.", I think that Henry
had many previous achievements including reuniting the Houses of Lancaster and York by usurping Richard III
and marrying Elizabeth of York, controlling the nobility through Acts of Attainder and bonds and
recognisances, arranged diplomatic marriages such as his son Prince Arthur to Catherine of Aragon and his
eldest daughter Margaret to James III and restored law and order to England through justices of the peace
and by raising the crown out of the nobles grasp. Henry's most important achievements were clearly
finance, foreign policy and government.
It's easy to see how critics can say Henry's only achievement was successfully passing the throne to his son:
the systems he used throughout his reign to rule were nothing new, in fact he borrowed most of the from
Edward IV. But what was different was the meticulousness and almost bureaucratic nature with which he
executed them. His financial policy is a prime example of this. Henry needed finance for war, to keep the
nobility under control, and image; financial stability was vital to a government. But famously said was Henry
was an "innovator not a systematiser." The achievement here wasn't the fiscal system as an entity but the
methods Henry employed to collect his money in order to die a solvent king. This achievement made sure
his son had enough money ready to fight for the crown if necessary. Henry used ordinary and extraordinary
revenue to bring money in. Ordinary revenue included crown lands and custom duties, which made up 33%
of total revenue. Extraordinary revenue included the French pension and loans, usually around £10,000.
These methods weren't knew but the meticulous way in which he collected the money was. He employed
people such as Reginald Bray, who managed to increase crown revenue 10 times, and Empson and Dudley,
who, although hated, were good tax collectors. Although some historians exaggerate it, "Richest lord that is
now known in the world" - Bacon, Henry actually worked very hard for money. Chrimes said he was "one of
the hardest working kings." He would audit the accounts himself, and switched from the Chamber to the
Exchequer because it was quicker. He has often been called rapacious at the end of his reign, but Henry had
been brought up in poverty; he was very parsimonious and knew the value of money. By 1509, Henry's
income was £113,000, much more than the king of France at the time. (£80,000)
Another of Henry's achievements was foreign policy. It helped him establish England as a dominant
European power, increase trade and build foreign relations and defence, whilst always preparing the
throne for a successfully passing to his son. The pinnacle of English foreign policy was the 1497 treaty of
Medina del Campo with Spain. Not only did it improve Henry's image, but it brought a mutual defence clause
and the marriage of Catherine of Aragon to Prince Arthur, with a dowry of 100,000 crowns. This was a
spectacular achievement as Spain was seen as the main power in Europe towards the end of the 15th
century. The truce of Ayton with Scotland was another achievement for Henry: not only was it the first
treaty with Scotland for 200 years, it secured the marriage of his eldest daughter Margaret to James III,
provided defence from the north and any more possible pretenders that threatened Henry. In 1492, Henry
withdrew his soldiers from France in the Treaty of Etaples. Although seen as a victory for both England and
France, it was a great achievement for Henry. He received £159,000l and secured his southern border, as
well as maintaining a good relation with France, meaning his son could ascend to the throne successfully. All
these treaties were an achievement in themselves and proved that, on an international scale, Henry VII was
accepted as the king of England.
Chrimes said Henry was "not a creator but a stabiliser." This is so true in his government. It wasn't anything
new: Storey - "saw the end of the overmighty nobles but Henry's credit actually belongs to Edward IV." His
government itself isn't a great achievement, but the fact it was successful is. Following the Battle of
Bosworth, Henry called a parliament and people came. This proved he was accepted as king. Throughout his
career his only called a furthermore 6 parliaments. Pollard had a theory called New Man, that said Henry
only used men from middle classes in government as they would remain loyal as the promotion was so much
more valued. And Henry was in council, it wasn't Henry and council. He was the first monarch to use Council

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Learned in the Law, a court made up of lawyers with no jury, avoiding bribery. It dealt with revenue to the
king and was unanimously hated. The success of his government proved he wasn't noble dominated like
Henry VI. Henry's government achieved peace and stability: this was a significant achievement because it
allowed Henry VIII to take over without a disruption, coming into an already established monarchy.
In conclusion I don't agree very far at all. He had many more achievements.…read more


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