Edward IV's Foreign Policy
Edward IV was an usurper, there it was vitally important that Edward's foreign policy legitimised his rule an international stage, and would prevent outsiders assisting a Lancastrian invasion:
- Edward IV allowed Warwick to deal with Lancastrians who backed Scottish incursions in the north.
- Although Edward can be criticised for not going north himself, however Warwick's actions allowed Edward to focus on strengthening the machinery of government and secure his rule in London.
- In 1463, Edward signed a truce with France, in which the French promised not to support Henry VI.
- In 1465, Edward IV captured Henry VI, whilst the French stuck to their agreement, despite Henry's heir was in exile in France, until Warwick's rebellion.
- In 1464, a 15 year truce was agreed with Scotland which brought peace to the border regions.
Edward IV's Foreign Policy Part 2
- Edward's aims in foreign policy (to secure peace and gain foreign acceptance) in this period were limited.
- Edward was keen to open up negotiations, in Burgandy,, with the powerful Duke of Burgandy.
- He did this to expolit trading opportunities and secure an ally to counter balance France.
- Warwick favoured a French alliance and was negotiating for Edward to marry the French king's daughter.
- However, Edward ignored his advice and married Elizabeth Woodville in secret.
The Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League:
- Merchants from German city ports on Battic and North Sea, who were joined in a trading union and dominated North European trade.
- Edward failed to persuade the League to agree to his request for trading concessions.
- These concessions had the potential to increase trade and customs revenue for the King.
Conclusion on Foreign policy:
- Edward's early attempts into foreign policy were relatively successful.
- However, he showed his naivety in foreign policy, in the events leading up to Warwick's rebellion.
- Edward IV failed to grasp the implications his choice of wife would have on foreign relations.
- Edward IV did not appreciate the williness demostrated by Louis in offering his support to Warwick.
By 1464, Edward was well established, until he made his first major mistakes:
- On the 1st May 1464, Edward IV secretly married Elizabeth Woodville and kept it a secret until September, because he knew that Warwick (his most powerful supporter), would be furious by this.
- Warwick had been negotiating with the French for a bride for Edward, only to find he is already married.
- Elizabeth Woodville was a widow, and made enemies at court.
Why was their marriage a problem:
- Woodville wasn't an ideal choice, as she was not of aristocratic rank.
- Her siblings got advantageous marriages.
- The Woodville marriage was seen as the start of disagreement between him and Warwick.