England's foreign policy


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  • Created by: Alex
  • Created on: 05-03-12 19:41


In 1523, circumstances in Europe changed.

  • The Duc de Bourbon, Constable of France, rebelled against Francis
  • Hoping to win the throne for himself, Henry sent an invasion force of 100,000 led by the Duke of Suffolk
  • Charles was meant to send in reinforcements from the Netherlands, but let Henry down.
  • England was left alone to fight the French in France
  • Charles was more interested in securing his frontier in the Pyrenees and continuing the war in Northern Italy
  • Suffolk had begun to march on Paris however the weather worsened and he retreated back to Calais
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Lack of enthusiasm for war

Henry lost enthusiasm for war, he could not afford to now because:

  • the cost was too great
  • so far, the results had been disappointing
  • Henry would be expected to provide supplies and equipment for Charles V’s army and it was easy for France to intercept this transit

In 1525, circumstances changed again. Henry was beginning to contemplate divorce but Catherine of Aragon was Charles V’s aunt and so Charles would be unlikely to support Henry.

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Relationships with Charles V

  • Renewed war between Charles and Francis led to the capture of Francis after the battle of Pavia.
  • Henry felt he could share in the spoils of victory without having to go to war
  • Charles ignored Henry’s requests in the peace negotiations, he thought Henry had let him down
  • Charles married Isabella of Portugal instead of Princess Mary
  • 1526, Wolsey organised the League of Cognac between the states and France, aimed at resisting Charles’ intervention in Italy
  • England did not join but offered financial aid
  • Charles’ troops proved unstoppable
  • Duc de Bourbon invaded Rome on 6th May 1527 and subjected the city to immense slaughter. The Venetians asked Henry to intervene but he was too preoccupied with his ‘Great Matter’.
  • Spring 1527 Henry told Wolsey he wanted an annulment
  • Wolsey did not favour this idea and began to promote a French alliance
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