Henry VII and the countries of Europe.

each country.

HideShow resource information

What were Henry VIIs priorities in his relations w

There were 5...

1 of 22

1 - To secure the throne.Henry knew that during the wars of the roses three english kings had been defeated and killed by rivals supported by France or Burgundy. HE WAS NOT GOING TO JOIN THEM>

2 - To achieve international recognition of kingship and legitimate sucession.

- through marriage alliances with foreign royal families. Intermarriage = strong alliances.

3 - To promote prosperity in England.  England was an established trading nation which depended on internal peace and good commercial terms. Economic prosperity meant increasing employment and personal weath which reduced the risk of rebellion. Therefore SOCIAL STABILITY was more likely with ECONOMIC STABILITY.

4 - To maintain prestige whilst not overspending. Foriegn Wars were expensive and risky and had to be funded through extraordinary revenue usually taxation. Henry realised that the treasury was more secure as an ally rather than an instigator.Now a second ranked european power.

2 of 22

Who were the most important countries in 1485?


3 of 22

France - ruled by Charles VIII of the house of Valois - strongest power in europe - used it to annex other countries incl Brittany, Navarre and Burgundy. CONFLICT with others.

Spain - ruled by Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile from 1479 after their marriage in 1489. APPEARANCE of a unified country - aragon really far less significant than Castile. - Fought to expand territory against the muslims in the south and the french over the navarre.

The Holy Roman Empire - loose federation of German, Italian and French speaking "cantons" or areas. Emperor elected by 3 ARCHBISHOPS. NO central government so power and resources in emperors own lands. Dominated by the HAPSBURG dynasty.

The Duch of Burgundy - duchy to HAPSBURGS in 1477 after the death of Duke Charles the Bold. French king aimed to annex the duchy = franco - Hapsburg ARGUEMENT. mainly commercially important areas.

The italian states inc the papal states. papal states were in the centre of the country. North had city states - Florence, Milan and Venice. These states were at the centre of European trade and wealth - often fought over by foreign ruler.   

4 of 22

Henry's relations with foreign powers.

How can you describe Henry's philosophy in his foreign relations?

Why was it like this?

What became a huge problem for Henry?

How strong was Henry's inheritance in 1485?

How did Henry's foreign policy change throughout his reign?

5 of 22


1) Cautious - peace over war. Defensive.

2) In the 15th Century England was a middle ranking power. Henry had to react to events rather than dictate them like France, Spain and the unpredictable Hapsburg Dynasty. Reactive policy over events such as: Brittany crisis, sucession of castile, the outbreak of the Italian Wars, various pretenders and the acession of an anglophobic king in scotland.

3) The quality of information he based his decisions upon. Career diplomats were not yet employed so reports were complied by AMATEURS often noblemen. It was often inaccurate as they often misinterpreted foreign languages and procedures.

4) His inheritance was weak as he was a newly - crowned usurper with little credibility in Europe.

5) STarts is 1485. By 1500 he is stronger - peace with spain, ally of spain, support from the holy roman emperor, reconciliation with Burgundy had begun. By 1529 he was WEAK again because of a series of deaths, vulnerable to the franco - spanish alliances and excluded from the league of cambrai.

6 of 22

What happened during the Breton Crisis?

What were the main conflicting interests?

What were the three steps that happened during this conflict?

7 of 22

The Breton Crisis 1487 - 92. BRITTANY NOT BURGUNDY

1) Brittany = to maintain independance from France.

2) France = to absorb Brittany into the kingdom of France.

3) England = to honour Tudor's obligation to Brittany, while avoiding conflict with France.

4) Spain and the Holy Roman empire = to prevent France absorbing Brittany.

- 1487: the french regent declared the plan for Charles VIII to marry anne of Brittany.

- 1489: Treaty of Redon - Henry agreed with Ferdinand and Maximillian to build an anti - french alliance. Bretons agreed to cover the costs of the 3,000 strong Army. Made it clear that he was defending Brittany - NOT trying to claim the throne. HISTORIANS - actions minimal and defensive. More RECENTLY - more assertive. Bretons restricted the size of the army so there was no reconquest of former territories - Normandy and Guyenne.

- 1491: France took control of Brittany when Charles VIII married Anne. Henry reasserts his ancient claim to Francy and besieges Boulougne.

8 of 22

Breton Crisis Cont.

What was the outcome of the Breton Crisis?

9 of 22


1492: the TREATY OF ETAPLES....

- The French to pay an annual pension of 50,000 crowns.

- Charles VIII would not support any imposters.

- Henry would withdraw his English troops from Brittany.

10 of 22

How was Henry's relationship with France?

France was the DOMINANT power in Europe so MOST CHALLENGING relationship.

Why did Henry have to be very careful when dealing with the breton crisis?

11 of 22

In support of Brittany

- owed the Duke of Brittany a debt of loyalty for the shelter provided for him between 1471 - 1484.

- additional territory would make France even WEALTHIER, thus reducing the possibility of England claiming the French throne.

- French expansion threatened SECURITY. Both on the south coast and in Calais.

- Could threaten English trade in the channel.

BUT - he was WEAK so had to look for ALLIES.

- Maximillian of BURGUNDY and Ferdinand of SPAIN did not want France any stronger than they already were so sent troops in 1487 as a show of opposition. Then DISTRACTED by other Wars (Max Vs Hungary and Ferdinand Vs the moors.) leaving Henry to ACT ALONE in 1488.

12 of 22


Who were the key people in Burgundy?

13 of 22

Maximillian of Burgundy, King of the Romans,

Maximillian = Mary of Burgundy (Daughter of Charles the Bold who was the duke of Burgundy.)

Through the marriage he inherited Lands in Burgundy.

1493 - 1529 (his death) = Holy Roman Emperor. Making him VERY POWERFUL.

Philip of Burgundy

- Son of Maximillian of Hapsburg and Mary of Burgundy.- also known as Philip the fair.

- Married Joanna of Castile - they had a son names Charles in 1500.


14 of 22

Burgundy 2

Why did england under YORKIST kings have good relations with burgundy? 

Why did it change under Tudor?

When and what happened to make relations deteriorate even further?

15 of 22

- burgundy achieved independance from France so was naturally anti-french.

- England's major exports WOOL + WOOLEN CLOTH went through Burgundian markets. Good relations = commercial sucess.

2) Margerat of Burgundy HATED Tudor. Max also plotted against him when it suited.

Treaty of DORDRECHT - 1489 - Max agrees to send troops to Brittany in return for Henry sending troops to assist him. Maximillian DID NOT SEND TROOPS. Concentrated on issues in Hungary and then made peace with Charles VIII.

3) 1493 - Philip takes over direct rule of Burgundy when max is promoted to Holy Roman Emperor. Henry writes to Philip protesting about Margerat's continued support for Perkin Warbeck but was IGNORED.

Henry retaliated by BANNING burgundian merchants from england + embargo on english trade with burgundy until 1496. Personal matters MORE important that the economy.

16 of 22

Burgundy 3.

What happened to improve relations with Burgundy?

17 of 22


1495 - WARBECK LEAVES Burgundy. Maximillian wanted English Support for his campaign against France forcing Margerat to back down.

Henry and Philip had suffered from the commercial restriction of the emnbargo and agreed to Intercursus Magnus THE GREAT SETTLEMENT in 1496 - removing trade barriers.

Relations were better but not easier Philip continued to harbour YORKISTS and Henry was not going to back the hapsburgs against the Valois (THE FRENCH.)

18 of 22

The death of Isabella of Castile.

Who was involved?

Why did it happen?

Who did henry back and Why?

What happened next?

19 of 22

1) The death of Isabella caused the Castilian sucession crisis in 1504.

2) BURGUNDY AND SPAIN - and England of course! Philip V Ferdinand to gain control of castile.

3) Henry chose to back philip because - he wanted to protect english trade with burgundy.

- saw an opportunity to negotiate an advantage marriage for prince henry to philip's daughter Eleanor.

 - Max was sheltering the leading yorkist pretender Edmund de la pole the duke of suffolk. Henry hoped to gain custody of suffolk by backing philip.

4) Philip aimed to go to Castile with Joanna to pre-empt Ferdinand. During the voyage they got caught in a storm so were forced to seek shelter in England. Henry made sure they were entertained and negotiated the TREATY OF WINDSOR.

20 of 22

What was the treaty of Windsor?

What happened to make it go wrong?

21 of 22

1) Negiotiated INTERCURSUS MALUS - better trading terms that in Intercursus Magnus. In favour of English merchants.

2) Philip ensured Suffolk, the yorkist pretender, would be handed over providing Henry VII promised not to kill him.

3) Henry recognised Philip and Joanna as the rulers of castile.

4) Henry would marry Philip's sister - Margerat of Savoy.

- Later that year philip died, joanna went mad and Ferdinand claimed Castile himself. Maximillian gained Burgundy for his young son. Henry was isolated in Europe. Margerat refused to marry Henry.

- Only advantage was earl of suffolk was already in custody.

22 of 22


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all British monarchy - Tudors and Stuarts resources »