7 ‘Henry VIII’s foreign policy from 1509 to 1529 brought little benefit for England.’ How far do you agree?
No set answer is looked for but candidates will need to address the question. Candidates should consider what the achievements of Henry’s foreign policy were and can then use this as a basis to discuss their benefit. The territorial gains of Therouanne and Tournai brought little other than prestige and although they gave hope to Henry’s dream of obtaining the French throne, they were never built upon. In many ways victory at Flodden was more significant as it reduced the Scottish threat. There is likely to be some discussion of the benefits of the Treaty of London and the Field of the Cloth of Gold, which
although they put England at the centre of the European stage and made her appear to be
a major power, brought little of substance. Candidates may consider the alliances made at
various stages with France and Spain and whether they brought any gain other than
prestige and some might suggest that the number of times Henry was let down by allies
was a reflection of England’s limited power and this was made very evident at the end of
the period. It is possible that some will argue one achievement was having Wolsey made
Cardinal and that even this brought no gain as he was unable to bring about the divorce.
Candidates may conclude, as did much of the population by their refusal to pay the
Amicable Grant, that there was little gain from Henry’s aggressive policy.
8 How successful were Henry VIII’s wars with France and Scotland in the period from
1540 to 1547?
No set answer is looked for but candidates will need to address the question. Much of the
last years of Henry’s reign were spent at war with France and Scotland. The resounding
victory at Solway Moss in 1542 and the subsequent death of James V gave Henry an
opportunity to enforce his policy on Scotland. However, attempts to secure Edward’s...