King Henry VIII 1509-1547

February 16, 2012 by staff 

King Henry VIII 1509-1547, Henry VIII (1509 – 1547)

Henry VIII became the King of England after the death of his father Henry VII. He was just 18 years of the age at that time. He was a man of great qualities. He had learned administration from his father. Apart from being a good administrator he was also a man of letters and interested in music and art. His father handed over a strong kingdom to him. Henry VIII was one of the greatest statesmen that England had. He offered great services to the nation. He established law and order when it was much required. He also boldly separated the Pope from his administration.

Thus, he also brought about the reformation in England. As peace prevailed, Trade, Commerce and Industry flourished and the economic status of English people improved greatly. Henry also worked for the development of the naval authority of England. He encouraged the building of modern ships for navigation.

The relations of Henry VIII with his parliament were unique. He took great interest in the progress of the parliament. Even though he kept the parliament under his full control, he called repeated sessions of the parliament to take major decisions. He himself never acted against the will of the Parliament.

1.6a Major Domestic Policy of Henry VIII

Although Henry VIII was a despotic king his people supported him greatly. His decisions were mostly according to the desire of the people. His strong army protected the people from frequent civil wars in England. Like his father he also made many forced loans. Due to this he could acquire a lot of money for his treasury, which he used for the implementation of his policies.

The Navy was the real strength of England. Foreigners were always cautious of this English strength. The credit for it goes to Henry VIII who made special efforts towards the building of ships.

1.6b Foreign Policy of Henry VIII

The aims of Henry VIII’s foreign policy were:

- To maintain the balance of power in Europe.

- To resist the power of the enemies of England.

- To dominate European politics.

Henry joined the Holy League with the intention of driving France out of Italy. He made peace with France through the marriage alliance of his sister Mary with Louis XII of France. But after the terms of his alliance with Spain expired, Henry declared war with France. By doing this he also checked the increase in the power of Charles V of Spain.

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