How Far Did Factional Rivalry Threaten the Stability of Government in the Last Eight Years of Henry Vii’s Reign?

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The last years of Henrys reign was dominated by conservative and reformist factions . In this essay I will assess the extent of the threat created due to the rivalry of factions that had affected the stability of the government. The execution of Cromwell (1940) was a success for conservatives as was also Henrys marriage to Catharine Haword. The marriage was a gateway to influencing Henry by carving out a new royal policy via Catharine H. This increased tension between the Reformists and conservatives and so the reformists took action to destroy the reputations of Cahrine H , Duke of Norfolk and Gardiner. On the contrary this shows that the disputes between these factions may imply that the King was weak and not in control thus significantly threatening the stability of government . However the rivalry between factions could not be seen as an significant threat to Henrys government because a more important factor jeopardised the stability of the government. Foreign Policy dominates during the last years of Henrys VIIs reign. The difficulties in Scotland contributed greatly to financial complications thus effecting the stability of the government and shadowing the rivalry between reformist and conservatives which would suggest that the threat was not major. Henry was exposed to the pull of the factions but a new aristocratic approach to the government strengthened the conservative faction however with the arrest of Duke of Norfolk (1547) and the dismissal of Gardiner from the Privy Chamber the reformists gained the much needed advantage . This shows that there was a threat to the stability of the government as Henrys most trusted councillors seemed to become more radically involved in the faction rivalry during the last 8 years of Henrys reign. This may have added pressure on Henry and his deteriorating health thus he may have not been able
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