How Successful Was English Foreign Policy

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How successful was English foreign policy in the years 1509 - 1529? During these years Henry VIII was the monarch on the English throne, and his foreign policy reflected both his hunger for personal glory, and his desire to see England become a major power in Europe. During the later part of his reign, it seems his wish to control vast parts of Europe, and be an important player in politics, waned; but for the first twenty years of Henry's reign, from 1509-1529, important decisions and actions of the Monarch were dominated by foreign policy, and it was during this time that Thomas Wolsey, Henry's eventual right hand man, would rise to prominence. English policy enjoyed both successes and failures - but it is arguable as to what extent these successes reached. In 1511 was Henry's first opportunity to increase the reach of his control, and take part of France. King Louis XII, who the current ruler of France, had invaded Italy; leaving the Pope Julius II in a position where he was under threat. The Pope formed a Holy League agreement with Ferdinand, King of Spain, and as his son in-law, Henry offered his services. Henry joined the Holy League in the November of 1511, and in early 1512 he sent around 12,000 troops to invade southern France, led by the Marques of Dorset. However, Henry had not been aware that the Spanish had already defeated the French and made peace, and the soldiers that did not die of illness were sent home. This was a failure in that Henry felt humiliated in the eyes of the rest of the world, and felt let down by both the other members of the Holy League. However, an important lesson was learned about the workings of the European politics of the 16th century, and also about the capriciousness of its monarchs; working only in their own interests. What was learned from this early failure would shape Foreign Policy decisions in the years to come.
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