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Henry Viii Foreign Policy

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Submitted By marchieturner
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How far do Source 1 and Source 2 suggest that the young Henry VIII saw the nobility as his friends and supporters?
Sources 1 and 2 have very different ideas of whether Henry VIII saw the nobility as his friends and supporters, as initially both sources seem very contradictive of each other. Source 1 is very based around the idea of a Henry seeing a friendship between him and the nobility whereas Source 2 suggests that Henry and the nobility had a very conflicting relationship which was not friendly in any aspect. However there are further aspects in the Sources which both agree with one another in the portrayal that they Henry did see the nobility as his friends and supporters.
Source 1 portrays that Henry did see the nobility as his friends and supporters rather extensively as in the source they are seen together attending the Queen’s chamber, which suggests that Henry entrusts the nobility with the privilege of entering the Queen’s chamber which would’ve been quite an honourable proposition. The way in which the king and the nobility are seen here working together differs to the suggestions in source 2 which illustrates that their relationship is very unequal. Source 2 says that “the King has commanded all the lords and most of the nobles..” this proclaims that the King was determined to obtain the majority of the control and that Henry saw no significant friendship between the nobility and the King. On the other hand, source 2 signifies that Henry relied on the nobility to provide men and support the monarch in their military role, as partners in government. This evident partnership does suggest Henry saw some sort of support and friendship between the two otherwise Henry wouldn’t put his trust in the nobility to sort important matters. This concept would’ve been fairly reliable as both sources do correspond with this idea that there was a clear partnership, as both sources were written at the same time as Henry VIII so it would be from primary sources so little alterations through time would’ve altered the accuracy.
Source 1 further agrees that the Henry saw the nobility as his friends and supporters as they are shown as companions at dinner, taking part in entertainment, and it quotes “they all laughed and danced” and “joked with all” these statements from source 1 indicate that the King did see the nobility in fact as his friends and supporters as laughing and dancing would suggest a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere with people you would feel comfortable with and this would highlight a friendship as there is clearly no tension or no hierarchy noted. Source 1 however may be fairly biased and unreliable in the way that their relationship is illustrated as friendly because the source was a description from Henry’s point of view and the festivities were controlled and organised by the King so his judgement of the situation and his pleasure may have altered the truth, especially as Henry would’ve wanted people to believe he was powerful, which having a strong friendship and lots of support from the nobility would provide.
In Source 1 the King arranged for light-hearted entertainment where he had the nobility “parade in strange costumes” this suggests that the King’s relationship with the nobility wasn’t primarily professional as the messing around suggests he saw them as in fact friends. This suggestions contradicts what is said in source 2 where Henry is seen issuing orders against retaining and threatening those that do not comply with his instructions, it states “the king commands to cease forthwith… or bear the King’s anger and indignation, to their great danger and peril” this proposes that Henry was incredibly controlling and intolerant which completely contradicts with the idea that he saw the nobility as his friends and supporters. Source 2 here is more reliable because it is a proclamation by Henry VIII which is in fact a law so it accurately reflects Henry’s actual opinion, which differs to source 1 as it is a description from Henry which may have in fact been biased and based on what Henry wanted people to believe his relationship with the nobility was like, not based on the truth.
To conclude, it can be argued that Sources 1 and 2 are in agreement that Henry saw the nobility as his friends and supporters as he relied on them as partners in government which suggests he trusted them and this supports the idea that they were in fact his friends and supporters. However, the sources widely differ in their suggestions of Henry’s perception whether the nobility was in fact Henry’s friends and supporters or not as source 1 extensively agrees that Henry saw the nobility as his friends and supporters as the source contains lot of content which describes laughing, dancing and joking around which is not professional but more personal and friendly. On the other hand source 2 shows Henry in a very aggressive, controlling manor which contradicts the idea that he may see them as a friends and supporters, so in summary, at face value the sources directly contradict each other, with slight similarities in the way Henry relied on them in helping him control the government.

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