Which English sovereign was the greatest? Watch

carlisomes
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I'm going to use for this pre-Hanover because Georges I, II, III were essentially constitutional monarchs. Just my own view because a constitutional monarch doesn't have much power:

- Alfred the Great
- Aethelstan
- William I
- Edward I/Longshanks
- Henry VII
- Henry VIII
- Elizabeth I
- James I of England/James VI of Scotland
- William III
- Anne I

IMO they all had the most influence. I didn't include King John because whilst he signed Magna Carta, it only was because he lost the Baron War and was forced to ensure he wouldn't violate nobles' rights again. And he lost Normandy to France, which was more or less his family's homeland.
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RK
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(Original post by carlisomes)
I'm going to use for this pre-Hanover because Georges I, II, III were essentially constitutional monarchs. Just my own view because a constitutional monarch doesn't have much power:

- Alfred the Great
- Aethelstan
- William I
- Edward I/Longshanks
- Henry VII
- Henry VIII
- Elizabeth I
- James I of England/James VI of Scotland
- William III
- Anne I

IMO they all had the most influence. I didn't include King John because whilst he signed Magna Carta, it only was because he lost the Baron War and was forced to ensure he wouldn't violate nobles' rights again. And he lost Normandy to France, which was more or less his family's homeland.
The 'obvious' answer is Elizabeth I, given how she's regarded in lists of greatest Britons. She'd therefore come top of greatest English sovereigns.

So with this in mind, does anyone have a reason for anyone else to challenge her for the position?
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missfrivolous
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Elizabeth I surely. She put England on the map.
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lilyobz
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(Original post by carlisomes)
I'm going to use for this pre-Hanover because Georges I, II, III were essentially constitutional monarchs. Just my own view because a constitutional monarch doesn't have much power:

- Alfred the Great
- Aethelstan
- William I
- Edward I/Longshanks
- Henry VII
- Henry VIII
- Elizabeth I
- James I of England/James VI of Scotland
- William III
- Anne I

IMO they all had the most influence. I didn't include King John because whilst he signed Magna Carta, it only was because he lost the Baron War and was forced to ensure he wouldn't violate nobles' rights again. And he lost Normandy to France, which was more or less his family's homeland.
Henry VII - Undoubtedly the greatest monarch England has ever had, and established the greaty dynasty England has ever had, I have much admiration for him, a man with barely a claim to the throne of England but yet managed to hold on to the crown in the midst of the war of the roses.
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Jjj90
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Henry II, Edward III, Henry V.
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Old_Simon
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This is a very broad canvas for sure. E1 the obvious candidate. But what does "greatest" mean ? W1 had the biggest impact.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by lilyobz)
Henry VII - Undoubtedly the greatest monarch England has ever had, and established the greaty dynasty England has ever had, I have much admiration for him, a man with barely a claim to the throne of England but yet managed to hold on to the crown in the midst of the war of the roses.
You appear to have a very shaky grasp of GCSE history.
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Old_Simon
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Oh as an outside bet to be different H2 was outstanding.
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lilyobz
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
You appear to have a very shaky grasp of GCSE history.
I didnt do gsce history, but why do you say so?
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by lilyobz)
I didnt do gsce history, but why do you say so?
Well Henry VII never held on to his throne in the midst of the War of the Roses as you state. Its nonsense of sub GCSE understanding.
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carlisomes
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(Original post by RK)
The 'obvious' answer is Elizabeth I, given how she's regarded in lists of greatest Britons. She'd therefore come top of greatest English sovereigns.

So with this in mind, does anyone have a reason for anyone else to challenge her for the position?
I personally wouldn't say she was the best. For me, it's William I. Without him, there is no modern monarchy, no changes in the English language or legal system, no peerage system, no Hundred Years War, etc. Then after him, probably Alfred the Great, since his line (well not him but his grandson Aethelstan) turned back the Danes and made England a single country. Before that there was no England, just petty kingdoms.
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Meyrin
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Jane Grey.
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Old_Simon
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For me the best is Henry II. He was monumentally more powerful, educated and sophisticated than the Norman interlopers he displaced. In an enlightened reign we began the transition from conquest, submission and occupation to regaining our national identity and eventually emerging not only triumphant but supreme in the reign of Henry VIII.
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lilyobz
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
Well Henry VII never held on to his throne in the midst of the War of the Roses as you state. Its nonsense of sub GCSE understanding.
I wrote in the midst of the wars of the roses for poetic effect, the wars of the roses ended with his marriage to Elizabeth of York. I to have a grasp of history thank you very much..
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lilyobz
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Hmm maybe Aethelstan? There would be no England without him i guess?
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by lilyobz)
I wrote in the midst of the wars of the roses for poetic effect, the wars of the roses ended with his marriage to Elizabeth of York. I to have a grasp of history thank you very much..
No you don't.
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lilyobz
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
No you don't.
why so?
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TheHistoryStudent
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(Original post by lilyobz)
why so?
To be honest you've both got a point - you're right that Henry held onto his throne at a difficult time, seeing as how he faced down numerous plots and rebellions which had a chance (however slim) of replacing him, but equally, with hindsight, his rule really was more to the end of the wars, though that's something not necessarily thought by contemporaries. Whatever, it's poetic effect - don't feed people trying to get a reaction out of you.

Anyway, as for the OP's question - I think it depends on the categories by which you define greatest to be honest. Call it a cop-out if you want, but I think there is no "greatest" monarch, but it's best to look at the highest achievers considering the situation they inherited, the means they had at their disposal, and how secure/stable their legacy was. For me therefore, some of the greatest monarchs we've had, to limit myself to the ones I've learned about, are Edward I (because he managed to conquer Wales essentially and it was quite secure), Henry VII (given the way he managed to secure himself on the throne and start the process of breaking the nobility's power), and Elizabeth I (because she managed to provide some political and religious stability after the relatively poor, and short, rules of her siblings).
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Plantagenet Crown
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For me it would be Henry II and Edward IV
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lilyobz
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(Original post by TheHistoryStudent)
To be honest you've both got a point - you're right that Henry held onto his throne at a difficult time, seeing as how he faced down numerous plots and rebellions which had a chance (however slim) of replacing him, but equally, with hindsight, his rule really was more to the end of the wars, though that's something not necessarily thought by contemporaries. Whatever, it's poetic effect - don't feed people trying to get a reaction out of you.

Anyway, as for the OP's question - I think it depends on the categories by which you define greatest to be honest. Call it a cop-out if you want, but I think there is no "greatest" monarch, but it's best to look at the highest achievers considering the situation they inherited, the means they had at their disposal, and how secure/stable their legacy was. For me therefore, some of the greatest monarchs we've had, to limit myself to the ones I've learned about, are Edward I (because he managed to conquer Wales essentially and it was quite secure), Henry VII (given the way he managed to secure himself on the throne and start the process of breaking the nobility's power), and Elizabeth I (because she managed to provide some political and religious stability after the relatively poor, and short, rules of her siblings).
You're so awesome ! History undergrad i assume? XD
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