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can anyone mark my 16 mark gcse history question

"Wolsey's foreign policy was a massive failure" How far do you agree? (16 marks)


Wolsey was lord chancellor and was the person that henry went to whenever he needed advice or help. Wolsey had failed with his domestic reforms. This began the start of the fall of Wolsey. I fully agree with this statement because there is a lot of evidence that suggests his foreign policies were a massive failure.


I agree with this statement because of the treaty of Cambrai. Following Francis’ defeat to Charles The treaty of Cambrai was a treaty where Francis and Charles made peace with each other. However henry and Wolsey were only informed of this at the very last minute which meant that England were no longer seen to be an equal to both France and the Habsburg empire. In addition to this it would have meant that England were not really considered to be an ally of either side. These things would have been a massive failure from Wolsey because he failed to show that England were worthy of being an equal to France and the Habsburg empire.

Another reason I agree with this statement is because of the field of the cloth of gold. In 1520 there was a meeting between Francis I (king of France) and king Henry VIII ( king of England). This consisted of feasting jousting and a wrestling match between the two kings. Although this may have brought prestige to Henry, its original aim was to strengthen the relationship with France. However, this policy failed to do this as there was no improvement in the relationship between France and England as 2 years later the 2 countries were at war with each other. Another negative impact from thus was that Spain was beginning to become very suspicious that England were taking sides with France. This would have made Spain more likely to go against England if anything had happened. Wolsey failed with this foreign policy as it did not improve the relationship between Francis and Henry as he originally had intended.

On the other hand some people may disagree with this statement because of the treaty of London. This foreign policy was where Wolsey had organised Europe's 20 leading rulers which consisted of countries such as Spain and France and the pope (which were 2 of the most powerful countries at the time) to meet up and they had agreed to sign something that states that none of these countries would attack each other and if one power did go to war all of the other powers would turn against the aggressor and punish them. This was a massive success for many reasons such as it brought immense prestige to Henry VIII as he was seen as the great European peacemaker. It also placed England right in the centre of European diplomacy. Another success was that England was starting to be seen as a significant power like France and Spain. This foreign policy overall was a huge success as it brought great power to England and gave Henry VIII great prestige.

In conclusion, I agree with this statement because Wolsey's policies had failed to bring prestige to England and henry as England were not seen as a significant power by France and Spain because England were only notified of the treaty of Cambrai at the very last minute. Wolsey also failed to improve the relationship between France and England in the field of the cloth of gold because 2 years after this war had already broken out between France and England.
Original post by kyefrankie
"Wolsey's foreign policy was a massive failure" How far do you agree? (16 marks)


Wolsey was lord chancellor and was the person that henry went to whenever he needed advice or help. Wolsey had failed with his domestic reforms. This began the start of the fall of Wolsey. I fully agree with this statement because there is a lot of evidence that suggests his foreign policies were a massive failure.


I agree with this statement because of the treaty of Cambrai. Following Francis’ defeat to Charles The treaty of Cambrai was a treaty where Francis and Charles made peace with each other. However henry and Wolsey were only informed of this at the very last minute which meant that England were no longer seen to be an equal to both France and the Habsburg empire. In addition to this it would have meant that England were not really considered to be an ally of either side. These things would have been a massive failure from Wolsey because he failed to show that England were worthy of being an equal to France and the Habsburg empire.

Another reason I agree with this statement is because of the field of the cloth of gold. In 1520 there was a meeting between Francis I (king of France) and king Henry VIII ( king of England). This consisted of feasting jousting and a wrestling match between the two kings. Although this may have brought prestige to Henry, its original aim was to strengthen the relationship with France. However, this policy failed to do this as there was no improvement in the relationship between France and England as 2 years later the 2 countries were at war with each other. Another negative impact from thus was that Spain was beginning to become very suspicious that England were taking sides with France. This would have made Spain more likely to go against England if anything had happened. Wolsey failed with this foreign policy as it did not improve the relationship between Francis and Henry as he originally had intended.

On the other hand some people may disagree with this statement because of the treaty of London. This foreign policy was where Wolsey had organised Europe's 20 leading rulers which consisted of countries such as Spain and France and the pope (which were 2 of the most powerful countries at the time) to meet up and they had agreed to sign something that states that none of these countries would attack each other and if one power did go to war all of the other powers would turn against the aggressor and punish them. This was a massive success for many reasons such as it brought immense prestige to Henry VIII as he was seen as the great European peacemaker. It also placed England right in the centre of European diplomacy. Another success was that England was starting to be seen as a significant power like France and Spain. This foreign policy overall was a huge success as it brought great power to England and gave Henry VIII great prestige.

In conclusion, I agree with this statement because Wolsey's policies had failed to bring prestige to England and henry as England were not seen as a significant power by France and Spain because England were only notified of the treaty of Cambrai at the very last minute. Wolsey also failed to improve the relationship between France and England in the field of the cloth of gold because 2 years after this war had already broken out between France and England.

You clearly have the knowledge and this answer has lots of potential to be really good!

Good points:
- you include both sides of the argument
- you make some good evaluative points in your first two paragraphs
- you link back to the question really well at the end of paragraphs and in your conclusion

A few suggestions for improvements:
- try to avoid using 'I' lots in an essay; saying it once or twice is fine, but try to limit it to that
- you have to evaluate whatever the flip side is to your argument. You agree with the statement, so what have the people who disagree got wrong? was its success only small? how was it limited? it can be successful in some ways but still a failure overall, but you have to explain why you think that
- you do not need to put (King of France) or similar after the name of a key person, the person marking will know exactly who the key people in your syllabus are
- SPELLING and GRAMMAR. This is always one of the biggest let downs for students and it is so easy to fix. Take your time, it is just as important as what you write and you get marked on it!
- your first paragraph is too short. Especially as your first point it needs to be strong, well-supported and evaluated

advice: find some model answers to 16 mark questions and pay special attention to how they use the words of the question in their answer. This can be tricky to figure out without seeing any examples and I think you would benefit from it.

Overall, a good attempt with space for improvement and lots of potential! I would think you may be looking at anywhere between a 10-12 for this, higher if the simple spelling mistakes are omitted (poor spelling and grammar will, unfortunately, hold you back!)
Reply 2
Original post by c.donnelly
You clearly have the knowledge and this answer has lots of potential to be really good!

Good points:
- you include both sides of the argument
- you make some good evaluative points in your first two paragraphs
- you link back to the question really well at the end of paragraphs and in your conclusion

A few suggestions for improvements:
- try to avoid using 'I' lots in an essay; saying it once or twice is fine, but try to limit it to that
- you have to evaluate whatever the flip side is to your argument. You agree with the statement, so what have the people who disagree got wrong? was its success only small? how was it limited? it can be successful in some ways but still a failure overall, but you have to explain why you think that
- you do not need to put (King of France) or similar after the name of a key person, the person marking will know exactly who the key people in your syllabus are
- SPELLING and GRAMMAR. This is always one of the biggest let downs for students and it is so easy to fix. Take your time, it is just as important as what you write and you get marked on it!
- your first paragraph is too short. Especially as your first point it needs to be strong, well-supported and evaluated

advice: find some model answers to 16 mark questions and pay special attention to how they use the words of the question in their answer. This can be tricky to figure out without seeing any examples and I think you would benefit from it.

Overall, a good attempt with space for improvement and lots of potential! I would think you may be looking at anywhere between a 10-12 for this, higher if the simple spelling mistakes are omitted (poor spelling and grammar will, unfortunately, hold you back!)

thank you for taking the time out to mark my answer. I really value your comments and I found them really helpful.
Reply 3
Original post by kyefrankie
"Wolsey's foreign policy was a massive failure" How far do you agree? (16 marks)


Wolsey was lord chancellor and was the person that henry went to whenever he needed advice or help. Wolsey had failed with his domestic reforms. This began the start of the fall of Wolsey. I fully agree with this statement because there is a lot of evidence that suggests his foreign policies were a massive failure.


I agree with this statement because of the treaty of Cambrai. Following Francis’ defeat to Charles The treaty of Cambrai was a treaty where Francis and Charles made peace with each other. However henry and Wolsey were only informed of this at the very last minute which meant that England were no longer seen to be an equal to both France and the Habsburg empire. In addition to this it would have meant that England were not really considered to be an ally of either side. These things would have been a massive failure from Wolsey because he failed to show that England were worthy of being an equal to France and the Habsburg empire.

Another reason I agree with this statement is because of the field of the cloth of gold. In 1520 there was a meeting between Francis I (king of France) and king Henry VIII ( king of England). This consisted of feasting jousting and a wrestling match between the two kings. Although this may have brought prestige to Henry, its original aim was to strengthen the relationship with France. However, this policy failed to do this as there was no improvement in the relationship between France and England as 2 years later the 2 countries were at war with each other. Another negative impact from thus was that Spain was beginning to become very suspicious that England were taking sides with France. This would have made Spain more likely to go against England if anything had happened. Wolsey failed with this foreign policy as it did not improve the relationship between Francis and Henry as he originally had intended.

On the other hand some people may disagree with this statement because of the treaty of London. This foreign policy was where Wolsey had organised Europe's 20 leading rulers which consisted of countries such as Spain and France and the pope (which were 2 of the most powerful countries at the time) to meet up and they had agreed to sign something that states that none of these countries would attack each other and if one power did go to war all of the other powers would turn against the aggressor and punish them. This was a massive success for many reasons such as it brought immense prestige to Henry VIII as he was seen as the great European peacemaker. It also placed England right in the centre of European diplomacy. Another success was that England was starting to be seen as a significant power like France and Spain. This foreign policy overall was a huge success as it brought great power to England and gave Henry VIII great prestige.

In conclusion, I agree with this statement because Wolsey's policies had failed to bring prestige to England and henry as England were not seen as a significant power by France and Spain because England were only notified of the treaty of Cambrai at the very last minute. Wolsey also failed to improve the relationship between France and England in the field of the cloth of gold because 2 years after this war had already broken out between France and England.

I would give this around 12~13 marks, having sufficient evidence and explanation. The best thing I can say is that the language used needs to be a lot more, I suppose formal. For example, in the phrase you used "they had agreed to sign something" in paragraph 4, the word "something" would imply that you do not understand what you are talking about, therefore I would personally say that they had signed a document or a treaty (I cannot remember which it was off of the top of my head).
I would also suggest, although this is not as important, to put the sentence against your point at the start. It would be a bit 'weird' for you to place your point and then argue against it, especially without determining how relevant you think said point is and why (which you didn't do. If you prefer to keep to the style of this paragraph for extra mark talking about the relevance of the against point). You wouldn't specifically be marked down for doing this, but you might -don't take my word for it- get an extra mark for it. If your not sure how to start with the arguing against point, you can always start off with the phrase "Some may believe that [the point your arguing against] because of [evidence to support this point]. However, this is not relevant because [evidence to support your point]." or something along those lines.
Good luck!! I myself am working on this topic right now, and I took most of this advice from my history teacher, so I may be a bit dodgy not exactly knowing the mark scheme :smile:

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