Tudor A level History EssayWatch
The question is 'Using your understanding of the historical context, assess how convincing the arguments in these three extracts are in relation to the successfulness of the reign of Henry VII, 1485-1509.'
These are the extracts:
Extract A: Adapted from C. Pendrill, The Wars of the Roses and Henry VII: England 1459-1509, (2004), p. 200:
“… Henry VII was very fortunate to hold onto power and to hand the crown on to his son. Henry’s good fortune can be seen in winning the battles of Bosworth and Stoke; inheriting a nobility that was smaller and less powerful than it had been for a century or more; and inheriting a diplomatic situation where England’s main enemy, France, took a serious interest in Italy. Nonetheless, he did face serious threats at home and abroad which could have unseated his regime at any time in the first fourteen years of his reign. In the end, good fortune was more important than good government in keeping Henry VII on the throne!”
Extract B: Adapted from S. B. Chrimes, Henry VII, (1981), p. 320-321:
‘His reign was unspectacular and though full of surprising and striking events, not at any point sensational, glamorous or dramatic. But his service to the realm were immeasurable, far greater than he himself could have imagined por predicted. His regime produced a pacification, an orderliness, a cohesion, a viability in the forms and machinery of government, a sustained effectiveness without which the stability and consolidation could not have been obtained, and provided an indispensable standpoint for subsequent growth and flowering. It vindicated the achievements of the past, and provided potential for the fluorescence of the later Tudor period. It brought England on towards its ‘manifest destiny’ as Great Britain.
He brought pacification, albeit temporary, into relations with Scotland, the matrimonial alliance that was to usher in the formation of the greater kingdom.’
Extract C: Adapted from Susan Doran, England and Europe, 1485-1603, (1986):
‘Henry’s foreign policy failed in detail; neither the expedition to relieve Brittany, nor the attempts to isolate Ferdinand after 1507 were a success. His policy also proved expensive; between 1505 and 1509 he gave £342,000 in cash, plate or jewels to the Hapsburgs. Yet when Henry died, he left his country and dynasty internationally secure. There was no great threat of foreign military intervention in England’s internal affairs. Henry’s success can be judged by comparing his weakness in 1485 with his strength towards the end of his reign. This success was based on the firm foundation of domestic strength and realistic objectives in foreign policy.’
Thank you so much, I have so many essays and exams this week it will really save my grades!!
Just to clarify, though your teacher may have been referring to them as "sources", I'm calling them historical interpretations because they're extracts from academic sources telling you the historians opinion(s) about the past.
I follow this plan when writing my sources:
1) Read the question and highlight the key phrases. What is the focus of the question?
2) Draw this table for the plan:
3) Read the 3 extracts and fill in the table above, understand their main argument / interpretation, selecting key, short quotes for the other two columns. Use two different highlighters, one for convincing and one for unconvincing.
4) Write down what you know about the historical event(s) and issue(s) tackled
5) Write down what you know about the context
6) Write down anything you may know about the historian and that particular historical debate
7) Write your essay! (Remember that each source is like its own mini essay, don't waste time linking the sources together or writing intros or conclusions. You can write mini intros and conclusions, though, for each source paragraph).
Hope this helps.