King Henry VIII: The Royal Court, Allies, and Enemies that Shaped the Course of History

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King Henry VIII: The Royal Court, Allies, and Enemies that Shaped the Course of History
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius

“In 1509, Henry VIII ascended to the British throne. Henry VIII thoroughly enjoyed pageantry and spectacle which is why he crafted his court around the concept of an Italian Renaissance stylized court.

The beginning of Henry VIII’s reign was met with the same enthusiasm as that of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Oath of Office ceremony in 1961, as new hopes supported by the ideas of these new leaders was ever present.

Society within England during this feudal age was highly stratified and rigidly structured with class dictating virtually everything as it was viewed and accepted that a person could only be born into greatness and therefore inherited this greatness as a birthright without the need for work.

“Henry VIII’s court was dominated by the wealthy, land owning aristocracy with these aristocrats able to advise Henry VIII upon matters of policy, a right afforded to these individuals because of their high ranking status within society.

Henry VIII had an immense ego and would implement changes to fit this accord (e.g. refusing to be referred to as “sire” instead demanding the address of “your majesty” etc.).

Henry VIII had a natural paranoia which stemmed from his unsteady foundation as the only person provided with the divine right to rule England. A generation prior, Henry VIII’s father, minor noble person Henry Tudor, lead his faction to victory during the civil war which broke out between the English aristocracy. Because of this, rival noble families still populated the royal court despite Henry VIII being installed to reign over it. These members of the court were both an aide and a threat to Henry VIII as many of them had multiple viable and legitimate claims to Henry VIII’s throne, with some owning claims as strong as Henry VIII if not more durable in terms of legitimacy. This forced Henry VIII into a heightened state of paranoia, often acting swiftly, decisively, and brutally.”

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