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King Henry VIII

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Unquestionably, modern film has taken enormous lengths to portray England’s King Henry VIII as a tyrannical monarch with an overwhelming libido who had absolute power over his realm; however, the true nature of the infamous king and his power over his nation are far more intriguing than cinema is capable of portraying. In reality, the power enjoyed by England’s most infamous monarch varied throughout his reign. Additionally, his power was easily manipulated by various courtiers or even his most personal advisors. Furthermore, the amount of influence exhibited over the monarch varied according to the individual motives of the courtier and the year in the king’s reign. In the early years of King Henry’s reign, the king was more preoccupied with enjoying the benefits of fame and power than with ruling his country. During this period, the king was young, energetic, athletic, and quite happy to embrace these qualities of youth. Unfortunately, this left a rather large void in terms of governing England. Into this void, stepped his most trusted advisor, Cardinal Wolsey. Wolsey, during the early years of King Henry’s reign, enjoyed an immense amount of power and influence over many different arenas of English society. He served in several different church positions, much to his contemporaries char grin, and he served as the Lord Chancellor of England from 1515 onwards until his eventual fall from the King’s grace. These positions rewarded Wolsey with an immense amount of influence over the young King Henry VIII and his power. As the king was preoccupied with his youth, he was quite happy letting the cardinal act in his stead. As one can well imagine, letting another act in one’s stead had a detrimental effect on the king’s power.... ... middle of paper ... ... his ruthlessness steadily progressed throughout his reign. Additionally, what begin as a likeable young king grew into a powerful tyrant who would leave England upon his death with a lasting legacy of cruelty, depravity, and the true perils of power. Unquestionably, King Henry VIII’s power is with the modern world still as it shaped the course of English history up to and including the present. Bibliography Bucholz, Robert, and Newton Key. Early Modern England 1485-1714 a Narrative History. Chichester: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2009. Clarke, Peter. "Canterbury as the New Rome: Dispensations and Henry VIII's Reformation." The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 64, no. 1 (2013): 20-44. Ives, E.W. "Henry VIII's Will: The Protectorate Provisions of 1546-7." The Historical Journal 37, no. 4 (1994): 901-14. Mantel, Hilary. Bring up the Bodies. New York: Picador, 2013.
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