Much debate and controversy surround the rise and fall of Richard the Third. It is hard to ignore such subjects due to the bonds and hidden reasons that many of the authors of the middle ages had towards Richard. In keeping an objective approach towards Richard III, the study of his rise and fall will be taken in the perspective of his royal acts and administration of England. Public sentiment over such things as the scandal surrounding the princes did have an effect over the rule of Richard, but there are many other underlying aspects that could have extended Richards rule, and changed the way history looks back on him.
Many historian look upon Richard as a villain. Others attribute this view as tainted due to the perverse nature of England following his reign, and the need for support of Henry Tudor's ascension to the throne. One aspect that almost all of the historian agree with is that Richard did have some moments where his actions were for the better of England. Looking at such actions can shed light on the true characteristics of his rule, and that he quite may have been a beneficial part of English history.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was the brother of King Edward IV of the House of York. The House of York had been in control of the throne of England for some time now, but with the entry of the Woodvilles, was in somewhat of a decline. Elizabeth Woodville, now queen to Edward, was thought of surrounded by sorcery, influencing Edward to the bidding of the Woodvilles and their rise to power. Edward's eldest son was in the primary care of the Woodvilles at the time of Edward's death, and had become very attached to influential lords in the family. These included his uncles, Rivers and Grey. They were rising lords who sought to control the young heir and supplant the House of York of their control of the throne. Thus enters Richard.
Richard was named protector of the prince and the country in Edwards will because Edward was in his minority. The new king would then take control of the country when he came of majority. This was commonplace in English history, even to the extreme of having infants play the part. Why was the Duke of Gloucester, Richard, so disturbed by this occurrence? Richard and many others in the family were afraid of the Woodville's influence over Edward once he came to majority. With this in mind,...
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...l him if Stanley turned against him. The Battle of Bosworth began and was over with little more than one hundred dead on the side of Henry. Richard's troops were unwilling to fight, and only those close to Richard politically took up arms in a futile attempt to stem the tide.
Richard is seen as a monster through history. Many people overlook the good he did in his legislation and charitable acts. A few open-minded scholars feel he could have been one of the most influential kings of England if the circumstances were different. How is anyone to judge such a person in such turbulent times? Richard was a product of his times, and he did what was necessary to survive in the political anarchy of the Middle Ages. If one was to look at Richard for a lesson to learn, there is much to take away from his experiences. Political decision making surrounds every aspect of Richard's life. His good and bad decisions are what made him immortal. You can see such prominent politicians today in the same light. They may not be killing each other, but politicians political lives sway in the wind just as gingerly if their decision making and policy are not supported, and backed strongly by their party.
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