Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What does the reign of Henry II suggest about the future of English foreign relations?

Henry the II was an aggressive ruler at the time of his reign (1133-1189), who not only saw himself as the king of England, but also as the Lord of his entire domain. This, to him, included the lands in France that once belonged to his grandfather Henry I. King Henry embraced his authority that he felt spread into foreign countries. Therefore, Henry I took on this idea of "Feudal Kingships" which was a rendition of imperialism.This staunch way of acquiring land, however, came to turn on Henry in his geopolitical relations. In France, for example, Henry gained Aquitaine but was chased out by King Luois's army when he tried run Toulouse into submission. Similarly to France, Henry tried to confine his vassal relationships within the rulers in Wales, inserting his feudal rule. This lead to battle that ended with Henry basically getting washed out of the Welsh terrain by the seasonal downpour. In Ireland and Scotland, his strength through foreign feudal relations crumbled to make rulers such as Hugh De Lacy stronger. Henry's rule through a feudal system left th many kings to follow having to rebuild the interactaction with the countries Henry I came in contact with. Resolving Henry's broken bridges were quite unsuccessful and turned out to be great barriers for the kings to come (BBC).

Source: "BBC - History - British History in Depth: King John and the Magna Carta." BBC - Homepage. Web. 07 Sept. 2010. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/middle_ages/magna_01.shtml>.
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