With the Battle of Bosworth won, Henry Tudor, now known as King
Henry VII, had to solve the problem of ending any future conflict
or further civil war.
The two major
short-term problems to solve were:
- To end
the power of powerful families and great Lords who might in
the future rebel against him.
- To find
a way in which both the Yorkists and Lancastrians can begin
to put their differences aside.
In the long-term
Henry has to find a way to create a united and strong England
with an important role to play in Europe.
Ending the Power of the Lords
Henry abolished all private armies of the great Lords. This became
a crime of treason punishable by death for anyone to disobey the
taxed the Lords heavily in order to reduce their wealth and to
restrict their opportunities to rebel against the King. The money
Henry raised by this taxation paid for his own royal army which
kept the Lords in check.
was further strengthened through the 'Court of the Star Chamber'. This was a court of law, run by men
loyal to Henry, which tried and fined Lords who were thought to
be disrespectful to the King.
Lancaster and York
This was never going to be easy after long years of rivalry and
bitterness. Henry managed to gain some time to put his plans into
action by marrying Elizabeth of York, the daughter of King Edward
IV. By doing this, Henry showed that it was possible to put family
differences aside. This meant that the hatred which had existed
for so many decades between the Houses of Lancaster and York could
now begin to subside.
Henry's policies proved successful. England without the internal
conflicts of civil war was able to enter a period of relative
peace. Trade improved both within England and with other countries.
Henry's vision of a united, powerful country began to take shape.
England was able to play an important role in the Tudor exploration
of the 'New World'.
VII's great legacy was to lay the foundations for the future
development of England as a nation state and for its powerful
position in the world.