Henry’s aims since he came to the throne in1509 was glory, he thought he could get this through vast amount of money. Henry at the time was almost broke and therefore needed “glory” quickly, and the way Henry came up with to make money and gain glory was via war. He needed to attack France but he had no money, Wolsey raised the funds and so became very close to Henry and he went on to gain “glory”. Although Henry was satisfied with the war he still wanted more glory and to be a dominant figure in Europe.
Unfortunately Henry had not achieved his aims by 1529, this was due to a number of reasons, one being that the other powers in Europe were much bigger and grew faster than Henry so he could not keep up. One important reason for Henry’s failure to achieve his aims were a number of “set backs” during 1509 and 1529. One of these set backs comes as early as 1514 where even though Henry has “won” the war between France and England he is still in essence broke, this makes it hard for Henry to have any impact on foreign politics and does not put him in a good position to go to war again.
Henry gets an opportunity to become a leading figure in Europe in 1518 with the Treaty of London, but unfortunately the Turkish never really attack so Henry’s power goes to waste. In 1523 Henry is on course for taking over France (being only 50 miles outside Paris with 10,000 troops) but his alliance breaks down and he is forced to retreat. This shows that he was close to being a dominant force in European politics but just missed out due to this major setback. Henry’s lack of military power was another thing that set him apart from the rest of Europe.
Due to the fact that Henry was not as big as the other countries and that he could not pay his soldiers as much Henry simply did not have as bigger army as other dominant powers. This depicted Henry as weak to his fellow leaders, thus making him seem unimportant and not worth taking too much notice of. Wolsey was one of the reasons that Henry did not achieve his aims, this is because however much Wolsey helped Henry he would always be against him due to his want of the papacy.
This meant that Henry never got what he quite wanted, and his ideas were always slightly adjusted, thus never giving Henry’s desired outcome. The relationships within Europe were another reason Henry’s aims were never accomplished, Wolsey would make alliances but Henry would regularly fall out with the other leaders splitting up the alliances. For example in 1516 Henry weakens his alliance with the Empire by falling out with Max. The traditional view of France as the enemy meant that Henry never really had an alliance with France.
The major blow was when Wolsey missed out on the France + Empire + Pope Treaty, this showed Henry was not a dominant as he was not respected enough to be asked into the alliance. Henry was competing against very powerful kings in Europe, thus finding it hard to make an impact on foreign politics. Charles the 5th controlled most of Europe making him very powerful militarily and dominating most of Europe. Whereas Henry had England which was relatively small and had a small population.
Francis 1st has vast amounts of money that gave him respect and the ability to do things he wanted such as build an army or show off his wealth (the field of cloth and gold). Whereas Henry was almost broke and struggled to raise funds to go to war. In conclusion Henry’s lack of power and dominance and the fact there were strong leaders in Europe meant he was not taken as seriously as the others, and he could do nothing to make them listen, as he simply did not have the resources to challenge them.
The other greater powers meant Henry had no chance of coming into line with them as he could not grow in power quicker than them, especially with the money he had. If Henry had gone with Wolsey’s ideas totally then Henry may have found his glory in peace rather than war, and in turn saved more money. This would have meant he could have executed his foreign policy better. Unfortunately this never happened therefore meaning that Henry never achieved his foreign policy aims by 1529.