Yaakov ben Avraham

King Henry VIII.
« on: December 10, 2013, 10:04:16 AM »
I'm currently listening to a song, 'The Ballad of Queen Jane'. The 3rd wife of Henry VIII, she gave him his son, & died to do it. But the song leads me to reflect on the reign of Henry. I know the man well. My MA thesis was on Henry & the Royal Supremacy. I would like to follow it up w/ another book, this to explain the truth of the man, rather than the half-truths & outright slander that we are taught in school. There's no doubt Henry had faults. But overall, he was 1 of the most brilliant monarchs England has had. I intend to write in order to change people's minds & make this much misunderstood man who gave so much to his country a level of humanity that most books on him lack, due either to ignorance, or because the author has an axe to grind. Thoughts, anyone?

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Offline Ghost Spaghetti

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Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 11:25:07 AM »
The sacking of the monastries and the forced, violent religious conversions was good? His invasion(s) of france were an economic disaster, he spent away a massive treasury surplus, his building of the Royal Navy was an ecological disaster for the south-west, he allowed Cromwell free-reign to terrorise Ireland.

I'd like to know what you thought was good about his rule.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 12:55:31 PM »
As re: Ireland, NO English King has EVER been good. Under Elizabeth, 41% of Ireland starved to death. The building of the Navy was no more ecologically damaging than any military activity was in that century anywhere in Europe. The forced religious changes would never have been tolerated by a population that was fully armed if they had been objected to that highly. Say what you want about people being forced, but the majority of England either supported the religious changes, or didn't care much. & the religious changes allowed England to develop the centralised state that would be needed later. I'll grant that he was prodigal w/ money. & yes, his French campaign wasn't helpful. But that is balanced by the Battle of Flodden, where 10,000 Scots (which included the King & most of the aristoracy) were wiped out. The Dissolution of the Monasteries, while harsh, also could have been resisted by an armed population. It wasn't. Henry enabled England to be truly English for the first time. I'll note also that the

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 01:01:40 PM »
official language of government was switched from Norman French to English by Henry, thus allowing for the development of the language & nation along nationalist lines. This nationalist development was needed @ a time when, in order to survive & prosper, every other nation in Europe was doing the same. The fact that such radical changes in England were necessary only points out that EVERY country, even the RC ones, were enforcing religious uniformity. Ever heard of the Spanish Inquision? They were all building militaries @ frightful ecological costs. You can't judge Henry by 21st century standards. By 16th century standards, he was damned good, I think.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 01:10:17 PM by Yaakov ben Avraham »

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 06:17:50 PM »
As re: Ireland, NO English King has EVER been good. Under Elizabeth, 41% of Ireland starved to death.

That does not make him good, just equally as bad.

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The building of the Navy was no more ecologically damaging than any military activity was in that century anywhere in Europe.

Again, just as bad... Not good.

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The forced religious changes would never have been tolerated by a population that was fully armed if they had been objected to that highly. Say what you want about people being forced, but the majority of England either supported the religious changes, or didn't care much. & the religious changes allowed England to develop the centralised state that would be needed later.

This is a highly speculative contention.  There could be a great number of explanations, such as fear of reprisal against the general population by the better equipped and trained British Army.

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I'll grant that he was prodigal w/ money. & yes, his French campaign wasn't helpful. But that is balanced by the Battle of Flodden, where 10,000 Scots (which included the King & most of the aristoracy) were wiped out.

Oh, so a massacre of 10,000 Scots is a redemptive act for wasting money.  Tell me more.

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The Dissolution of the Monasteries, while harsh, also could have been resisted by an armed population. It wasn't. Henry enabled England to be truly English for the first time.

Again, highly speculative, and you are also assuming that a monastery is something that a populist movement might have frequent contact with.  Monasteries are not always in the center of a town.

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I'll note also that the official language of government was switched from Norman French to English by Henry, thus allowing for the development of the language & nation along nationalist lines. This nationalist development was needed @ a time when, in order to survive & prosper, every other nation in Europe was doing the same. The fact that such radical changes in England were necessary only points out that EVERY country, even the RC ones, were enforcing religious uniformity. Ever heard of the Spanish Inquision? They were all building militaries @ frightful ecological costs. You can't judge Henry by 21st century standards. By 16th century standards, he was damned good, I think.

Why can't we judge him by 21st Century standards?  Just because he may not have been a tyrant back then, does not mean we have to absolve him of the things he did.  We do not absolve Britain and America of its history of slavery just because it was the 18th & 19th century.  This kind of relativism undoes to whole notion of learning from history.
You don't get races of anything ... accept people.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 06:45:49 PM »
The reason people were well armed is because there was no English Army. Every time England went to war, they called out the citizen militia. In fact, that is why the War of the Roses went on the way it did. The crown couldn't effectively fight the nobles. In fact laws had passed in the 1300s requiring Englishmen to own the arms & train in using them. By Henry's time, few people were doing it. His 1st command as King that affected the general pop. was to insist the law be complied w/. There was much grumbling due to the expense involved. Henry can't be judged by 21st century standards for a simple reason. EVERYONE around him thought similarly. He couldn't easy have done any differently than he did. Henry VI was a saintly man. As a result he was deposed twice, & finally murdered. The 15th-16th centuries were no times for Gandhis. Sesame Street hadn't been invented, & nobody gave 2 shits about cooperation & teamwork. England didn't get a standing army til the time of Charles I in the 1600s. Before then, it was

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 06:48:57 PM »
deemed too damned expensive to maintain one. & a British army couldn't exist, England & Scotland were not united. The UK of Great Britain didn't exist til the Act of Union in 1707.

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 06:55:58 PM »
My bad, I thought England had a standing army at that point.
You don't get races of anything ... accept people.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 07:05:34 PM »
Most European states did, & did their best to keep weapons out of the hands of the general pop. A thing much remarked on by foreigners was how in the world Henry could, even @ the height of feeling against him, could go out in public w/ only a very light guard, & not be fearful. No Continental monarch would have ever considered it!

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Offline rooster

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Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 07:24:05 PM »
Most European states did, & did their best to keep weapons out of the hands of the general pop. A thing much remarked on by foreigners was how in the world Henry could, even @ the height of feeling against him, could go out in public w/ only a very light guard, & not be fearful. No Continental monarch would have ever considered it!
Because he was insanely egotistical.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 07:34:31 PM »
Well, that implies that every English King was egotistical, because they all did what he did. Every year during summer the Court went on progress to see & be seen. The English Kings deemed it essential to have that sense of unity w/ their people. In fact, they usually only travelled in the South. Henry changed that by going to York 1 yr. The reason they travelled in the south was due to the difficulty of moving some 5,000 people about, & the fact that getting back to London in an emergency would have been hard. EDIT & yes, when those Scots attack w/o provocation whilst you are in France, they get what they deserve.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 07:42:42 PM by Yaakov ben Avraham »

Offline spank86

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Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2013, 07:41:01 PM »
Oh, so a massacre of 10,000 Scots is a redemptive act for wasting money.  Tell me more.


Walk round Glasgow on a Saturday evening, then we'll talk.

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 08:26:38 PM »
Well, that implies that every English King was egotistical, because they all did what he did.

Anyone who believes they rule by divine right probably has some ego inflation issues.

 
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EDIT & yes, when those Scots attack w/o provocation whilst you are in France, they get what they deserve.

Spoken like a true Zionist.  You implication was that him killing 10,000 scots made up for him wasting money.  You must admit that sounds rather absurd.
You don't get races of anything ... accept people.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 08:45:11 PM »
I said it counter-balanced it. I should have further said that it doesn't make up for it per se. That's just the way things are. As for divine right & egotism, every European monarch felt that way (& so also in Asia: what about the Mandate of Heaven?). In fact, English Kings had some limits on their power due to the Magna Carta (1215) & various Acts of Parliament. Although in Henry's time he wielded FAR more power than Victoria 300 yrs later, even IN his time, Parliament controlled the purse strings, & stopped Henry from yet 1 more frivolous attempt to go to France. He only went twice, rather than thrice. EDIT What does being a Zionist (I am) have to do w/ Henry VIII?
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 08:50:25 PM by Yaakov ben Avraham »

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2013, 09:51:41 PM »
Monarchs rarely have free reign to rule, there's usually something that prevents their rule being absolute. Henry VIII was no better.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2013, 10:45:22 PM »
I don't know. Louis the Sun King was pretty absolute. I forget his regnal number, XVI or XVII. What was that phrase he is accused (possibly apocryphally) of saying: 'Le Etat, se moi!' Even if he didn't say it, his policies bore it out.

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Offline rooster

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Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2013, 11:01:34 PM »
Speaking of which, King Louis XIV is so much more interesting than King Henry VIII.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2013, 11:19:58 PM »
Louis XIV, is that it? Well, my knowledge of French history is 2nd to that of Britain, except where they intersect (which they do quite frequently). But do tell, what makes the Sun King more interesting than Henry? & no, I'm not trying to be snippy, I'm genuinely curious.

Yaakov ben Avraham

Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 05:45:17 PM »
So, why is Louis XIV interesting? I don't know much about him, actually.

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Offline spoon

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Re: King Henry VIII.
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 11:05:37 PM »
inb4 Blanko spoons a literally pizza