'Domestic Policy Under Cardinal Thomas Wolsey Was a Failure' How Far Do You Agree with This Statement?
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‘Domestic policy under Wolsey was a failure’. How far do you agree with this assessment?
Wolsey was Henry VIII’s chief minister for 15 years and it’s fair to say that historians have, in general, been disappointed with his lack of achievement in the area of domestic affairs. Most argue that he devoted far too much of his time to foreign policy in order to establish, and then further boost his own personal power and increase his income, implying that more of his time should have been allocated to reforming social and economic policy and using his vast intelligence to improve the way government operated in England at the time. However there was very little contemporary discontent with the way the country was being run in the first place. So…show more content… He seemed genuinely interested to see justice prevailing throughout the land by not only through the afore-mentioned ‘equality based’ proceedings but through advancing civil law over common law, which was undoubtedly a move towards a more just judicial system. He took pleasure in overturning verdicts made by common law, when they went against what he thought was natural justice. However, it must not be omitted that Wolsey was much less determined in the ‘pursuit of justice’ than he was in the pursuit of his own personal gain; it is clear he was manipulative and exploitative in using the system to further his own interests. An often used example to case this point is his revenge on Sir Amyus Paulet. After having been humiliated by Paulet upon entering his first benefice Wolsey kept the event stored in the back of his incredible mind for more than a decade. He exacted his revenge upon being granted the position of Lord Chancellor by summoning Paulet to appear before him at the Star Chamber. Spitefully, he kept him in daily attendance for more than five years under the threats of the consequences of contempt of court if he were to not turn up. Wolsey used this as a public reminder of what would happen to those who crossed him. There is also no doubt that more resentment was caused by Wolsey’s action in the Star Chamber, especially