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Henry VII Research Papers

World history or European history research papers can use Henry VII as an excellent example of a Tudor King that influenced the course of world history. A Henry VII research project from Paper Masters may present a brief assessment of Henry VII, the first Tudor King of England. Most research papers show on Henry VII highlight the following areas:

  1. Henry VII was very different from his predecessors on the throne of England
  2. The fact that he made significant alterations he made in the government of England during his reign
  3. Henry VII's importance in the history of Europe as a whole

Henry VIITudor propaganda would have it that dynastic wars (“Wars of the Roses”) between Lancastrians and Yorkists ravaged England for many years. These wars, so the story goes, were ended when Henry, Earl of Richmondgeor, assumed the throne as Henry VII. He was, according to the story, uniquely qualified by birth and marriage to end the quarrel and unify England. Having then united in his own person the two warring factions, he went on to establish good government in England.

It is the case that Henry of Richmond was a descendent of the Beauforts, themselves descended from John of Gaunt (illegitimately at first; the Beauforts were the product of Gaunt’s extramarital liason with Catherine Swynford) and thus a member of the House of Lancaster. It is also the case that, by marrying Edward IV’s daughter Elizabeth—Edward being the last but one of the Yorkist kings—he had a relationship by marriage to the House of York. But the rest of the story is wrong.

First, modern scholarship tends to dispute the dynastic nature of the “Wars of the Roses.”  Storey has argued that the received wisdom, that two central factions fought to uphold rival dynastic claims, is not really central to the nature of the dispute. The conflict was, he argues, a diffuse one involving rival interests dispersed around the country, rival interests whose loyalties often shifted from the House of Lancaster to the House of York and back again not according to  dynastic loyalties, but according to the exigencies of local self-interest . Moreover, Tudor propaganda notwithstanding, Henry Richmond had no legitimate or marriage-based title to the throne.  Chrimes states, “There was no clear rule of inheritance under which Henry Tudor could claim the crown in 1485 .” Henry of Richmond’s coronation as Henry VII was therefore not foreordained by God, nor was it a matter of legitimacy.  It was the result of the successful imposition of force.

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