Different historians’ views on whether Henry VII was modern or medieval.
The statement that Henry Tudor created a ‘new monarchy’ is one that was even debated at the time. Throughout the years historians views have consistently contrasted and changed.
The actual ‘new monarchy’ theory is owed much to the historian J.R.Green and his reference to the events of 1471-1509 in his book “Short History of the English People” (published in 1876) as the emergence of a new monarchy. J.R. Green suggests this monarchy restored the power and authority to the crown after the events of the war of the roses. He also hinted at the start of tudor despotism an idea supported by several early 20th century historians. Albert Pollard was one of many historians to expand on J.R. Green’s theory and move the beginning of the new monarchy to 1485. This is hardly surprising as the date coincides with the beginning of a new dynasty that lasted well over a century and is considered a period of great change and achievement. In particular Pollard emphasised the Tudor’s creation of the nation state. This way he could make parallels with modernising monarchies in France and Spain. Early 20th century historians historians look highly on the Tudor government as it was seen as creating the basis of the modern nation state.
In the last 50 years the concept of Henry VII creating the new monarchy is greatly opposed. The majority of historians argue that no new monarchy existed or that 1485 marked only a dynastic change. J.D. Mackie was the first to challenge in “The Earlier Tudors” (1952):
“In England as elsewhere the new monarchy did not emerge fully developed in the year 1485 or in any other year. This factor was not always recognised.”
Geoffrey Elton preferred to shift the development of the new monarchy to the 1530’s and the reforming of Henry VIII’s minister Thomas Cromwell. Elton considered the work of Edward IV and Henry VII...