By 1483 Edward IV had dramatically improved the situation in England. He brought about widespread peace and stability, although it was not total as the events after his death in 1483 demonstrated. He achieved these successes in a number of ways. This essay will examine his removal of Lancastrian opposition, his control of the nobility, the image and prestige of the crown, his stronger government and also his financial situation and foreign policy, in order to assess the level of peace established.
Edward ensured that by removing the Lancastrian opposition, in Henry VI, Margaret of Anjou and Prince Edward, England would remain peaceful.
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Arguably Edward was a very good military commander, he began his conquest of the house of Lancaster by defeating a force at Mortimer’s Cross in 1460. He won a decisive victory at Towton, smashing the Lancastrian families and forcing Henry VI, Margaret of Anjou and Prince Edward to flee abroad. Once Edward had regained his throne in 1471, he took it upon himself to rid the country of the Lancastrian threat. The battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury saw the Neville brothers, Warwick and Montague, killed; along with Prince Edward. Margaret of Anjou was captured and placed in a nunnery soon after Tewkesbury, which left the Lancastrian line virtually non-existent. Henry VI was also captured and murdered in the same short space of time. By 1472 Henry Tudor was the only real threat to the peace of England, but he did not worry the king and did not mount an attack on England until after Edward was dead. Without significant opposition, the rest of Edward’s reign was relatively unchallenged, he was therefore successful and able to bring peace to England. .
Edward’s control of the nobility allowed him to bring peace to England after 1471. However, prior to this, his control over the nobles is questionable.
Edward’s early control of his nobles was problematic.