Mary's Foreign Policy

Mary's Foreign Policy

Two factors governed foreign policy in the years 1553-1558.

  1. Philip of Spain's wishes.
  2. Return to Rome.

The council was afraid that the marriage would mean that England became embroiled in Spain's affairs on the continent. Philip was forced to make assurances that this would not happen. But it did.

The Loss of Calais:

Philip needed English men and resources to continue his war with the French. The council (except for Stafford) opposed this wholeheartedly.

But then a bizarre incident happened which made war with France inevitable. Thomas Stafford, an exile, landed in Scarborough, took the castle there and proclaimed himself 'Protector of England'. He had the backing of the French.

The Anglo-French war went on for a year. England lost. Worse than anything, they lost Calais, the last English foothold on the continent. Mary could not live this down. Her reign has traditionally been regarded as the end of a period of glorious warfare (although this isn't exactly true).

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