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History Essays - Ruler John

Was King John bad? Discuss with mention of other Angevin kings.

"In his inner heart John was the most detrimental outcome of the Angevins. He united into one mass of wickedness their insolence, their selfishness, their unbridled lust, their cruelty and tyranny, their shamelessness, their superstition, their cynical indifference to honor or truth"

History has judged Ruler John harshly. The very last in the long type of the Angevin monarchs and seen to own lost great tracts of land and significant amounts of monarchic electric power during his reign, his account, on the top, is one of failure. By 1205, six years into his reign, only a fragment of the vast Angevin empire received by Henry II continued to be, John was embroiled in quarreling with the Pope over the session of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was also compelled to signal the Magna Carta in 1215, which restated the protection under the law of the chapel, the barons and all in the land and still left him a destroyed ruler. But is this fair? Despite being branded a 'man of almost superhuman wickedness ' in the early twentieth century, can he simply be described as 'bad, ' or is this a simplistic and historically naЇve statement?

Of course, King John, it could be said, was slightly hampered in historical terms by the pressures put on him by his royal lineage. His father King Henry II had been one of England's best medieval kings. And, despite his ferociously violent conquests and relatively limited time spent in Britain, Richard the Lionheart was regarded as a commendable monarch, and was a significantly more robust plus more forceful ruler than his sibling John who preceded him on the throne. Even though his career seemed to be lavished more on his crusades and less on Britain itself, Richard was 'revered as one of the great warrior kings of Britain ' - a position John was always heading to own trouble following, especially due to the financial stresses Richards crusades experienced put upon the countries wealth.

Coupled with this, weighed against Richards 'commendable, Christian heart, ' John acquired already been mired in moral scandal and was not perceived as entirely trustworthy, which might well have urged the negative aura around him. Indeed, before his ascension, John got already received a reputation for treachery, having conspired sometimes with and sometimes against his elder brothers, Henry, Geoffrey and Richard and his guideline over Ireland possessed finished acrimoniously after only eight weeks, after the countries people grew to despise him. Aswell as this, King John's regal guideline was seen as illegitimate with a sizeable percentage of the noble inhabitants who refused to simply accept his reign, and regarded as his young nephew Arthur of Brittany as Richard the Lionhearts rightful heir.

However, perhaps John's biggest declining came about as a result of what could be seen as good practice in the painstaking health care he got in his legal and administrative duties. Indeed, one historian claimed that 'only the old ruler himself [i. e. Henry II] is comparable to the later John in his power of organisation and the power, priceless in a ruler, to flex his energy to tips of administrative details ' and it was perhaps this commendable amount of time and work he put into the common laws and judicial procedures that actually seemed to hold him back again somewhat. Indeed, despite the fact that during Johns reign, he and his great administrators began to place the country to be able protecting charter rolls, patent rolls and close rolls and prompting one historian to remark that '1199 is a genuine making point in English history. The materials available to the historian all of the sudden became more numerous and exact, ' it can't be refused that John certainly annoyed his people.

Indeed, many disagreed along with his style of 'hands-on' federal and his relatively never-ending administrative work he took on during his enforced exile in Great britain after the loss of Normandy, made his rule seem more workers and tyrannical that those of his freewheeling and vivid predecessors. 'His remorseless travels of the country, his vigorous focus on the smallest factors of detail led to efficiency but an over-all sense of oppression. 'True, his powers of company and admiration for the common law have emerged, in conditions of contemporary history, to be far better than his brother and perhaps add up to his father, but this very formal, correct form of regulating was rejected by his people who clearly preferred a courageous courageous king who would not trouble them along with his rule - rather they preferred a normal brash military monarch, like his sibling Richard.

However, having said all of this, it would not be fair to totally underestimate Johns military prowess, so understated in traditional historical textbooks, and it has been mentioned that even in affairs of the sword he was capable in showing real bravado, despite his rather cruel nickname of 'softsword'. To begin with, he continued the good work that Richard had undertaken in the development of the British navy and was quick to act when the loss of the northern continental fiefs guaranteed that the route once again became an wide open frontier. One historian has commented that 'It is unexpected that a nation so pleased with its naval history hasn't honoured Ruler John more. ' Indeed, it is also true that his well publicised coup in Mirebeau guaranteed that he also confirmed an undeniable boldness in rescuing his mom and capturing a lot of his most effective enemies.

However, as I have previously advised, John's real talents certainly lay in his day-to-day guideline of the united states alternatively than his 'heroic exploits. ' Almost uncharacteristically of the Angevin bloodline, other than this Mirebeau event, he had not been a particularly striking monarch, despite his infrequent successes. Indeed, when besieging rebellious barons during his reign, he required isolated castles and harried their defenses, but was hesitant in attacking the center of their electricity in London. He was also never totally without concern with treachery amidst his own troops by reputation, and despite his quick action, would it not be true to say he was responsible for losing from the fiefs of the Angevins in the first place?

However, I certainly do not think that this is enough to warrant his branding as a 'bad' king. Despite the historical glory adjoining his brother Richard, Personally i think closer examination exhibits the issues that had occur before John acquired even taken to the throne. To begin with 'Richard had remaining him an empty treasury, a people wakening to disenchantment, and a hard and costly overseas policy ' and while elements of John's alleged functions of tyranny have echoed down the years as his problems exclusively - it has been suggested that his identified failings are more regarding the Angevin lineage and a rot that had set in because of their ways of authorities, one which John, in the face of a changing world, was required to defend myself against however well he had ruled.

One such exemplory case of this was the famous putting your signature on of the Magna Carta, a charter that was effectively seen as a methods to stop John's so-called tyranny. It is said it was partly instigated because of the way he cracked down on budget, taxing revenues, the Jews, performing investigations in to the royal forests and feudal tenures, and mercilessly exploiting his privileges, but was this not a a reaction to Britain's overall financial plight? And essentially, was the Magna Carta not a treaty against the complete lineage of the Angevin line and their basic feudal ideas and guidelines? 'Magna Carta was a judgement, a grand inquest after the whole history of Angevin kingship!"

Indeed, one criticism leveled against John's tyranny was his practice of demanding hostages from his barons as guarantors of these commitment - but was this not 'a normal disciplinary method of government amongst his predecessors? ' And had not been his custom of forcing barons into personal debt, so as to keep them from becoming too powerful, by high pain relief tax not a similar coverage too one utilized by his successful competitor, Philip of Augustus ? It seems if you ask me that John experienced become king of an neglected talk about and was therefore castigated through certain failings of his brother who possessed neglected England in pursuit of his fearless, yet doubtful crusades and his father who despite his fantastic rule, had executed a feudal system that could not endure without the very best of rulers utilizing it. New methods of raising income were needed and John was appreciated to accept the issues that came with that task.

So in response to the question, I believe it is safe to state that John cannot be detailed simply as a 'bad' ruler, despite his significant failings. Indeed, he did use his capabilities in a rather intrusive way, and it can't be rejected that his bravado and royal charisma had not been up compared to that of his predecessors. Coupled with that, he was not decisive enough against tyranny, and was always available to criticism, primarily due to way he had himself succeeded to the throne. However, the situation in which he had to use was certainly difficult. Richard got made certain that money was brief and the great land masses that had been won in past generations were very much under threat. In conjunction with this, the world was changing away from the Angevin feudal system and his style of government cannot cope contrary to the rebellious nature of 'the new breed of barons. ' His organizational skills and common regulation knowledge cannot be refused and it has been said that they travelled near providing him with a means out of Britain's problems - It didn't however, leaving me to claim that 'Bad Ruler John' then, was a ruler, who by no means was Britain's most detrimental ever ruler, but ruled at an unlucky time.

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