The Instigator
Pro (for)
10 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Henry VIII of England was a good king (2)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/10/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,356 times Debate No: 61519
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Round 1: Acceptance

This is a debate about whether or not King Henry VIII of England was a good king. I will be taking the pro side of this position, and will attempt to prove that Henry VIII was an overall good influence on the country of England.

I will be defining "good" as being a beneficial and overall positive influence.

The structure of the debate will be as followed:

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Argument
Round 3: Conclusion/Rebuttals

Note that this debate is to be taken seriously. I am redoing this debate because my previous opponent did not take the debate seriously. Therefore if you are willing to accept this debate, please make sure that you are going to be serious.

On a side note, I hope this will turn out to be a fun and interesting debate. Good luck!

PS: Whoever loses this debate gets their head chopped off.


Wonderful idea for a debate. I accept, and look forward to a serious debate about Bluff Hal's influence over England. I love Tudor England, but I'm not sure that I love Henry's politics or the depth of power he granted himself. Cheers!
Debate Round No. 1


Round 2: Argument

I will be arguing that Henry VIII was overall a good king for England. There is lots of controversy surrounding around Henry VIII, and it primarily originates from his six wives and infamous beheading of two of them. I will attempt to show that despite these gruesome events, Henry VIII was overall good for England. For each of my arguments, I will provide the historical context and then make my own personal analysis about the matter.

I intend for this debate to be fun, as the topic is not on an important current event but rather on a historical one. However, I do intend to take it seriously and hope for my opponent to have a similar mindset. Now on to the debate!

Providing Stability

Henry inherited the throne during a delicate time in England's history. Henry's father, Henry VII, had taken the throne after a bloody war with house of York [1]. This war, often dubbed the Wars of the Roses due to the fact that the Heraldic badges of the houses of Lancaster and York where a Red and White rose, respectively. In order to create peace between the two families, Henry VII announced his marriage to Elizabeth of York to create a joint unity between both houses.

Despite this supposed peace between the two families, the tension between the houses of Lancaster and York has still not been resolved when Henry VIII assumed the throne. In order to avoid another war, Henry VIII took a more moderate approach when it came to dealing with the Yorks. One example would be how he pardoned multiple Yorkists that had been imprisoned by his father following his coronation as king [2].

The Yorks, however, were not the only problem that was presented to Henry VIII during his reign. One notable issue was the matter of religion. The reign on Henry VIII began and continued throughout a period called the Reformation, when many began to question the authority of the Catholic Church. This event was able to spread due to the invention of the Printing Press, and Henry VIII knew that it would not be long until the Reformation spread to the British Isles. To solve this problem, Henry VIII was remarkably lenient when it came to religion and was able to prevent a religious war similar to the one in the Holy Roman Empire. One way that this was possible was when Henry VIII split off from the Catholic Church in Rome and created the English Church with himself as the head. This was partially because Henry had wanted to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, however it solved many problems. For one, the Church was essentially Catholic and had not changed any of the doctrines, with the one difference being that there was no pope. However, it also kept the Protestants happy because their complaints had been directed towards the Church in Rome, and now that England had split off they were satisfied [3].

These two examples, amongst many, show clearly that Henry VIII was a natural at manipulating his enemies. He was able to turn his enemies into allies, or at least not threatening. This is a very good trait to have as a king. Given Henry VIII natural ability to prevent war with clearly more powerful enemies, it is clear that England was better off having Henry on the throne.

Making England Stronger

Because of both the Wars of the Roses and the small population, England was a relatively weak country when Henry VIII ascended to the throne. However, Henry managed to strengthen the power of both himself and the country by the end of his reign. One way that Henry strengthened the authority of the crown was by splitting off from the Church in Rome. By creating the Church of England and placing himself in direct power, he made his vassals fear him. This was because Henry now had all political and religious authority. Another method that Henry utilized in order to gain authority was fear. Henry made his vassals fear him because he showed that he was willing to punish anyone severely if they ever plotted against him. This can be seen clearly in his executions of Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, the Duke of Norfolk, etc. This fear of the king allowed Henry to take full control over the kingdom and through his absolutism allow England to leave the lawlessness of the Middle Ages.

Henry VIII made England stronger militarily as well. By the time Henry VIII inherited the throne from his father, England has five royal warships in its navy. By the time he died in 1547, there were over forty far superior war ships in the navy. This strong navy was essentially in providing defense for England and also making England a powerful political force [4].

One last way that Henry VIII made England stronger was through education. Using his own money, Henry VIII established schools that were called Kings Schools [5]. These schools were so impressive because they accepted talented peasants as well as noble sons. Through these Kings Schools developed some of the brightest minds in the world such as Christopher Marlow and William Harvey. He also had the Tyndale Bible published in a unified English dialect. Before this bible was published, English varied greatly depending on the region. However, the Tyndale Bible allowed England to become a more united nation due to their new common language.


Had Henry VIII not become king, England would have been considerably weaker. They would have faced stronger threats and potentially war with the Yorks, French, German, and Scotland, and may not have been able to overcome these challenges. Henry VIII also allowed England to advance with his acceptance and advancement of the Renaissance.

When one hears the name "Henry VIII" they generally think that he was an evil and bad king because he executed two of his wives. However, given the multiple number of advancements he provided to his county it is clear that Henry VIII was not only not a bad king, but a great one.





LucyofDorne forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Oh well, I suppose my opponent consents to getting their head chopped off.


LucyofDorne forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Hanspete 2 years ago
Get their head chopped off that's a funny price to pay to lose a debate.
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Don't forfeit!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture