The Reign of King John Essay

2374 Words 10 Pages
Upon the death of King Richard I in 1199 A.D., the only remaining heir to the throne was his younger brother John. Regarded as one of the worst kings of England, John’s reign was no doubt unpopular. As hated as John was, there was no denying that he was a hard worker, competent general and able king. It was not John’s failure as a strategist that made his reign crumble, but rather his underlying character flaws, such as his unyielding cruelty, pettiness and lack of sympathy for his people. John was raised in a family of liars and cheaters, laying the base for what would be his eventual downfall when it was his turn to rule. Early on, John’s older brother and ruler of England, Henry the Young King, attempted to figure …show more content…
Henry II began to swindle and cheat nobles out of their land in order to give John huge amounts of territory. Henry II continued to go to great lengths in order to ensure his son had a proper amount of land, going as far as appropriating the Earl of Cornwall’s land and giving them to his son. He also went against legal customs and dispossessed the sisters of Isabelle of Gloucester, and arranged for John and Isabelle to be married. Further proving the lengths he would go to give his son land, Henry II dismissed William FitzAldelm, Lord of Ireland, at the Council of Oxford, giving the title to John, who was only 10 years old. 8 years later, John made his first trip to Ireland. This marked his first chance to prove his worth by seeing over his new territory. However, this foray proved to be unsuccessful. John was unable to create allies and was losing ground to the Irish forces. This prompted him to return to England in only one short year. Richard began creating an alliance with King Phillip II, and proceeded to wage war against Henry, and in 1189, Henry surrendered and made Richard the next in line for the throne. While John remained loyal to his father for most of the struggle, once he realized Richard would win he promptly switched sides, setting hiself up for kingship after Richard. John saw his first opportunity to seize control when his older brother announced his

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