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Edward II, control, financial blackmail, military financing


Edward II (1307-1327) succeeded to the throne of England at a crucial time. In 1307 England was at war with Scotland and faced threats of further trouble in Wales and Gascony. In addition his father had left him a debt-ridden country in which the barons were beginning to recognize their potential for governmental control through financial blackmail. The country's finances were overextended, but the baronage and clergy had been resisting royal demands for increased taxation. If Edward II were to continue his father's policies and pursue the war in Scotland, as the barons wished, he would be forced to give in to unrelated baronial demands in exchange for military financing. If, instead, he followed his natural inclinations toward a policy oof peace, he would encourage further baronial opposition.