A B I D I C A T I O N C R I S I S S O U R C E A N A L Y S I S

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A B I D I C A T I O N
C R I S I S
S O U R C E
A N A L Y S I S
What two reasons are given by Edward VIII for his abdication?
Edwards VIII decided to renounce the throne as he was determined to marry Wallis
Simpson, an American woman who had been divorced twice. The marriage was
strongly opposed by the British Government, however he did not want to part from
Simpson, therefore he decided to abdicate. He also found the responsibilities
overbearing and was not capable of carrying the burdens of being king.
Why did Edward VIII love Mrs Simpson?
He believed she was the perfect woman and she was his inspiration as she insisted
that he should do his best at all times. He also believed that there was an
intellectual companionship that drew them towards each other, and the only option
was to marry her.
What was Edward VIII’s mother’s reaction to his dilemma?
According to source 3, Edward VIII’s mother did “not reprove him, in fact she
sympathised with him and his forbidden love for Wallis Simpson. However, Edward
VIII also states in source 3 that his mother believed that “the Monarchy was
something sacred” and he would have to abdicate his duties as King.
To what extent are views in source 5 supported by the views in source 6?
The views in source 5 state focus on Edward VIII’s attempts to find a solution to
his issues, whilst source 6 details his dilemma he was faced with. Source 5 states
that “he explored all possible ways to achieve this (marriage) and keep the throne”
which demonstrates that while he was determined to marry Wallis Simpson, he was
not willing to give up on being king. This statement is supported in source 6 which
also states “it was not so much that he did not want to be king” but he
understood the difficulties that marrying Wallis Simpson would bring. As mentioned
in both sources 5 and 6 it is acknowledged that the government was very much
against finding solutions in which Edward VIII would both be the king and be married
to Wallis Simpson.
Examine sources 2 and 4(a). Uses and limitations of each source as evidence
for a historian interested in Edward VIII
Source 2 has a wide range of uses as it provides the reader or historian with
information about Edward VIII’s mental state when deciding to abdicate. It details
his longing for Wallis Simpson which demonstrates to historians that he was dealing
with conflicts and his love for Wallis Simpson was genuine and strong. However, as
this source does not come from Edward VIII himself, it may not detail his
experiences as accurately and the information and details presented in source 2 may
be assumptions based on other sources found. Source 4 is an image that
demonstrates Edward VIII surrounded by cheering crowds whilst on tour in South
Wales. Edward VIII proposed that this image was “evidence of his great popularity”,
which is useful to historians as it shows how loved he was by the public. However, as
it is an image there are certain limitations to the uses of this source, as there is no
clear evidence to support his claims of his popularity being as great as he stated.
Evaluate the proposition that Edward VIII should not have abdicated
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