The Stuart Kings. Essay

884 words - 4 pages

England has been world-renowned for its long lines of monarchial ruling families throughout its rich history. However, kings from the Stuart line practically humiliated the dignity and grace that was the English crown. James I and his absolutist successors ran the English monarchy into the ground, but in the process, set the stage for the development of one of the most effective government systems ever.Elizabeth I's extraordinary reign was extremely successful because of her political flexibility, her impeccable management of finances, her manipulation of Parliament, her wise choice of ministers, and her sense of royal dignity. She was willing to do and sacrifice anything for her beloved motherland. Her Scottish cousin James Stuart succeeded her in 1603 as James I. With thirty-five years of political experience as king of Scotland, one would expect him to continue Elizabeth's royal majesty. Despite James' political shrewdness, he didn't feel the need in displaying the mystique of monarchy as Elizabeth. He also lacked the common touch, unwilling to become concerned about the needs of his people. James was the personification of an absolutist ruler. He believed in the divine right of kings. He thought he held total jurisdiction over the freedoms and properties of the English people. This theory contradicted the long English belief of life, liberty, and property. James I desired an extremely lavish court, and he treated the money of the country as his own pocketbook. He lived an extravagant lifestyle and cared for the necessities of no other than himself.James' son, Charles I, was as much as much an absolutist ruler as his father. Charles ruled without Parliament for the majority of his reign and financed his government by imposing measures that brought about political conflict. The House of Commons was England's representative body that questioned the actions of the Stuart kings. The House of Commons wanted a say in spending and state policies. But James and Charles thought this was against their notion of divine rule. James I and Charles I also appeared to be highly sympathetic to Catholicism. However, England was a predominantly Puritan country. The attitudes of this religion fit in with the economic practices of many Englishmen and especially, the members of the House of Commons. The Stuart kings' direct opposition to everything that the English people stood for reduced almost all respect for the English monarchy.The English civil war started in 1642 during Charles I's reign. The Scots revolted against Charles' sympathy for the Catholics. Also, the Irish Catholics rebelled because of the harsh rule and exploitation of the English governors sent to maintain Ireland. Charles could neither come to...

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