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Dynastic Politics and the British Reformations, 1558-1630$
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Michael Questier

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826330

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826330.001.0001

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The Accession of James Stuart and the Kingdom of Great Britain, 1603–1610

The Accession of James Stuart and the Kingdom of Great Britain, 1603–1610

(p.269) 5 The Accession of James Stuart and the Kingdom of Great Britain, 1603–1610
Dynastic Politics and the British Reformations, 1558-1630

Michael Questier

Oxford University Press

The accession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England and Great Britain triggered a series of negotiations as to what the new British polity would be like and how far the Elizabethan settlement of religion might be subject to alteration. James manipulated the agendas of a range of interest groups in order to remodel both the court and, in some sense, to remake the (British) State. One crucial aspect of that process was the making of peace with Spain and an attempt to shadow the major European royal houses without getting drawn into the political conflicts which replaced the wars which had concluded in 1598. But the attempt to maintain a quasi-nonconfessional mode of politics inevitably encountered a Protestant critique of the king and court which James sought to defuse by tacking his public pronouncements on papal authority to his, arguably, absolutist readings of royal power.

Keywords:   accession of James VI, peace with Spain, Gunpowder plot, Catholicism and puritanism, royal authority and absolutism

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