8. Religion and Politics in Early Stuart England

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 27-05-19 13:30
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  • 8. Religion and Politics in Early Stuart England
    • 1. Links between religion and politics in Early Modern England
      • Royal supremacy
        • Powers and responsibilities of monarchs
        • increasing emphasis on powers of bishops in C17th century, linked to royal authority
      • Protestant national identity
        • Particular strains on ideas of Protestant nationhood in 1620s, can seep into foreign and domestic policies
      • Identification of enemies
        • greater polarization in politics, religion used more broadly to attack opponents
    • 2. Forces for division
      • Wide basis of Jacobean church, detaching moderates from radicals (puritan or Catholic) can cause political divisions under James I and Charles I
      • Foreign Policy:
        • a driving force of political tension in early C17th
    • 3. Jacobean foreign policy strategy: international peace via marriages
      • James promotes politically strategic marriages for his children (one Protestant and one Catholic)
      • Palatine marriage
        • Princes Elizabeth and Frederick, Elector Palatine, a Calvinist German prince
      • Spanish Match
        • A proposed match between Prince Charles and Spanish Infanta
    • 4. Thirty Years War (1618-1648)
      • Triggered by Frederick (husband of Princess Elizabeth) accepting the previously Catholic crown of Bohemia
        • Upsets balance of power in Holy Roman Empire
      • Frederick ultimately loses Bohemia and own land in Palatinate
    • 5. James I and foreign policy
      • James I wants to promote peace in Europe caused by religious division more generally
      • Through negotiation and conciliation James hopes to avoid getting caught up in Thirty Years War
    • 6. Response to the Palatinate crisis
      • Protestant nationalism and opposition to James I
        • Lack of armed support for Frederick and Elizabeth seen as verging on pro-Catholic
      • Problematises plans for a strategic Spanish match involving Prince Charles
      • In pursuing Spanish match, James alienates moderate puritans
        • a group James has tried to keep within the church
      • Also
        • Puritan opposition to Spanish match gives ammunition to anti-puritan faction within church and government (e.g. William Laud - puritans can be seen as simply disloyal)
    • 7. A marriage for Prince Charles?
      • Ultimately, Charles I marries a French Catholic princess to help finance war with Catholic Spain
        • Shows difficulty of pursuing a foreign policy that is only pro-Protestant
    • 8. Politics of Blame: Fears of Catholicism
      • Fears of Catholicism
        • Jacobean and especially Caroline court considered to be 'infiltrated' by Catholics, with too much influence on policy
        • Both James and Charles use financial devices that by-pass parliament (e.g. the Forced Loan)
          • Increasingly these policies portrayed as to similar to absolutist policies of Catholic monarchies, such as France and Spain
    • 9. Rival conspiracy theories of 1620s and 1630s
      • OR
        • An 'Arminian' conspiracy (popish, anti-parliament)
        • A Popular 'puritan' conspiracy
      • Competing ideologies help to polarise the nation politically
      • Charles I (and Archbishop Laud) believe in a popular puritan conspiracy
    • 10. A word about Arminianism
      • Fears of Arminianism
        • Doctrinal meaning
          • rejects Calvinist emphasis on predestination, and instead stress man's free. Some anti-puritans hold Arminian beliefs
        • Political meaning
          • Accusation of 'Arminianism' in parliament used to suggest that someone is tending towards Catholicism, and therefore supports royal absolutism


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