Elizabeth I., 1558-1603 Civil War, 1642-1648

The Stuarts, 1603-1649

Queen Elizabeth died childless in 1603, at the age of 70, after reigning for 45 years. She was succeeded by Scottish King James VI., who took on the title King James I. of England, who unified England and Scotland in DYNASTIC UNION (the countries remained separate political entities, with separate parliaments and sets of law, until 1707).
James moved his residence to London and adapted the Anglican confession, as he (as the King) was the head of the Church of England. He authorized the publication of the BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER (1604) and the KING JAMES VERSION of the bible, as the definitive translation.
The Church of England thus ensured of it's position as STATE CHURCH, the Stuarts then concentrated on foreign policy. James' son Charles I. was married to a French princess, a marriage serving diplomatic purpose. Under James' rule, the VIRGINIA COMPANY established JAMESTOWN as England's first colony in the new world. Under CHARLES I., the MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY was founded as an outlet for dissatisfied PURITANS (Pilgrims). In 1632, Charles I. granted a charter to Cecilius Calvert, the Earl of Baltimore, for MARYLAND, a colony for England's Catholics to settle in.
Colonial policy under the early Stuarts was intended primarily as a means to solve the religious dilemma. Every religious community believed to be in the sole possession of the truth, a truth which everybody was to have to accept. The concept of religious tolerance was not yet developed.
The Stuarts, sticking to the Church of England, sought to pursue a moderate middle path between Catholicism and the radical protestantism of the Puritans. They ended up alienating both.
Parliament was regarded under control of the protestants. On Nov. 5th 1605, GUY FAWKES and his fellow conspirators, zealous Catholics, attempted to blow up Parliament, with the royal family present. The plot failed, and for the next centuries, Catholics have been regarded suspicious elements in England. The first Puritans had emigrated into the Netherlands in 1602 to escape the religious atmosphere of England, and turned to New England since 1620.

DOCUMENTS King James Version, from innvista.com

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 9th 2004

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