Assess the view that James' foreign policy was wiser than the foreign policies favoured by Parliament and Charles I- (This was a 45 minute timed essay was AS history)

Essay by the_beer_barronHigh School, 12th grade October 2006

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Arguably James' foreign policy was wiser that the foreign policies favoured by both Parliament an Charles. However James pacivity caused many tensions, that became intransigent in Charles relationship with Parliament making military intervention necessary. However the failure of La Rochelle, Cadiz and continental commitments emphasises that overall James' foreign policy was wiser.

Up until the outbreak of the thirty years war James mediation and want to establish himself as "rex pacificus" can be seen to be wiser than the foreign policies of his contemporises. The calling for peace with Spain through the 1604 Treaty of London allowed fro a great trade expansion that increased Britain's prosperity. Similarly James shrewd negotiative skills helped delay the onset of the thirty yeas war through resolution of the Julich Cleves crisis. While this proved to be extremely successful and wise it contributed to James' inflated perception of his skills as a mediator which led him to blindly pursue marriage contracts in the face of hostility, which arguably was unwise.

The search for an Anglo Spanish match can be argues to be unwise as it went against the antipathy widely felt by English subjects towards Catholicism. The presence of Gondomar and Crypto Catholics in court further amplified this fuelling factions led by Abbott and Pembroke to protest against James pacivity in the face of continental conflict. This led Jaems to seek the political solace of the Arminians. While comparative to the disastrous escapades of Charles reign, this pacivity can retrospectively be seen as wise. However it created significant demands on Charles reign. For example to increase diplomatic pressure, James got Parliament to acquiesce to a subsidy of $300,000 for a naval war, so that he could convey a united front to Europe. This falsely shaped Charles expectations of Parliaments' willingness for war, which...