Academic Master

Education, English

What did the Union of Crowns Means for Scotland?


            The concept of the union among the crowns was the succeeding of King James VI who belongs to Scotland. The purpose of the union was to unite the three kingdoms into a single monarch to deal with the foreign diplomatic relations. The unification was taken into the consideration on the twenty-four of March sixteen hundred and three. The union was followed by the death of Queen Elizabethan I. Nature and the structure of the union reveals that it was dynastic and personal based unification with the separation of Crown. King James try to come up with the new system of the kingdom of Great Britain. States of Scotland and England will remain independent along with the sharing of the kingdom with Ireland. The policies and the personal styles of the King James VI and the Charles I in running the state business of Scotland were revolving around the affairs of financial, religious and the crises of the parliament. There were multiple reforms done by the King James VI in order to save his rule and the kingdom.


Comparison/ Contrast of King James I and King Charles I Policies

             King James was overseeing and ruling the state business of the two independent states of England and Scotland through his personal union. Both countries were having their own laws, parliaments and the system of the judiciaries. Regarding his personal life and information, his mother name was Mary, who was the queen of Scotland. He belongs to the family of King VII who also ruled England and the lord of Ireland. Such kind of attractive background and his personal position provided him to accede three kingdoms. He succeeded to the rule of Scotland at the age of thirteen months. His mother was convinced by the authorities to transfer the powers to him. After the end of four different regents, he had not complete rule over the kingdom (Blakeway, 2015). However, as with the death of Queen Elizabethan I, The king succeeded in Tudor kingdom of Ireland and England. The ending of the life of queen was normal and it was without unusual happening.

The ruling era of the King James VI has lasted for the time of twenty-two years. The period after his monarchy was known as the era of Jacobean age in the history of English literature. At the age of fifty-eight, the king died in sixteen hundred and fifty-eight. With the advent of the union of the crowns, he occupied the position in the state of England from the time of his rule to which he named as the king of the Great Britain and England. He was of the view that there must be a single parliament for both counties of the Scotland and England. The most important happening of his time was the colonisation of the Americans and the plantations of ulsters.

Religious policy of King James I

            Many people have observed the succession of King James I as a relief for them in performing their religious duties. Those subject belonging to the Elizabethan side have welcomed the king and hope for positive reformation. The protestant ruler along with an offer of several children he made to the followers offered a stable and secure succession. The number of religious entities considers him as their protector and they can have numerous advantages. Catholics were also hoping positive for him as they consider that his mother death will divert his attention to relax the persecution suffer by them. In the same way, puritans have also hope for reformation in the Presbyterian Church. However, both the branches of religion were disappointed over the later actions of King James I. He suspended the recusancy fines but later revoke his decision due to the severe criticism from parliament and fear of loss in income. This decision drive the minorities to get help from Spain to kill him. The plot of Gunpowder in the sixteenth hundred and five was the continuance of anger of the Christians who try to fire the parliament at the time while James was present inside the legislative building.

The millenary petition and hopes of the Puritan society were also lived for the short period. He meets with the protesting class and rejected their ideas with the warning of the non-compliance to the prayer book, which would lead them to get out of the state. He wanted to politicise the church and to gain his control, which he can exercise through the bishops (Brown, 2016). The policy was same as that of Queen Elizabeth I. He shows his stand over the appointment of authoritative members like Richard Bancroft as the new head of Canterbury. Many ministers have lost their jobs due to resistance against conforming to the Anglican prayer book. Some hardliners left their state to set their own churches for the religious duties. Some went to Holland and other to North America.

Policies and Styles of King James I for Parliament

            There was persistently irritating atmosphere present in the reign of King James I in the parliamentary and king’s circles. The problematic election of sixteen hundred four wherein Privy Council tries to change the results for the candidate who belongs to the court, which makes angry to the representatives of the House of Commons. Members of the house have protested against the bargaining and they consider that it was their right to debate about the election and related issues. War of power between the house of common and the king lasted for a long time. House was highly sensible for its rights and had the fight with the Queen for the same purpose. On the contrary, the King was claiming that he has divine powers along with the higher status. He also claims that he is a political philosopher and publishes work with the title of the true law of free monarchies.

With the resemblance of the parliament in the years of sixteen hundred and five, the unity of protest unit concluded with the grants of Parliament for the debts of the king. There was the number of issues and his background of Scotland along with the active role of his friends frustrate the relation of the king with parliament. His desire for union of Anglo-Scottish constitution further aggravated the situation. The members of the parliament have bluntly rejected the idea that English institutions might get improvement through the implication of Scottish ideas. Edwin sandy opined that for the idea of the union could be achieved through abolishing of the law of Scottish with the implication of law of the England (Blakeway, 2016). Still, some of the MPs were not agreeing because they fear that Scottish people are penniless and can swallow the resources of the state of England.

Some MPs have used certain derogatory remarks about the Scottish nationals and their role in the affairs of the kingdom. Use of the word cattle for the people of Scotland was insulting remarks for the king but King James was genius about the issues of his native companions. In the same way, the issue of finances was already creating the number of problems for the king. The issue of finances was one of the key factors that have created distances between the parliament and the office of the king. The king had already given the number of gifts and pensions to the Scottish people and courtiers.

Financial policies of King James I

The king was force not to make the union between Scotland and England, which will further arise the situation more tense and problematic. The conflicts between the states will hamper the financial situation of the Crown. Regardless of his love and generosity for the Scottish, he will have to face the quarrels over the collection of the taxes and the income from the region. Certain critics with historical and philosophical background have criticised the financial dealing and management of the king. Before the era of King James, Queen has the same problem of finances, which shows that fundamental flaws are there in the system of Crown.

Two aspects are generally considered, as the most important part in generated the financial hurdles for the state. The increase prices have let the Crown income inadequate for the expenses of the state. The second primary cause of the problems of finances was the mismanagement and the expensive lifestyle of King James, which expand the problem finance in the country.

The sale of the land of the crown by the Queen before the time of James for the purpose of war with Spain mad the income inadequate (Whatley, 2014). The king then inherits a debt of around one lac euro. The expenses of the king were multiple to the Queen and he has to feed and manage the expenses of his family along with children of Prince of Wales. Regarding the policies to tackle the inflation, the Queen also failed in assessing the basic principle of reduction in the inflation rate. King James had the sophisticated system of taxes this was revealed through the process of the parliament decisions of extra taxes will not fulfil the intended income by the king.

King Charles I Role and Policies

The crises and the financial issues are also increasing due to the factor the Charles I was active in gaining the powers from King James. The king became older and he was facing the number of health hazards, which allow Buckingham and Charles to snatch the rule of the kingdom. The actions of Charles have created problems for the political strategy of the king by the secret visit of Charles to Spain a try to save the proposed marriage. However, numerous problem created after the blunder and unnecessary action of Charles, which agitate the king. As the king was old Charles had devised the naval strategy to war with Spain with the consent of MPs. The deception and defeat in war agitate the MPs who meet in-house in Sixteen hundred twenty-five. The responsibility of the failure lies on the Charles since he had a policy of defective strategy and he was the responsible man for defeat. He has played a significant role in the events occurred in the Sixteen twenty-five to sixteen hundred thirty.

War and foreign policy of King Charles I

            Unlike father of King Charles who knows better about the war and political planning, he was not expert in his strategy. Regarding the problems of diplomacy and the art of dealing, he was relying on the foolish advice of Buckingham. The duke considers himself as the primary expert in foreign relations because he was free from the restrains of King James I. the lack of the confidence and acute planning let him devise policies, which ensured that a big disaster is hovering around the kingdom. The Buckingham took the worse step after the defeat of war from Spain, which the marriage of King Charles with the sister of the French king. The female was also allowed to practice Catholic beliefs. They do not stop here and provide ships for the suppression of those Protestants that were residing in France. MPs became fearful and tense when Buckingham destructive diplomacy initiated the war with France. The situation became worse when an expedition for the help of rebellion protestant sent by Buckingham fail to manage and severe loss was made to the kingdom.

King Charles Policies and role of Parliament  

            The problems and the issues of Buckingham were increasing and a number of complaints received by the King. Charles then realised the fact that unless he has his friends he cannot have good relations with the parliament along with the money he received through the legislative decisions. He was also frustrated over the matter of the invitation by the parliament to his close official for an explanation of the accounts. He chooses to use other channels for the generation of the money. He ordered for the force loans that were to collect from the JPs without the consent of legislative bodies. The loans were compulsory for everybody and those who are not giving were threatened with imprisonment and conscription by law enforcement agencies. However, with the assassination of his friend parliament tried to have better relations with the king.

The resemblance of the MPs in sixteen hundred twenty-nine, legislators have celebrated the death Buckingham that infuriated the angry king. The bill was designed by the parliament to enhance the powers of the king for the collection of taxes; King Charles immediately rejects the offer and argue that he will not accept role and control of parliament in the collection and generation of state revenue. The most important aspect of the tension among the members of the parliament and the king was the beliefs and the religious views of King Charles regarding the position of Church.


            Concluding the comparison and contrast of King Charles and King James I, it is worth mentioning that former has the destructive role in the kingdom; while later has positive and beneficial services for the union. The Crown requires kings and leader like King James I with the honour and wisdom. Rift and the confrontation between the states of Scotland and England can be overcome through the collaborative, balance and by providing rights to both states. The idea of the union was great for Scotland but fail to qualify due to the inappropriate financial management and governance.


Blakeway, A., 2015. Regency in sixteenth-century Scotland(Vol. 2). Boydell & Brewer Ltd.

Blakeway, A., 2016. ” Newes from Scotland” in England, 1559–1602. Huntington Library Quarterly79(4), pp.533-559.

Brown, R., 2016. Review of Rivka Swenson, Essential Scots and the Idea of Unionism in Anglo-Scottish Literature, 1603-1832. ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-18306(2), p.3.

Whatley, C.A., 2014. The Scots and the Union: Then and Now. Edinburgh University Press.



Calculate Your Order

Standard price





Pop-up Message