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Were the Puritans or Roman Catholics a Greater Threat to James the First between 1603 and 1606? How successfully had he dealt with them by 1606?

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Introduction

Were the Puritans or Roman Catholics a Greater Threat to James the First between 1603 and 1606? How successfully had he dealt with them by 1606? In the period of James' reign religion formed a very crucial role in almost everybody's life. Religion was so important because it was thought that it determined whether a person's soul would go to heaven or not. The Church of England had been established by a number of acts of Parliament at the start of Elizabeth the first's reign after the upheavals of the mid sixteenth century under Edward and Mary. The Church of England contained elements of deliberate ambiguity. For example, the services were Protestant but they could have a Catholic meaning to them if people wished so. This worked well in short term and people liked this new church but there were extreme Catholics and Protestants who wanted a change. When James came to the throne in 1603 it was these two groups of people who awaited his arrival with anticipation. ...read more.

Middle

In the conference, James showed himself to be nearly as hostile as Richard Bancroft to puritan aspirations. Fortunately for the puritans, many bishops were more tolerant and sympathetic than James and Bancroft. In 1604, Convocation passed canons (church regulations) that specifically enforced and defended the very practices puritans disliked (such as bowing the head at the name of Jesus and the use of the sign of the cross in baptism). These articles were a serious blow to many Puritans because they could no longer try to ignore practices of which they disapproved. About 90 puritans who would not conform were deprived of their livings. A much larger number remained within the church, protected by a friendly bishop or merely accepting the inevitable. Puritans complained about this, particularly to Parliament whose consent to canons many thought necessary, but was not obtained. England's Roman Catholics hoped that James would treat them better than Elizabeth had done, since they had supported his mother, Mary Queen of Scots and his wife, Anne of Denmark, had converted to Catholicism. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the aftermath of the plot, Parliament passed new legislation against English Catholics; Catholics were forbidden to live in or near London or to hold public office. Also Recusancy fines were increased and Catholics were required to take a new oath of allegiance which denied the Pope's authority to depose the king. Catholics were happy to demonstrate their political loyalty by taking it. So in conclusion after the Gunpowder plot which was realistically only supported by a few Catholics, the Catholics were no more trouble to James. In conclusion, I feel both the Puritans and the Roman Catholics were of equal threat to James between 1603 and 1606 although the Catholics were more of a threat to James safety because of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Although it must be remembered only a few extreme Catholics were part of this, so it was of not as much of a threat as one may think. By 1606 I feel James had dealt with them well, using measures that were fair and not more extreme than necessary. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jenna Benedict 10/05/2007 ...read more.

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