Would you consider the situation James I inherited from Elizabeth promising or difficult?

Authors Avatar by pippatatton-browngodolphinandl (student)

On balance would you consider the situation James I inherited from Elizabeth promising or difficult?

        In the last ten years of Elizabeth’s reign she faced some large crises that affected the economic and social stability of England.  Unfortunately for James I, these problems were not completely solved by the time she passed in 1603, leaving James I in a situation I would consider more difficult then promising.

        The first aspect that James I would come to find difficult would be the religious state of England.  Elizabeth’s reign had been a time of religious conflict between Protestant and Catholic faith.  All over Europe countries were divided, but Elizabeth managed to avoid these problems by maintaining a middle ground between the two religions.  Although she was Protestant like her half brother and father, she didn’t follow Edward’s persecution of the Catholics, allowing them to continue worshiping without heavy intervention.  By avoiding marriage, she avoided a civil war, keeping both sides slightly unsatisfied but not enough to cause rebellion.  However, this meant that when James I came to power the people of England expected him to define the religion of England putting him in a difficult situation as both sides were anxious to see what he would do: the Catholics hoped he would relax the penal laws against them, whilst many purtin hoped for a strongly Protestant country.

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        Another reason I would consider James I situation more difficult than promising would be because he was coming into a society completely different to his own.  James was witty and smart, however had an arrogance that meant the English had a pre-conceived opinion of him.  The British nobles were sophisticated and weren’t used to his abrupt Scottish mannerisms, meaning he struggled to fit in with the society.  There was also more private opposition lurking in the back of court from those who opposed James I being offered the throne.  Many wanted him replaced with a cousin Arabella Stuart, making his ...

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