James and Parliament’s debate over foreign policy 1621




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James and Parliament’s debate over foreign policy 1621
In 1621 James called parliament because he knew it was likely he would need money to send troops into Europe to help his son-in law Frederick of the Palatinate regain his crown. James appeared to allow Parliament to discuss foreign policy, which was unusual because it was one of the king’s prerogative powers. Parliament issued a Petition on 3rd December advising James what to do about foreign policy. James was annoyed that the Commons were debating issues far above their reach and he issued a reply that they should not meddle in royal prerogative matters. The Commons replied on 18th December with their Protestation. This stated that parliament had traditional rights and liberties to discuss the defence of the country as well as other matters such as the church. Parliament said “Freedom of speech we must have, or else no counsel”. James was concerned that the Commons was too preoccupied with trying to extend their rights and not actually passing any useful laws. He warned the Commons that if they did not turn to their ordinary business he would close them down.
In this final session of parliament we will debate the key issues that divide king and parliament.

As a member of parliament you have a number of concerns:




  • You are concerned that James is working too closely with Count Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador. James and Gondomar are trying to arrange a marriage between Charles and Maria, the Spanish princess. As Spain is Catholic, you and the people of England are worried. You are not happy about these negotiations.

  • Frederick of the Palatinate is seen as a heroic champion of the Protestant cause in Europe. The people of England love him. However, he lost his crowns of Bohemia and the Palatinate at the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620. The people of England think you should give him all the help you can to rescue his lands from the grasp of the Catholic Habsburgs.

  • You think James misled you when he said you could discuss foreign policy. You firmly believe that Parliament has traditional rights of free speech and that these should extend to any issue.

Y


ou need to record here the demands you want to put to James:

James and Parliament’s debate over foreign policy 1621
In 1621 James called parliament because he knew it was likely he would need money to send troops into Europe to help his son-in law Frederick of the Palatinate regain his crown. James appeared to allow Parliament to discuss foreign policy, which was unusual because it was one of the king’s prerogative powers. Parliament issued a Petition on 3rd December advising James what to do about foreign policy. James was annoyed that the Commons were debating issues far above their reach and he issued a reply that they should not meddle in royal prerogative matters. The Commons replied on 18th December with their Protestation. This stated that parliament had traditional rights and liberties to discuss the defence of the country as well as other matters such as the church. Parliament said “Freedom of speech we must have, or else no counsel”. James was concerned that the Commons was too preoccupied with trying to extend their rights and not actually passing any useful laws. He warned the Commons that if they did not turn to their ordinary business he would close them down.
In this final session of parliament we will debate the key issues that divide king and parliament.

As a one of James’ loyal ministers, you have a number of concerns:




  • James is working closely with Count Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador. James and Gondomar are trying to arrange a marriage between Charles and Maria, the Spanish princess. This would help trade links and bring England more money and power. It will also help stop a war between England and Spain. You and James hope that by getting the Spanish on side, you will be able to persuade them to give Frederick the Palatinate back.

  • You feel that Frederick was very foolish to accept the crown of Bohemia. He should have known the trouble it would cause! Frederick is seen as a heroic champion of the Protestant cause and the people of England love him. However, he lost his crowns of Bohemia and the Palatinate at the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620. The people of England think you should give him all the help you can to rescue his lands from the grasp of the Catholic Habsburgs.

  • You are concerned that parliament thinks it has the right to interfere in matters of royal prerogative. If James allows parliament to tell him what to do on this occasion, parliament might decide it has the right to do this all the time. That could be a huge problem!

Y


ou need to record here the demands you want to put to James:


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