Why did the Stuarts find ruling England difficult?

The troubles of James I and Charles I

The Stuarts found ruling England was no easier than running Scotland even though they were supposed to have more power.

James IV of Scotland had waited for many years for the childless Elizabeth I to die.  Elizabeth was the last of the Tudor dynasty, which had ruled England since 1485.  Despite been of humble Welsh origins the Tudors were generally considered to be a successsful dynasty. Henry VIII had even inadvertently overturned the religious and social fabric of his kingdom to gain a male heir. In the process Parliament became more powerful.

No easy job for James

Perhaps James misunderstood the power of Parliament and the importance of keeping to English constitutional conventions. The Westminster Parliament had considerably more power and influence than it's Scots counterpart. It controlled the purse strings of a much fuller purse. James had brought into the concept of the divine right of kings.

Yet the monarchs of France and Spain did not have to deal with a House of Commons that was reluctant to let James spend any money or mess with the Church of England.

Charles and the descent into civil war

James had found it difficult to get what he wanted yet had averted disaster by compromising.  Charles was convinced that his right to rule took precedence over Parliament and tradition. He even ruled without Parliament for eleven years. Then came  the civil wars and his execution.


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Nice historical article.

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