The Jacobean era refers to the period in English and Scottish history that coincides with the reign of King James VI (1567–1625) of Scotland, who also inherited the crown of England in 1603 as James I. The Jacobean era succeeds the Elizabethan era and precedes the Caroline era, and specifically denotes a style of architecture, visual arts, decorative arts, and literature that is predominant of that period.
The word "Jacobean" is derived from the Hebrew name Jacob, which is the original (and Graeco-Latin) form of the English name James.
The practical if not formal unification of England and Scotland under one ruler was a development of the first order of importance for both nations, and would shape their existence to the present day. Another development of crucial significance was the foundation of the first British colonies on the North American continent, at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, in Newfoundland in 1610, and at Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1620, which laid the foundation for future British settlement and the eventual formation of both Canada and the United States of America.
The most notorious event of James's reign occurred on November 5, 1605. On that date, a group of English Catholics (the most famous, in later generations, being Guy Fawkes) attempted to blow up the King and Parliament in the Palace of Westminster. However, the Gunpowder Plot was exposed and prevented, and the convicted plotters were hanged, drawn, and quartered.
The marriage of James' daughter Princess Elizabeth to Frederick V, Elector Palatine on February 14, 1613 was more than the social event (or celebrity wedding) of the era; the couple's union had important political and military implications. Frederick and Elizabeth's election as King and Queen of Bohemia in 1619, and the conflict that resulted, marked the beginning of the disastrous Thirty Years' War. King James' determination to avoid involvement in the continental conflict, even during the "war fever" of...
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