Was James I a good king for England?
James I was a very educated man, well read in theology and political theory. Having taken over the Scottish throne at the age of thirteen months, one can think that when he started ruling England he was more than enough prepared for being a king. However, I should say that to me he was neither a good nor a bad king since he took some good and wrong decisions during his reign. On the one hand, James I was brought up as a Presbyterian, and as a Christian, he wanted the Bible in the hands of the common men. Therefore he sponsored the translation of the Bible into English and created the Authorized King James Bible in 1611, making it accessible to even more people. Moreover, James was a king who disliked war and conflict since he did not believe war was a path to glory and honour. He was also a skilled mediator and tried to avoid all the struggles. For instance, in order to achieve this, among other decisions, he married his eldest daughter to one of the leading Protestant princes of Germany, and wanted to marry his eldest son to a princess of Spain. James I mentioned in one of his speeches that ‘by peace abroad with their neighbours the towns flourish, the merchants become rich, the trade increases and the people enjoy free liberty and that he would go to war only if he is forced to, either for reparation of the honour of the Kingdom, or else by necessity for the preservation of the same’. So peace making was a very important and positive issue during his reign. On the other hand, James I was a supporter of the Doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings. The idea of that Doctrine was that the king’s right to be king was granted by God and it was, essentially, God's earth representative and whatever the ruler said was the word of God. Having received authority from God, James I was above all criticism and therefore this Doctrine preached the kings rights to the point of absolutism. Furthermore, James never had a good...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document