'The personalities of the early Stuart monarchs were responsible for a breakdown in relations betweeen Crown and Parliament in the years 1604 to 1629' Assess the validity of this view. [25]

James I was a devout believer in the Divine Right of Kings and firmly drew the lines between Royal Prerogative and Parliamentary Privilege which contributed greatly to the numerous problems in the relationship between Crown and Parliament. This is evident as in the 1604 Buckinghamshire Elections, James banned all outlaws from sitting as MPs despite an outlaw recently being elected. This caused huge tensions as Parliament argued for their privilege of free election whilst James viewed the passing of this ordinance as his Royal Prerogative. This immediately highlighted their fraught relationship as James' personality clashed strongly with Parliament's views of liberty and freedom within their privileges. Furthermore, this foreshadowed further breakdown due to this clash over his personality.However, during the reign of James I it could be argued that Parliament often abused their privilege. This is evident in the 1621 Parliament as MPs began discussing foreign policy and religion, attempting to get James to join the Thirty Years War against Spain whilst also strongly condemning the proposed Spanish Match with Charles. This is not Parliamentary Privilege and in discussing it Parliament clearly overstepped their mark. This is clear as James ripped the record from the commons journal in the Great Protestation of 1621. This severely tarnished the relationship between Crown and Parliament and highlighted Parliament's wrongdoing in discussing the Thirty Years War, ultimately meaning that they were also responsible for the breakdown in relations between Crown and Parliament.

Answered by Theo W. History tutor


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