-The Beginning of the Stuart Dynasty-
After the death of Elizabeth in 1603, James VI of Scotland became the first Stuart king of England.
James grow up surrounded by Protestant lords, who had forced his mother, who was Catholic, into exile.
However he was a cultured man, in fact he wrote some treaties in English and Latin.
He was well accepted by English people, because they thought that he could reduce the danger of civil war.
He based his rule on the theory of the ‘divine right of kings’; so he believed that he was the representative of God on earth, because he was the monarch.
He worked with small councils of ministers, rather than with the Parliament, who was called only when he needed money, but Parliament’s members refused to create new taxes, unless money was needed for war.
However James’ court was full of corruption and he was surrounded only by some Scottish favourites.
Religion was still a problem: Catholics were barred from public life; Puritans disapproved the Church of England, because the wanted the Church to be controlled by lay elders and not by bishops, and for that King James started attacking them.
In 1620 Pilgrim Fathers, religious dissenters, left England for America on the Mayflower and founded New Plymouth.
This new world was a great place where those religious dissenters could expand their beliefs; also it was a good place for English products, which usually were exchanged for American products, like tobacco.
King James authorised a new translation of the Bible, who lasted seven years, and the Church of England used it for more than 300 (three hundred) years.
In 1605 some radical Catholics plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament, but this attempt failed; this failure of the Gunpowder Plot is still commemorated in England on 5th November.