The Early Stuarts, 1603-1660

By Godfrey Davies | Go to book overview
Save to active project


DURING the personal government of Charles I the people of England relaxed somewhat the interest with which they had previously followed events on the Continent. One explanation is their absorption in their own affairs. Another is that, after the meteoric career of Gustavus Adolphus, protestantism was safe, and the Thirty Years War continued in order that the victors might gain territorial compensation. Except as volunteers in the Swedish or Dutch service, Englishmen had no part or lot in the later stages of the war, and the recovery of the Lower Palatinate by the heir of Frederick V, in 1648, cannot by any stretch of imagination be attributed to the diplomatic efforts of Charles I, which excited the contempt of Europe. Apart from this unavailing interest in his nephew's fortunes, Charles can hardly be said to have had any guiding principle in his conduct of foreign relations. Whatever he tried to do on land mattered little, for foreigners recognized clearly enough that he was powerless without a parliament. Perhaps the one chance to strike an effective blow for the recovery of the Palatinate occurred after the battle of Breitenfeld, for then, in return for substantial supplies of men and money, Gustavus was willing to undertake the restitution of both Palatinates. There was one possible source whence a subsidy for Gustavus might be forthcoming, and that was stopped, for the king said the very mention of a parliament was derogatory to his authority.1 A little previously Charles had moved in a precisely opposite direction in order to help Frederick. In return for the promise of assistance in regaining the Palatinate, a secret treaty was signed at Madrid, in which the kings of England and Spain agreed to make joint war upon the Dutch, by land and sea, and to partition their territory.2 The treaty was not ratified then, nor in 1634 (when it was again discussed), apparently because at Madrid there was not the slightest confidence that Charles could perform his promises. Nevertheless this friendliness to Spain and enmity to the United Provinces, already envied for their prosperity and

Gardiner, vii. 189-93.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Early Stuarts, 1603-1660


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 472

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?