Cromwell and the New Model Foreign Policy: England's Policy toward France, 1649-1658

Cromwell and the New Model Foreign Policy: England's Policy toward France, 1649-1658

Cromwell and the New Model Foreign Policy: England's Policy toward France, 1649-1658

Cromwell and the New Model Foreign Policy: England's Policy toward France, 1649-1658

Excerpt

The first two Stuart monarchs refused to allow England to play an important role in international politics. While rival camps in Europe were preparing for war, James I was trying to act as a mediator and peacemaker. His actions succeeded merely in demonstrating the international unimportance of England and in giving his recalcitrant subjects more about which to complain. Charles I, with the aid of Buckingham, did involve England more directly on the Continent, participating in an ill-conceived war that had unclear objectives and even more obscure strategy. The mark of Charles's diplomacy was that he set England at war with both France and Spain, themselves implacable foes and the leaders of the two great forces dividing Europe.

Charles's unfortunate involvement in foreign affairs might have convinced him that isolation was a better policy. In any case, the troubles of the Continent were relegated to a minor position by the King's inability to deal with Parliament. While the Thirty Years' War reached an important new stage with the death of Gustavus Adolphus and the French declaration of war against Spain, Charles I's attention was directed to his attempts to rule without recourse to Parliament.

The efforts at "personal rule" by the King were brought to an abrupt conclusion by the invasion by the Scots and . . .

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