A Fear of Democracy Runs Through Liberalism

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How far do you agree that the character of Charles 1 is most important in understanding the King’s decision to rule without parliament in 1629?
By Andy Todd
Charles 1 was a stubborn, austere and arrogant king. He was also shy, young and inexperienced when he took to the throne in 1925 at the age of just 24. He suffered from a stutter which is seen as one of the main reasons why he was known as a poor communicator. Tying in with his supposedly weak character was something which made him even more arrogant and stubborn. This was his belief in Divine Right; a theory that was drilled in to him by his father King James 1 which meant that the God had blessed him so he could be a completely autocratic ruler. However, it’s not possible to believe that it was purely Charles’s personality which led to him resorting to personal rule on March 2, 1629.
Charles 1 was a very loyal person who was known to become very attached and very trusting of one or two particular people. This lead to him making the despised Duke of Buckingham is closest advisor, as the Duke had been very close to Charles’s father, Charles trusted him completely. However, the Duke led Charles into a disastrous foreign policy. In 1628, Sir Edward Coke stated that the Duke of Buckingham was ‘the cause of all our miseries’, ‘the cause of all evils the kingdom suffered, and an enemy to the public’. The Duke, in 1625, had led the Cadiz expedition to attack Spain. The army landed on the coast, got drunk, and had to be evacuated. On the way home many of the ships ran out of food and water, and many soldiers died. And in 1627 Buckingham encouraged Charles to declare war on France, while the war with Spain was still going on. Buckingham then led the lle de Ré expedition to relieve the Protestants of La Rochelle; however he was forced to retreat after heavy losses. So as you can see, Buckingham seemed to just lead…...

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