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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

As well as the navigation to the Indies


The English promised that they

would not support the rebellious subjects and enemies of the King of Spain; and it was arranged that an unrestricted trade should again be opened with all countries, with which it had been carried on before the war. At the first glance this looked as if any further alliance with Holland, as well as the navigation to the Indies, was rendered impossible. The Venetian envoy once spoke with King James on the subject, who answered that it would soon be shown that this opinion was erroneous. In fact, as soon as the first ships returned from the East Indies, preparations were at once made for a second expedition. The States General were not interfered with in the enlistment which they had been allowed to begin; for it was maintained that they could not be included under the term rebellious subjects. The only difference made was that similar leave to enlist in the English dominions was granted to the Spaniards also, who for that purpose resorted especially to Ireland. In this way the peace exactly expressed the relations into which England was thrown by the change of government. James, who for his own part would have wished simply to renew the friendly relations which had formerly existed, found himself compelled to stipulate for exceptions owing to the form which the interests of England had now assumed. The Spaniards allowed them, because even on these terms the termination of the war was of the greatest advantage to them, and they did not surrender the hope of changing the peace into
a full alliance later on, although their proposals to that effect were in the first instance declined.

And notwithstanding any ambiguity which might arise as to the scope of the treaty with regard to individual questions, the conclusion of peace was in itself of great importance: it implied a change of policy which created the greatest stir. It affected the United Provinces and filled them with anxiety, for in their judgment not only was the action of Spain against them no longer fettered, but the Spanish ambassador in England was sure in time by means of gold and intrigues to acquire an influence which must be fatal to them.

The King thought that he had achieved a great success. His intention was to be as fully acknowledged by the Catholic powers as by the Protestant; to occupy a neutral position between those who were favourable, and those who were opposed, to Spain, and to live in peace with all, without however losing sight of the interests of England. Men could not be blind to the correspondence between this policy and the general tendency of these times. From the epoch of the Absolution of Henry IV and the overthrow of the League, the separation between religious and political interests had begun. Men on either side no longer regarded the ascendancy of Spain as a support or as a danger to religion. The Spanish government itself under the guidance of the Duke of Lerma acquired a peaceful character. Thus King James was made happy by seeing embassies from the Catholic states arrive in England. Not until he stood between the two parties did he feel himself to be in truth a king, and to surpass his predecessor.


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