free ebooks

A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Which had been prejudiced by the settlement of Juliers


Among the English youth the wish was constantly reviving that the war with Spain, in which success was expected without any doubt, might be renewed with all vigour. Robert Cecil was as little in favour of this as his father formerly had been. Peaceful relations with Spain were rendered especially necessary by the condition of Ireland, where Tyrone, not less dissatisfied with James than he had been with Elizabeth, had again thrown off his allegiance, and had at last gone abroad to procure foreign aid for his discontented countrymen. But if Cecil could not break with Spain, yet he would not allow that power to strengthen itself or to obtain influence over England herself. In regard to the proposal of marriage that was made he had said that the gallant Prince of Wales could find blooming roses everywhere and did not need to search for an olive.

[Sidenote: A.D. 1612.]

The notion continued to prevail that James I, even if he did not take arms, ought to put himself at the head of the anti-Spanish party in Europe, now that Henry IV was no more.

The King and his ministers thought that for maintaining in the first place the state of affairs established in Cleves and Juliers, an alliance of the countries which had co-operated in producing it was the only appropriate means. In March 1612 we find the English ambassador at the Hague, Sir Ralph Winwood, at Wesel, where a defensive alliance that had long been mooted between James I and the princes of the Union, including those of the Palatinate, Brandenburg, Hesse, Wurtemberg, Baden, and Anhalt, was actually concluded. Both contracting parties promised one another mutual support against all who should attack them on account of the Union or of the aid they had given in settling and maintaining the tenure of Cleves and Juliers. The King was accordingly pledged to bring 4000 men into the field, and the Princes 2000 as their contingent, or to pay a sum of money fixed by rule at the choice of the country which should be attacked.[349] The agreement was concluded for six years, the period for which it was also agreed that the Union should still continue. The idea was started, I do not know whether by King James or rather by the leading English statesmen, of making this alliance the basis of a general European coalition against the encroachments of the Spaniards.[350] The German princes invited the Queen-Regent of France to join it, and to bring the Republic of the United Provinces into it. Mary de' Medici refused, on the ground that this was unnecessary, as the Republic was sufficiently secured by the defensive alliance previously concluded; but her ministers at that time still lent their assistance for the object immediately in view. The Spaniards had conceived the intention of raising the Archduke Albert to the imperial throne after the death of the Emperor Rudolph. A portion of the Electors, among others the Elector of Saxony, which had been prejudiced by the settlement of Juliers, was in his favour. He possessed the sympathies of all zealous Catholics; but England and France saw in the union of the imperial power with the possession of the Spanish Netherlands a danger for themselves and for the republic founded under their auspices. They plainly declared to the Spaniards that they would not permit it, but would set themselves against it with their allies, that is to say, of course, with the Republic and the Union.[351]


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us