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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

And between the States General and Denmark


The

cause of Savoy appeared the common cause of opposition to Spain. James deemed himself happy in being able to do something further for that object by removing the misunderstanding which existed between Protestant Switzerland and the Duke. On his own side he carefully upheld the old connexion between England and the Cantons. He gave out that in this manner the territories of his allies would extend to the very borders of Italy, for Protestant Switzerland formed the connecting link between his friends in that country and the German Union which, in turn, bordered on the Netherlands.

With the same view, in order that his allies might not have their hands tied elsewhere, he laboured to remove the dissensions between Saxony and Brandenburg, and between the States-General and Denmark. At the repeated request of certain German princes, he made it his business to put an end, by his intervention, to the war that had broken out between Sweden and Denmark. By the mediation of his ambassadors the agreement of Knarod was arrived at, which regulated the relations between the Northern kingdoms for a considerable time. James saw his name at the head of an agreement which settled the rights of sovereignty in the extreme North 'from Tittisfiord to Weranger,' and had the satisfaction of finding that the ratification of this agreement by his own hand was deemed necessary.[361] A general union of the Protestant kingdoms and states was contemplated in this arrangement.

style="text-align: justify;">In connexion with this, the commercial relations that had been long ago concluded with Russia assumed a political character. During the quarrels about the succession to the throne, when Moscow was in danger of falling under the dominion of Poland, which in this matter was supported by Catholic Europe, the Russians sought the help of Germany, of the Netherlands, and especially of England. We learn that the house of Romanoff offered to put itself in a position of inferiority to King James, who appeared as the supreme head of the Protestant world, if he would free Russia from the invasion of the Poles.

Already in the time of Elizabeth the opposition to the Spanish monarchy had caused the English government to make advances to the Turks.

Just at the period when the fiercest struggle was preparing, at the time when Philip II was making preparations for annexing Portugal, the Queen determined to shut her eyes to the scruples which hitherto had generally deterred Christian princes from entering into an alliance with unbelievers. It is worth noticing that from the beginning East Indian interests were the means of drawing these powers nearer to one another. Elizabeth directed the attention of the Turks to the serious obstacles that would be thrown in their way, if the Portuguese colonies in that quarter were conquered by the far more powerful Spaniards.[362] The commercial relations between the two kingdoms themselves presented another obvious consideration. England seized the first opportunity for throwing off the protection of the French flag, which had hitherto sheltered her, and in a short time was much rather able to protect the Dutch who were still closely allied with her. The Turks greatly desired to form a connexion with a naval power independent of the religious impulses which threatened to bring the neighbouring powers of the West into the field against them. They knew that the English would never co-operate against them with Spaniards and French. Political and commercial interests were thus intertwined with one another. A Levant company was founded, at the proposal of which the ambassadors were nominated, both of whom enjoyed a considerable influence under James I.


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