King James 1 and the Church

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King James 1 and the Church

King James IV, of Scotland, seized the English throne in 1603 after the death of Elizabeth I and became James I of England. He was the son of Mary Queen of Scots and had been King of Scotland since 1567. During his reign, James increased the power of the monarchy making his rule absolute. James I was involved with every area of government. Under his rule Scotland and England were united, the King James Version of the Bible was published, William Shakespeare and various other writers prospered, education thrived, and the American colonies were founded.[1] However, James faced many problems with unifying the government. One of the main problems was the religious conflict existing within the Church of England. Anglicans and Puritans wanted the church organized in separate ways, but King James felt a unified state church would create a more powerful government God had given James the right to rule and therefore non-conformity to religious policies was a sin against God. Although he wanted one state church, James believed compromise and toleration would naturally drive citizens to become members, conforming to the policies of the Church of England. Throughout his reign James attempted to decrease religious tensions, as people hoped to increase their influence and role they played in the decisions of the church.

There was a distinct split within the Church of England between the Puritans and the Anglicans. The Puritans were members of the Church of England, wanting reformation. They wished to eliminate of some ceremonies and dogmas closely resembling those of the Catholic Church. Puritans were more devout Christians then regular members. They believed the Sabbath should be strictly observe...

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... wasn’t completely unified, James did make changes that improved conditions. Since he wasn’t completely intolerable of other viewpoints he created a strong central government for one of the first times in English histories.


1. Stephen A. Coston, “ King James I of England Interesting Facts”<www.jesus-is-> (10/20/00) A.V. Publications Corp.

2. S. J, Houstan, James I, 1st ed.. (Great Britain:Lowe and Brydone, 1973), 16.

3. Houstan, 57.

4. Antonia Fraser, King James I of England, 1st ed. (New York:Alfred A. Knopf,

1975), 104.

5. Fraser, 105.

6. G.B. Harrison, A Jacobean Journal, 1st ed. (London: George Routledge and Sons,

1941), 105

7. Harrison, 106.

8. Fraser, 117.

9. Harrison, 152.

10. Houstan, 61.

11. Fraser, 182.

12. Houstan, 63.

13. Fraser, 182.
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