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The Age of James VI

James_I_of_England_by_Daniel_Mytens

James_I_of_England_by_Daniel_Mytens

The reign of King James VI (1567 -1625) marks the crucial change in the fortunes of the Stewart, now called Stuart dynasty and of Scotland as a whole. The Protestant Reformation in Scotland effectively ended the political alliance with France, while the removal of the monarchy to England marked a decisive change in the future cohesion and development of the Scottish kingdom. This was coupled with a significant economic and population growth (the population is thought to have doubled between 1550 and 1650) which made for further changes in Scotland. Though King James himself was removed only returning occasionally his attempts to unite the parliaments of Scotland and England failed and the administration of Scotland remained entirely separate from that of England, a crucial factor in the calamitous events of his successor, Charles I’s reign.  James VI himself was something of an author, publishing several books.  By the time of his death in 1625 Scotland’s position had been transformed with a more prosperous, confident country but with one that had crucially lost the physical presence of its monarchy and with one that had deep and numerous religious and political differences in the wake of the Reformation of 1560. These differences would come to the fore in the following reign and bring disaster to both the Stuart monarchy and to Scotland in their wake.

 

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