The Blessed Revolution: English Politics and the Coming of War, 1621-1624

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Overview

This book examines the background to the English military intervention in the Thirty Years War. Blending accounts of diplomacy and factional in-fighting at Court with parliamentary and popular politics, it aims to illuminate the 'revolution' of 1624 when the Palatine crisis forced James I to abandon his long-held dream of an Anglo-Spanish dynastic alliance in favour of a more aggressive policy against the Habsburgs. In studying the English polity in a period of crisis, Professor Cogswell challenges many of the revisionist assumptions about early seventeenth-century England and highlights the dangers in confusing the history of Court faction with the broader political history of the period. In particular, the author stresses the vital importance of Parliament, an institution which in 1624 had no trouble delaying the passage of the subsidy bill until the government redressed a long list of grievances. Indeed, the 'blessed revolution' celebrated the evolution of Parliament into what many contemporaries regarded as its proper role in the state as much as it did the collapse of the longstanding Anglo-Spanish entente.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; Map of Europe on the eve of the Thirty Years War; Introduction; Prologue 'The evill time' 1622-1623; Part I. The Court, October 1623-February 1624: 1. 'A sharp edge': the rationale and strategy of a Spanish war; 2. 'The English match': the organization of the 'Patriot' coalition; 3. 'The clock doth now stand': the frustrated campaign against Spain; Part II. Westminster, February-May 1624: 4. 'A wise ordering of our affayres': Parliament and the 'Patriots'; 5. 'That mutual and unhappie jeaolousie': exultation and despair in the opening weeks of the session; 6. 'The high crisis of this most important business': Parliament and the war, 12-24 March; 7. 'Other circles': redress of grievances and supply, April-May; Part III. The Summer of 1624: 8. 'The revolt of the mice against the cats': reactions to the impending conflict; Conclusion; Note on sources; Bibliography; Index.

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