Why Did James Fail

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In 1609, just six years into James’ reign as king, he faced major financial trouble with mounting royal debts being the main issue. With nearly £1m worth of debt he was forced to go to Parliament for funding. In the last session of the first Parliament, Lord Salisbury proposed the Great Contract, which would have led to the crown giving up feudal dues in return for an annual parliamentary subsidy. When Salisbury introduced the idea of the Great Contract in February 1610, he stated that the scheme had two aims. The first was to allow James to pay off all royal debt. The second was to allow James to live in the manner that befitted a king of England. The plan, however, failed because of political factionalism in Parliament, along with the growing…show more content…
It coincided with the planning to make Prince Henry Prince of Wales. Cecil used this as an example of just how much money the monarchy had to spend to maintain the standards the public would require. He also made it known that the annual figure that would be required to support the king would be £240,000 each year. However, despite the work of Cecil, the Commons was less than compliant after the figure of £240,000 a year was announced. Their primary reason this time was the king's unwillingness to listen to their grievances. With the contract now in jeopardy, a frustrated James was impelled to concede discussion of grievances and to promise an act against impositions. Though, James finally agreed to hear MP's grievances on July 7th and James gave a partial response to them on July 10th. On July 16th, Parliament offered James £180,000. On the following day Cecil told the Commons that James would accept £200,000 a year and this became the agreed figure. This was in return for the abolition of wardships, purveyance and the seven other prerogative revenues as stated by Cecil. He then suggested to the MP’s that the best way forward was for them to use the summer Parliamentary recess to go back to their constituencies to find out the opinions of those in the constituencies. This way any decision made could be seen as representing all rather than the minority. Cecil was banking on the hope that the people, as opposed to obstreperous MP's, would instinctively gravitate towards their monarch and their opinion in support of the Great Contract would pressurize the Commons into accepting

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