King James I: Absolutism

December 7, 2013 | | Comments Off on King James I: Absolutism

My second primary source paper was on James I of England and The True Law of the Free Monarchy. After looking at his portrait, I analyzed any iconography in the portrait that shows his belief of absolute power.

James I believed in the divine right of kings and also wrote The true law of the Free Monarchy. The main idea of the divine rights of kings was that God appoints who becomes a king and a king’s power comes from God alone. Therefore, James I himself had been appointed to be king by God and thought he was the rightful king.   The true law of the Free Monarchy was James I idea that his only responsibility was to God, and not to the people and therefore, he was free from all constrains, including laws. His belief that God appoints kings led to the idea that his actions were a product of God’s will and that they were therefore always justified. This idea gave him a large amount of freedom to do as he pleased when ruling, because whatever he did, whether it turned out good or not, was seen as God’s will. Therefore, James I and other absolutist monarchs demanded that everyone should be loyal to their King and practice complete obedience to the King’s laws and commands.  Thus The true law of the Free Monarchy showed that James did not believe in balance of power.

Two primary sources used were a portrait of James I and the picture from the cover page of The true law of the Free Monarchy. James I ruled England with the thought that everyone in the country should obey him and be completely loyal to him. Both of the sources are related to each other in terms of their support for the idea of absolutism. There are some iconographies in the portrait of James I that show his absolute ruling power, and The true law of the Free Monarchy was an example of the his idea of a king’s power.

Wikipedia contributors, ” Sceptre with the Cross,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

Edited from early post: “Second Primary Source Paper Topic”

Corey Dyke, Anthony Martin, Camille Jones



James I                                                                                      True_Law_of_Free_Monarchies-150x150


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