The financial weakness of the Crown

Rebecca Birch
Mind Map by Rebecca Birch, updated more than 1 year ago
Rebecca Birch
Created by Rebecca Birch over 5 years ago


AS - Level History Mr Bentley (Monarchs and parliaments 1603-49) Mind Map on The financial weakness of the Crown, created by Rebecca Birch on 03/11/2016.

Resource summary

The financial weakness of the Crown
    1. Raising prerogative income worried Political Nation because the money came predominantly from them. More funds the Crown raised, the higher the likeliness that the monarch could become independent and therefore absolutist
      1. This was prevented by placing stricter limits on the money the monarchs could raise. This meant that they continued to be dependent on Parliament and the PN for substantial funds
        1. Finance became a more serious problem for the Crown as a result because...
          1. Its expenditure was rising due to inflation caused by rising prices between 1502 and 1622
            1. Its income was falling because of Elizabeth's failure to reform Crown's major sources of income during her reign
              1. Consequences of the Crown's financial weakness were...
                1. Increasingly difficult for them to govern efficiently and to conduct aggressive foreign policy
                  1. Had no alternative but to devise new means of raising money when loans weren't approved by Parliament during wartime
            1. Elizabeth I had failed to update the Crown's sources of income, thus leading to them becoming exacerbated during a period of inflation. However, monarchs thought it politically safer to organise reforms in the short term rather than undertake reforms that would mean dealing with the vested interests of the PN represented in Parliament
              1. Severity first recognised by Robert Cecil. 1610 - He started negotiating with Parliament for major reform, known as the Great Contract. In return for a grant of £200,000 from Parliament and the removal of £600,000 worth of debt, the Crown would give up some prerogative income. BUT...both Crown and Parliament felt that this was too much to lose and so the Contract was refused
              2. It took Civil War and a period of Personal Rule for major reform to be made to Crown Finances and finances of the state
                1. 1603 - Still in debt
                  1. Foreign policy and war were the greatest sources of expenditure for monarchs BUT... this was significantly reduced when James I made peace with Spain in the 1604 Treaty of London
                    1. 1603 - James I took the throne. Saw England as land of plenty in comparison with his limited income in Scotland. Determined to enjoy greater wealth in England, despite the lack of Crown reform from Elizabeth. He spent extravagantly, was generous to courtiers. Court spending during his reign was double that of Elizabeth's
                      1. 1606 - Parliament granted James 3 subsidies to help with debts -> he gave £44,000 of it to Scottish friends. This made MPs reluctant to reform as they worried he would just give the money away
                        1. Positive results of his expenditure were that patronage was crucial to the political system, especially in buying goodwill for monarch upon coming to the throne, and in particular given the nature of James' accession
                          1. 1610 - James received a £100,000 loan from London BUT... he was still desperate for money and listened to anyone who had a method of raising funds
                            1. 1611 - Dissolved Parliament, ruled independently for 10 years. Had to use a variety of methods to raise money, none of which raised enough money and thus the Crown's reputation was ruined
                              1. One example is the Cockayne Project (1614). Planned to reorganise cloth trade and a commission to prevent further building in London. Had the opposite effect. A monopoly on the production and sale of finished cloth granted to William Cockayne (London businessman) failed. Dutch refused to purchase finished cloth from England, resulting in a slump
                                1. 1617 - Royal debt was £726,000, economy entering depression
                                  1. 1620 - Royal debt reached £900,000
                              2. THE ANTE-SUPPER
                                1. The preparation of two huge feasts, the first of which was simply just for display and was then thrown away before the second one was consumed. One ante-supper in 1621 cost £3300
                                2. JAMES' PARLIAMENT OF 1621
                                  1. James was forced to call Parliament because of the financial aid that they could give him should England enter the Thirty Years War
                                    1. In the 1621 Parliament, James was only granted 2 subsidies, totalling £140,000. MPs were reluctant to grant more because of the economic depression and because they wanted James to address their grievances beforehand. There was also still the fear that if he had sufficient funds, he could dissolve Parliament
                                      1. Also concerned about the number of monopolies as in his independent rule, James had increasingly granted monopoly rights to businessmen for a price and by 1621, there were more that 100 monopolies. Examined people who had been given a monopoly. This was used during a factional dispute by Lionel Cranfield and Lord Chief Justice Edward Coke to remove Lord Chancellor Francis Bacon. They revived impeachment, not used since 1450, whereby the Commons could remove a Crown minister. James sacrificed Bacon to appease Commons BUT... he mostly did it to prevent an attack on Buckingham who had several relatives who had exploited monopolies
                                  2. THIRTY YEARS WAR, 1618-48
                                    1. Religion had divided European states against each other and internally since the Reformation and emergence of Protestantism
                                      1. 1618 - Series of wars between Catholics and Protestants, mostly in what is now Germany, which then consisted of 329 states. The conflict centred in this region but it brought in a range of countries through various alliances
                                    2. JAMES' PARLIAMENT OF 1624
                                      1. 1623 and 1624 - Bad harvests weakened Crown's finances further
                                        1. SUBSIDY ACT - Granted a subsidy of £300,000 to Crown for warfare. In order to receive it, the Crown had to agree that it would only be spent on specified areas of foreign policy, as supervised by Parliament officials
                                          1. STATUTE OF MONOPOLIES - Limited Crown's right to grant monopolies to individuals
                                            1. James' death 1625 - Still no systematic reform. His extravagance had made Crown finances worse than in 1603. Finance remained a central Parliamentary concern when Charles became the new monarch
                                            2. THE FINANCIAL WEAKNESSES OF THE CROWN, 1625-29
                                              1. Charles I wanted to participate in the Thirty Years War due to the failure of the Spanish Match and his marriage alliance with Henrietta Maria of France, Spain's main opponent. However, his anti-Spanish policy required significant expenditure...
                                                1. Financial backing for his Uncle Christian IV of Denmark to attack Catholics through northern Germany
                                                  1. Financial support for Protestant Dutch
                                                    1. Construction of a 6000 strong force of Englishmen to be led by Count Mansfeld, a Germany mercenary
                                                      1. A Naval attack on Spain aimed at capturing shipments of gold from South America
                                                      2. Charles planned war expenditure of £1 million. Needed subsidies from Parliament but refused to tell them why he needed the money, so they would only grant him two (£140,000). They also only granted him the right to collect tonnage and poundage for a year, rather than for life, as a way to gain time to discuss customs duties BUT...
                                                        1. Charles saw this as a direct attack on his prerogative. Felt that Parliament was two influenced by radicals, like Edward Coke. Following two Parliaments (1626 and 1628) were no more persuaded to grant Charles more money
                                                          1. The expenditure on foreign policy between 1625 and 1629 further strained Crown finances. Led to increasing tension with the PN during 3 Parliaments. Charles' failure to secure subsidies meant he turned to prerogative forms of income, raising further tension with PN
                                                            1. 1929 - £2 million worth of debt, large sections of the PN had been alienated by Charles
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