How Important Was Buckingham in the Breakdown of Relations 1625-29?

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Shehab Amin How important was Buckingham in the breakdown of relations 1625-29? Between the years 1625 and 1629 Charles’ favourite the Duke of Buckingham had a huge influence on English politics, the breakdown of relations between Crown and Parliament can be said to be because of how he used this power directly, for example the military failures at this time and relations with France, which he was directly behind. But as a separate point of conflict was religion, the rise of Armenianism. Other factors however such as tonnage & poundage, did cause problems with Charles but again without Buckingham these wouldn’t have been major points of conflict. In 1625 Buckingham decided England needed a new ally in Europe in France after the failure of the Spanish match, they could see diplomatic advantages, France was becoming worried about the successes of the Hapsburg Spanish and might be persuaded to take part against them. This however made Puritan minded MPs suspicious of Charles as not only was Henrietta Maria, the King’s prospective wife, Catholic, but also the terms of marriage included toleration for Catholics – something Parliament would certainly not welcome, rather it resented the Crown’s decision to do this. The Alliance with France however, had broken down by 1627 leading England into war. Buckingham was to blame because it was his flawed policy of creating an alliance with the French under terms not possible to keep such as toleration for Catholics, which caused the French Chief Minister to decide not to join the English in a war against the Hapsburgs, because of which Buckingham reversed his policy of French alliance. Furthermore to gain popularity Buckingham decided to help the Huguenots who were held at the port of La Rochelle – again this was another flawed move as now England was at war with two countries. With strained resources and poorly trained
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