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Money and Power: The Politics of Religion in Revolutionary E

            King James I died in 1625 giving the throne to his eldest son Charles. Charles I took over the throne of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland in a time of great political and economic strife. The struggle between Charles I and the Puritans, as well as Parliament's aim at national sovereignty, caused the great rebellion known as the English Civil War. However, religion, though prominent at the time, proved secondary as the British merely used this institution to exacerbate the political issues of the time. The Irish Graces of 1625, the Root and Branch Petition of 1640, the Nineteen Propositions of 1642, and the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643 all exemplify how the British purely used religion in order to obtain political power and capitalistic dominance. Therefore, true political conflict lay at the heart of the religious conflict. .
             The first divergence came between Charles and the "hotter sort of Protestants- at the very onset of his reign in 1625. The King needed to finance a war with Spain, and without Parliament, he must to raise subsidies to fund the endeavor. Therefore, Charles made certain compromises with the Irish named the "Graces- in exchange for £120,000. These Graces dealt mainly in lessening punishment for practicing Catholicism in Ireland. The money collected through this campaign, as well as through other forms of medieval taxation, allowed proper funds for war with Spain. However, this statute defined Charles's stance on religion early in his career as he was willing to sacrifice religious ideology for monetary gain. The Puritans responded fervently to the Graces dubbing them "religion for sale- deeming that this "was yet one more example of the strength of the Catholic conspiracy that gripped Britain."" However, fifteen years later, the Root and Branch Petition proved many of these Puritans as hypocrites. This document, drafted by the people of London, verified Puritanism in fine form.

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