Diplomacy & deception : King James VI of Scotland's foreign relations with Europe (c.1584-1603)
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This thesis is the first attempt to provide an assessment of Scottish-Jacobean foreign relations within a European context in the years before 1603. Moreover, it represents the only cohesive study of the events that formed the foundation of the diplomatic policies and practices of the first ruler of the Three Kingdoms. Whilst extensive research has been conducted on the British and English aspects of James VI & I’s diplomatic activities, very little work has been done on James’s foreign policies prior to his accession to the English throne. James VI ruled Scotland for almost twenty years before he took on the additional role of King of England and Ireland. It was in his homeland that James developed and refined his diplomatic skills, and built the relationships with foreign powers that would continue throughout his life. James’s pre-1603 relationships with Denmark-Norway, France, Spain, the Papacy, the German and Italian states, the Spanish Netherlands and the United Provinces all influenced his later ‘British’ policies, and it is only through a study such as this that their effects can be fully understood. Through its broad scope and unique perspective, this thesis not only contributes to Scottish historiography, but also strengthens and updates our understanding of Jacobean diplomacy. Furthermore, it adds to European perspectives of international politics by re-integrating Scotland into the narrative of late sixteenth century European diplomatic history.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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