About the Document James Stuart (James VI of Scotland, 1567-1625; James I of England, 1603-1625) was an intellectual who was rarely able to implement his ideas. He had hoped to unify England, Scotland, and Ireland, but was thwarted by both political realities and his own personal failings. He sought to ease international tensions, but his efforts to prevent the conflict that would become the Thirty Years' War were unsuccessful. The outbreak of the Thirty Years' War also destroyed his hope of brokering a European religious compromise. In addition to his duties as monarch, James I wrote on a variety of topics. His most famous work, the True Law of a Free Monarchy, is a classic argument for divine-right monarchy. Interestingly, although James penned this work in 1598, before he assumed the throne of England, he never tried to implement divine-right rule in England. He firmly believed that his power and authority derived solely from God, but acknowledged that as king of England, he had sworn oaths to govern according to the "laws and customs of England."
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