Parliamentary powers had steadily grown in the centuries leading up to the 17th century. Although Royal Assent to Parliamentary bills was still technically required, by the reign of James I (1567–1625) Parliament had begun using finances as a means to exert pressure on the monarch. Because cooperation with Parliament generally increased popular perception of the monarch’s actions, however, monarchs were not quick to defy the legislature. When King Charles I came to power in 1625, he embroiled Britain in an expensive war with Spain. Parliament responded by restricting Charles’ ability to fund the war through collecting customs duties. Over the...

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