The King’s Letters: Letter II Controversy

The many letters of correspondence between King Charles I and his queen undoubtedly caused political strife due to their controversial matter regarding political tactics during the English Civil War. One matter that caused such great strife was that of the queen’s origin and religion—because Queen Henrietta was a French Catholic, many believed that she was not fit to have a say in any of the political matters pertaining to England’s well-being. However, Letter II (among many others) reveals that King Charles I actually relied on her opinion heavily and relied on another French Catholic, the Duke of Lorraines, for correspondence with the queen. He says to Queen Henrietta, “…thou art the much fittest person to be the means of so happy and glorious a work as is the peace of this Kingdom” as he discusses his decision about the renewal of a treaty between the Rebels and the government. In this letter, King Charles I essentially reveals his lack of respect for the rebel army by deeming them incompetent and lacking in men and resources. He refuses to accept the Rebels’ agree to submission in return for a renewal of the Treaty due to his lack of respect. The statement at hand is controversial because it revealed to the public that the king felt incapable of making such a decision without the queen’s approval. The people would not have supported the idea of Queen Henrietta taking part in the decisions to be made regarding the kingdom. The editor explains why in his notes: “The Queen…is implacable to our religion, nation, and government.”

The relation of Letter II to the Edward Snowden case may be different in the precise nature of the two cases, but the reaction of the people was much the same. With the editor’s note to the king’s letters and the WikiLeaks alike, the people seemed led to believe that the government was working against them by keeping important information from them. As a result of Edward Snowden’s actions, the public learned from the NSA that “the agency privately admits to two thousand seven hundred and seventy-six incidents of unauthorized collection of data within a twelve-month period”, according to The New Yorker’s article. Though this may not be statistically significant, the concept that a government agency could be hiding important information from the public is significant in itself. Here, the ideology of individual privacy and security could be threatened if the government does not uphold its own standards of activity when it comes to surveillance.

This entry was posted in Group 3: The English Civil War by Rachel Martin. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rachel Martin

I am currently a sophomore English Education major with a minor in business administration. Although I currently reside in Columbia, I am from Lexington, South Carolina originally. Writing has always been an interest of mine, but my true passion lies in reading literature. In the future, I hope to share this passion with students ranging from middle school to university.

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