Excerpt from Side-Lights on the Stuarts
Edward VI., died at the age of sixteen without issue his daughter, Mary, died without having son or daughter to succeed her; and Elizabeth, for her own reasons, one of which undoubtedly was to secure the succession to the Scotch branch and thus to unite the two kingdoms under one sovereign, lived a life of celibacy and devoted herself during the later years of her reign to making careful and statesmanlike preparation for the establish ment of King J ames of Scotland.
That the old Tudor was right in his appreciation of the Scotch stock was proved by the event, but whether the country would have ultimately been better for the Eng lish succession is matter of doubt. The time was rapidly approaching, even in the sixteenth century, for the ending of Caesarism and for the assertion of popular rights, and had we been governed by a sovereign and statesmen of the Tudor order, we might have waited longer for the shock which in 1648 galvanized the liberalism of England into permanent political life. As it was, the ultimate result of Elizabeth's disregard of King Henry's testament was to revolutionize the institutions of the country, and by putting us well ahead of other nations in the theory and in the practice of freedom, to preserve us from those calamities which, in the name and cause of popular liberties, overtook most of the nations of Europe. In the shadow of that great revolution we still walk, and there we shall abide till the overpowering force of an ever-increasing democracy may in the course of time induce an equal convulsion to restore the natural equilibrium of political forces.
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