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James I Union Agenda

Duration: 03:04

James I loved gold and in 1604, he harnessed it to his agenda for uniting England and Scotland. He issued a new sovereign coin called The Unite which for the first time referred to Great Britain. / It was a hugely unpopular idea in both England and Scotland. It provoked instability and an identity crisis where there had been none.

To Shakespeare, this was meat and drink. He started work on King Lear, a tragedy which featured a divided Kingdom.

Available since: Thu 5 Apr 2012


James Shapiro

This clip is from

The King & the Playwright: A Jacobean History Incertainties

1/3 There was an anxious mood in 1603 as a new royal dynasty rose to power.

First broadcast: 23 Apr 2012

Image for Incertainties Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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