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Cooperation to Competition

English Perspective and Policy on Anglo-Dutch Economic Relations During the Reign of James I

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Joel D. Benson

For centuries English overseas trade depended on economic cooperation with the Low Countries. By the seventeenth century Dutch commerce had produced the highest standard of living in Europe, and the English viewed the Dutch with a mixture of awe and resentment. With the accession of James I, Anglo-Dutch relations began to change. The English perspective and policy response to their economic relationship with the Dutch shifted from cooperation at the beginning of James I's reign (1603-1625) to rivalry at the end of it.