Both James and Charles aimed, as Cecil had done, at controlling the economic life of the subjects of the Crown in the interests of political and national power. Their ablest advisers, particularly Bacon and Wentworth, belonged to the mercantilist school in their views on the balance of trade and State regimentation, and there is a family resemblance between the expedients of the :first two Stuarts and those which Burleigh had adopted, in the way of industrial and commercial regulation. But the care of James I and Charles for the economic welfare of the country as they conceived it was interrupted and often counteracted by the exigencies of their constitutional relations. In not a few cases, moreover, it was as ill-judged as

it was well-meaning, and its exercise was frequently thwarted, as it was frequently dictated, from below. A strong feeling for self-direction still prevailed amongst many of the towns, and there were growing industrial areas which had not known a restrictive urban economy and that looked with suspicion on State control, so that local spirit often fought against the resolutions of central authority, whilst in the spheres of foreign trade, adventurous interlopers challenged the ground of the chartered companies. Certainly, under the first two Stuarts the economic progress of England cannot be said either to have been much indebted to power in the political administration or to ,have contributed much to it, and its fruits helped to give Parliament the victory which meant revolution.