The emergence of a self-defining popular concept of foreign policy was the most obvious reflection of the physical land turning into a national land, a self-conscious political unit with a set of clear and distinctive priorities to be asserted and defended against others. This involves a change in the way that the public interest was defined. The unitary interest of the kingdom had been determined by the concerns and position of the king. If it is not been for the clashing dynastic conflicts of their princes and nobles, the interests of the peoples of medieval Europe would have been essentially non-competitive and indistinguishable. Now the people of England were beginning to identify their own national imperatives. So the assertion of a freestanding public interest in foreign affairs posed a challenge to the prerogatives of the crown and created the most conspicuous cause of dissension in the controversies between the political nation and the king in early Stuart England.