Basic Idea: In the 1600s, the English people begin to clash with their kings, who wish to have unlimited (absolute) power. Through a series of events, the British force their king to concede (give in) to ruling alongside the Parliament (like the US Congress)
Elizabeth I dies in 1603 with no direct heir, the Stuarts of Scotland are the closest relatives she has…
James I (1603-25) Believed that he was divinely (by God) chosen to rule Great Britain Did not get along with Parliament, who liked Elizabeth I Religious tensions caused the migration of Puritans to New England
Charles I (son of James I; 1625- 1649) Increased tensions with Parliament Signed the Petition of Right (likely to please Parliament) King could not: keep a standing army, force martial (military) law, imprison people for no reason, tax people without Parliaments consent, or dissolve Parliament without its consent. Continued fights with Parliament resulted in English Civil War. Charles and Royalist Army lose, Charles is beheaded This is a very dark time in England, when the people take the power into their own hands.
Oliver Cromwell (1649-1658; 1658- 1660 son reigns) Military leader of the Parliament Establishes a commonwealth Became Lord-Protector of England Advanced religious tolerance Very severe lifestyle – Spartan (took away fun stuff – games, plays) Son rules after his death, but is a poor leader
Charles II (son of Charles I; 1660- 1685) Parliament is disbanded and reelected; invite Charles II (Charles Is son) to be king Much rejoicing, all the fun stuff returns Church of England restored, P. passes Habeas Corpus Act, which prevents unjust or wrongful imprisonment of persons.
James II (brother of Charles II; 1685-1688) Jamess second wife was Italian and Catholic and tried to restore Catholicism in England Had a son, which would ensure an heir to the throne and possibly a reign of Catholic Kings, which makes Parliament and English nervous! Parliament invites his daughter, Mary and her husband William of Orange (Holland). James abdicates (steps down) and flees to France (to buddy Louis XIV) Dubbed the Glorious Revolution for the bloodless overthrow of the monarchy.
Effects Later, Enlightenment thinkers would look back on these events, like the English Civil War and Glorious Revolution and comment on how they thought government should work and does work. They would write books and essays about the nature of man and his relationship with government.
English Bill of Rights Limits the Kings power – Cannot tax without Parliaments consent Habeas Corpus No excessive bail Free speech and free elections