Now, I would expect that you all recognized those people and ideas, but just to be sure, let’s take a little practice quiz… I pity the fool who can’t answer all of these questions!
Question #1 What is the government called when a small group of leaders is in charge?
Question #1 What is the government called when a small group of leaders is in charge? Oligarchy
Question #2 What is the other name for a representative democracy?
Question #2 What is the other name for a representative democracy? Republic
Question #3 Is a military dictator an autocratic or democratic leader?
Question #3 Is a military dictator an autocratic or democratic leader? Autocratic
Question #4 Which civilization felt that law should be written down and applied equally to all citizens?
Question #4 Which civilization felt that law should be written down and applied equally to all citizens? Romans
Question #5 What religious movement led citizens to question and defy authority figures like the king or Pope?
Question #5 What religious movement led citizens to question and defy authority figures like the king or Pope? The Reformation
Question #6 Which philosopher believed that humans are evil and require a strong autocratic government?
Question #6 Which philosopher believed that humans are evil and require a strong autocratic government? Thomas Hobbes
Question #7 Which Philosopher felt that the middle class should be given power in the government?
Question #7 Which Philosopher felt that the middle class should be given power in the government? Aristotle
Question #8 Who named himself “Lord Protector” of England after having Charles I executed?
Question #8 Who named himself “Lord Protector” of England after having Charles I executed? Oliver Cromwell
Question #9 What type of government was set up when William and Mary were invited to rule England?
Question #9 What type of government was set up when William and Mary were invited to rule England? Limited Monarchy
Question #10 Which historic concept is best represented when CVHS students wear green and gold?
Question #10 Which historic concept is best represented when CVHS students wear green and gold? Regionalism/Nationalism
That was awesome! Nothing is better than showing off how much you know about history…well…other than cuddling with cute kittens! But, we should probably revisit the rise of democracy in England as well!
Edward I recognizes the first English PARLIAMENT
The power of the monarch is limited in the GLORIOUS REVOLUTION
I pity the fool who didn’t do the reading, but this time I’ll help you out…but, you definitely won’t have time to take notes, so pay attention, ask questions if you are confused, and read the book next time!
Sometime in the late 1600s Louis XIV, the King of France, made a bold statement: “I am the state!” When he said that he was asserting his right to rule without consulting with his subjects…even his nobles! He firmly believed in the divine right of kings.
As you should know, the situation in England was quite different. By 1700 English kings not only ruled with Parliament, but they had also been forced to recognize that Parliament was the ultimate authority in disagreements over how to govern. The idea of the limited monarchy is simple, but it took years of violent conflict to establish those limits. So…let’s trace the roots of that conflict, beginning in the1400s, up through the establishment of the limited monarchy in 1688.
From 1485 to 1603 England was ruled by the Tudors. The Tudors recognized that they needed the support of Parliament to achieve their goals, particularly in matters of religion, and so they regularly consulted with Parliament. Because of this, Parliament came to expect to be consulted on matters of public policy. The roots of the Glorious Revolution are with Henry VIII, a Tudor, who ruled England from 1509-1547. He wanted a divorce from his wife, Catherine, because she had given birth to many daughters, but no sons. He desperately wanted a male heir, and naturally assumed it was her fault that their children were female.
Of course, to get a divorce, you had to ask the Pope. Henry VIII asked, but Pope Clement VII said no, partly because it was exceptionally rare to allow for a divorce, and partly because Catherine was a member of the Spanish royal family, strong supporters of the papacy.
So…Henry VIII created, and declared himself head of, the Anglican Church. English church leaders were outraged, but he ignored their complaints, as well as the complaints of his nobles, and the increasingly outraged pope. He forced Parliament into passing the Act of Supremacy in 1534, which declared the king “the only supreme head of the Church of England”. Henry was able to do this because, well, he was king…and he bribed Parliament by giving influential members land that he seized from the Church. If you’re gonna’ mess with the pope, you better be strong. Strong like Henry VIII and strong like Mr. T!
After Henry VIII died, his nine year old son Eduard VI, the product of Henry VIII’s third (Jane Seymour) of six marriages, assumed the throne, and so England was ruled by a Regency Council. He died at 15, never having become king or producing an heir.
After Edward VI died the throne was held first by Henry VIII’s daughter Mary (1553- 1558) and then by another daughter, and her half sister, Elizabeth (1558-1603). Mary was a devout Catholic and began to persecute both members of the Church of England and Protestants (remember…the Reformation began in 1517). “Bloody” Mary
When Elizabeth became queen in 1558 she quickly reversed Mary’s laws and began to empower the Anglican Church because it gave the monarch a great deal of power. In order to avoid upsetting Protestants and sparking a religious war (as had happened in Germany and France), she made subtle changes to the Anglican church which made it more Protestant (though it remained very Catholic in many of its practices, prayers, and structures). Elizabeth “The Virgin Queen”
As the Reformation expanded, Puritans (protestants who wanted to “purify” the Anglican Church) and many other protestants became horrified by the vestiges of Catholicism which still existed in the Anglican Church. Equally important, the Puritans wanted a church which was completely separate from government. They feared that too much government influence would only serve to corrupt their religion (as they believed it had Catholicism) Elizabeth began to imprison Puritans who she saw as a threat to her authority and many fled for the new colonies in America. Those who remained continued to resist her policies. Hmmm…this seems like it is getting bad…
Elizabeth died in 1603 without an heir (thus the “Virgin Queen” thing) and so her cousin, James I of Scotland, became the King of England; when that happened, the Tudor Dynasty ended and the Stuart Dynasty began. All the conflict just got worse when I became king because I was unwilling to defer to Parliament. Like Louis XIV, I believed that divine right gave me ultimate authority. When my son, Charles I became king in the 1620s things got a lot worse…
After I became king, Parliament passed a Petition of Right which said that I, glorious King Charles I, could not raise taxes without their consent. At first, I accepted it, but then I was like: “WTF?!?, I’m the king! I can do whatever I want! Screw them!”
So…I locked them out of Parliament for the 11 years between 1629 and 1640. Those who resisted found themselves imprisoned. They called it the “Eleven Years’ Tyranny”, but whatever! I’m the King!
In 1642 a civil war broke out between the supporters of the king (who were called Royalists or Cavaliers) and the supporters of Parliament (called Roundheads, because they cut their hair short to avoid looking like royalty).
Oliver Cromwell, a military genius, and his New Model Army defeated the royalists in the name of Parliament and the Puritan religion. He then concluded that Charles I was a threat and must be put to death. Some in Parliament hesitated, so he killed them. The “Rump (or Remaining) Parliament” consented to the execution, and so Charles I was beheaded on January 30, 1649. It was pretty controversial, but whatever. After the execution, parliament abolished the monarchy and dissolved the House of Lords, declaring England a commonwealth (another name for a republic). YAY Democracy!!
The problem was, Cromwell didn’t like the Rump Parliament any more than he liked the King or the House of Lords…so in 1653 he dissolved them by force and instituted a military dictatorship. “It is you who have forced me to do this, for I have sought the Lord night and day that He would slay me rather than put upon me the doing of this works.” But I lived, so you all lose…suckers!
As a Puritan leader, Cromwell began to enforce incredibly restrictive laws (which were in line with the Puritan faith) and many people became frustrated with the restrictions. When Cromwell died, his son was unable to control the increasingly rebellious people. Later Oliver Cromwell was posthumously executed by beheading and his severed head was placed on a stick outside Westminster Hall (where Parliament met) for a year!
Following the death of Cromwell and the deposition of his son Richard (nicknamed “Queen Dick” for his weakness and inefficiency), Parliament restored (“The Restoration”) the Stuart heir to the English throne, Charles II (the “Merry Monarch”), in 1649. Though things seemed settled, Charles II was sympathetic to Catholicism, which frightened the Puritan dominated Parliament.
Even worse than the Catholic sympathies of Charles II was the problem with the heir to throne, his brother James. James did not hide his Catholicism. To counter the Catholic threat to Protestants and their land holdings (remember…Charles VIII gave Church land to Anglicans, some of who were now Puritans, in the 1500s) Parliament issued the Exclusion Bill, which would prevent James from ascending to the throne if he professed his Catholicism. The conflict which erupted in Parliament over this bill led to the formation of two political parties: the Whigs, who did not want a Catholic on the throne, and the Tories, who supported the lawful succession. To foil the Exclusion Bill, Charles II dismissed Parliament in 1681. He died in 1685 and James II succeeded him. James began favoring Catholics for important government positions, but Parliament did not yet rebel. James was old, and so they hoped he would simply die, allowing one of his Protestant daughters to succeed him. James, despite his age, fathered a son in 1688 with his second wife…a Catholic: this meant the monarchy would remain Catholic.
Wake up, fools! It’s finally time for the Glorious Revolution!
By 1688, because of the threat presented by James II’s Catholic son, a group of English lords and landowners secretly met and agreed to do whatever it took to prevent the restoration of a permanent Catholic monarchy in England. A coup d'état was underway in England. These English nobles secretly invited William of Orange, who was married to James II’s Protestant daughter Mary, to come to England. William and Mary raised an army and, in 1688, arrived with little opposition in England. James II abdicated the throne and he, along with his wife and infant son, fled to France and, with almost no bloodshed, England had undergone a: Glorious Revolution!
The only remaining question was: Who will become the monarch?
In 1689, Parliament offered William and Mary the throne if they would sign a Bill of Rights which guaranteed the right of Parliament to make laws and levy taxes. It also stated that standing armies could be raised only with the consent of Parliament, guaranteed the right of citizens to keep arms, guaranteed the Writ of Habeas Corpus, and required jury trials.
William and Mary agreed and so a system of government based on law and a freely elected Parliament was instituted in England. In 1689 Parliament passed the Toleration Act which granted Puritans (but not Catholics) the right to free worship. Nevertheless, few people were ever persecuted again in England; the country became one of the most religiously free and tolerant in all of Europe. Furthermore, by deposing one king and establishing another, Parliament (and the English people) had destroyed the idea of divine right…after all, William and Mary now ruled because Parliament said so, not God. Parliament had established that it was now permanently in control of England.
Gee...I guess you don’t want to mess with Parliament… I pity the fool who messes with Parliament!
- Henry VIII (a Tudor, 1509-1547) wanted a divorce, but the pope wouldn’t give it to him, so he took over the Church in England and created the Anglican Church. - His Catholic daughter Mary I (Bloody Mary, 1553-1558) persecuted Puritans and Anglicans and then died. - His Anglican daughter Elizabeth I (the Virgin Queen, 1558-1603) tried to accommodate the Puritans by reforming the Anglican Church, but they wanted more reforms and began to demand that the church be separated from the government; she refused, began to persecute Puritans, and then died without an heir. - Her cousin James I (a Stuart), and then his son, Charles I, assumed the throne, rejected the Petition of Right, and refused to consult with Parliament on matters of importance, as the Tudor monarchs had in the past. - Parliament got mad so Charles I imprisoned a bunch of them and then locked the rest out for 11 years. - Civil war broke out in 1642 and Oliver Cromwell led his New Model Army (Puritans and Roundheads) against the Royalists and won; he then killed Charles I and members of Parliament who did not support the execution and established a commonwealth (republic) led by the “Rump Parliament”. He then dissolved Parliament and established a military dictatorship, died, and his son was forced out of power by the increasingly angry people. - The monarchy was restored (“The Restoration”) and Charles II (a Catholic sympathizer with a Catholic son, James) took over. When James II succeeded to the throne and had a Catholic heir, the Protestant Parliament panicked and invited William of Orange and his wife Mary, James II’s Protestant daughter, to come to England and overthrow her father. So, they formed an army and prepared for the coupe d'état. - James II abdicated the throne (the Glorious, or Bloodless, Revolution) and there was a new monarch, selected by Parliament, who had been forced to sign a Bill of Rights protecting the Parliament and the people from the monarchy. There was no longer an absolute monarch ruling by divine right in England. Parliament was in charge and the people had been guaranteed certain rights forever. It was kind of a big deal.
A bunch of English colonists attempt a radical new experiment in democracy during the AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Sorry Nancy Reagan, but that’s one of the few times we’ll mention the United States of America in this class. Anyway, looking at those last five events brought back little glimpses of all my different history classes, and it got me wondering about some words that I just can’t place. Let’s look at some democracy vocabulary!
Coup D’Etat – a sudden seizure of political power in a nation.
Abdication – when a monarch yields the right to rule.
Feudalism – a political system in which nobles are granted the use of lands that legally belong to their king in exchange for their loyalty, military service, and protection for the people who live on the land.
The Petition of Right – an attempt to limit the monarch’s ability to tax freely, imprison citizens at will, house troops in citizen’s homes, and maintain a standing army in peacetime.
Writ of Habeas Corpus – a legal action which requires a prisoner be brought before a judge so that the legality of his or her imprisonment can be assessed
Enough already! All of these terms, and events, and vocab words…how does it all fit together? If only we had some concise way of showing how all of these major steps fit together in chronological order… You might want to write this down…