Part 1: Divine Right Monarchs in England and Civil War “Houston…We’ve got a problem.”
The back story… Queen Elizabeth dies in 1603-….As a result: No heir… She becomes last of the Tudor monarchs But LOTS of debt… Throne is passed down to her cousin King James VI of Scotland…who is now King James I (Stuart) of England James is the son of Mary, Queen of Scots…who Elizabeth had beheaded He is the first of the Stuart dynasty James I and his son, Charles I, adopt the belief in the “divine right” theory And…they’re Catholic…why is this a problem?
Divine Right…recap Evolved during the Middle Ages Kings are God’s representatives on earth…. Kings answered only to God and it was sinful for subjects to resist them… Justified absolute rule… BUT…
ABSOLUTE MONARCHY + PARLIAMENT = Remember Parliament? Established around the 13 th century MAGNA CARTA – signed by King John Placed the king under the law Limited his powers Gave more powers to nobles Anyone sensing… trouble???
Let’s make a llllooooonnnngggg story short … Charles I needs money for wars with Spain and France (Louis XIII) He dissolves Parliament several times because they won’t give him money Parliament finally agrees to give him money IF he signs the Petition of Right (places further limits on his power) Reneges on this document- why? Because he’s an absolute monarch and the limitations contradict absolutism!!! He dissolves Parliament and decides never to call them into session. AGAIN! So…to raise money, he imposes fees and fines on the English people…and his popularity continues to wane… He then tries to force everyone to follow one religion-Anglican (Scots and English)…but enough is enough… The Scots threaten to invade, and he reinstates Parliament to ask for money…again…so he can fight the Scots. Parliament uses this as an opportunity to oppose him…and WAR BEGINS!
The English Civil War Cavaliers (Royalists)-those who support the King Made up of Church of England and Catholic nobility Wore their hair long Roundheads-those who support Parliament Made up mainly of Puritans from Parliament, merchants and bourgeoisie Roundheads led by Oliver Cromwell Wore their hair short
The Outcome… 1649: Cromwell and Puritans defeat the Cavaliers and bring Charles I to trial for treason against Parliament “waging war on Parliament” responsible for “all the murders, burnings, damages and mischiefs to the nation” Charles refuses to defend himself since he is God’s representative on earth and no one has the right to pass judgment on him. January 30 th, 1649, Charles I is beheaded. With an axe.
Part II: The Commonwealth and Restoration “INTERMISSION”
Cromwell’s Rule Cromwell assumes power and abolishes the monarchy and Parliament. He establishes a commonwealth, which is a republican form of government. A constitution is written…and then torn up…and Cromwell becomes a military dictator.
Life under Cromwell and the Puritans Reforms society—wants to make it moral Abolishes sinful activities Theater Sporting events Dancing Tolerates all Christians but not Catholics; allows Jews to return
The Restoration Cromwell dies in 1658…and the English people restore Parliament… They are SICK of a military dictatorship. So Parliament brings back the monarchy and reinstates Charles II, the son of Charles I. Hence, THE RESTORATION. Charles II signs the Habeas Corpus Act, which prevents the monarch from putting someone in jail for opposing him. Does this sound familiar at all? Basically, it’s an arraignment hearing Ever heard of…Innocent until proven guilty? So…things are good…except…Charles II has no heir.
Part III: The Glorious Revolution “nipping it in the bud”
The Glorious Revolution James II (brother) comes to power after Charles II dies. James begins flaunting his Catholicism and dissolves a protesting Parliament… With the birth of a son, fear cripples the nation…ANOTHER LINE OF CATHOLIC KINGS?! What to do?!?!?! All hope is NOT lost…there is another child! James II’s daughter, Mary, is Protestant and married to a Protestant prince, William of Orange (Netherlands) Parliament asks Mary and her husband to overthrow her father for the sake of Protestantism. William leads an army to London and James flees to France… ALAS! Protestantism is saved. No one had to die. Thus, the GLORIOUS Revolution (sometimes also known as the Bloodless Revolution).
Establishing a Constitutional Monarchy Laws limit William and Mary’s powers. Parliament is their partner in governing. Parliament drafts the Bill of Rights in 1689, and W&M sign it. No monarch can rule without the consent of Parliament. Parliament cannot rule without the consent of the monarch…Thus…
The Cabinet System The cabinet system is developed to serve as a link between Parliament and the monarch. Cabinet members act in the ruler’s name but represent the major party of Parliament. The leader of the major party is called the Prime Minister.