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Lecture: England's Revolutionary Era (Lecture January 10, 2013)

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HIST 215
Sarah Waurechen

Lecture: England's Revolutionary Era (Lecture January 10, 2013) QUESTION: Were the British Civil Wars or the Glorious Revolution more historically significant? Background: 17thC England • internationally irrelevant ◦ no real empire yet ◦ seen as small, insignificant island • poor ◦ throne had no standing army ◦ expected to live off the land, customs duties, and extraordinary grants of taxation (during war) • undemocratic ◦ Parliament is not a permanent institution ▪ called at the King's will and dissolved when he sees fit ◦ King is pinnacle of hierarchical system ◦ House of Lords is patrimony ◦ House of Commons (technically elected, but most are default/sole choices) • but not absolutist ◦ Parliament has pursestrings ▪ refuses to allow general taxation by the monarchy ◦ prerogative: King can act outside the law in specific circumstances ◦ common law: by precedents, customs of the land, cannot be altered unilaterally by the King ▪ means crown is part of system, not above it • protestant ◦ Calvinist ◦ reject the Pope as head of Church, less ceremonial, less hierarchical ◦ in direct opposition to the Catholic Church ◦ anti-Popery (think Titus Oates) The British Civil Wars (1642-1648) • causes ◦ long-term process whereby a monarchy that wants to be absolute (arbitrary, not follow laws of land) fights with constitutionalists (getting rid of prerogatives) and loses ◦ revisionist account ◦ long-term ▪ crown insolvency ▪ modes for financing crown didn't adapt to its growing power and actions ▪ religion ▪ England is protestant, so it must undergo a reformation, deciding all the factors of the new Church ▪ much debate about how ceremonial they should be and how much hierarchy it should have ▪ ideology ▪ rights of crown vis-a-vis Parliament ▪ problem of prerogatives ▪ debates about extent of monarchy's control and extra-legal privileges ◦ short-term ▪ Charles I ▪ procedure ▪ immediately got into kerfuffle with Parliament, dissolving them before he'd been granted the right to collect taxes ▪ continued to collect these taxes anyway, so seen as acting outside the law ▪ dug up antiquated laws to collect money ▪ attached to controversial advisors ▪ encouraged Popery and arbitrary rule ▪ undermined own credibility by not backing up his promises ▪ 1629 decided to rule without Parliament (11 Years' Tyranny) ▪ took Catholic bride (she had a better dowry and more prestige) ▪ Laudianism ▪ Archbishop of Canterbury (2nd in command) was William Laud ▪ emphasized ceremonialism and hierarchy in England ▪ way too much like sneaking in Catholicism ◦ triggers ▪ Bishops' Wars ▪ Charles tries to impose religious changes in Scotland that look like Laudianism ▪ Scottish Reformation is Presbyterian ▪ forced to recall Parliament to get money to fight the Scots ▪ The Long Parliament ▪ Parliament sides with the Scots ▪ negotiations with crown about balance of power ▪ Scots win second Bishops' War, which tips balance in Parliament's favour ▪ prerogative courts abolished ▪ Charles promises to call Parl. more consistently ▪ can't arbitrarily dissolve Parl. ▪ Irish Rebellion ▪ English and Irish hate each other ▪ King and Parl. agree, but don't trust each other with army ▪ Charles leaves London to raise his army • warfare and the New Model Army ◦ England split right down the middle (look at religion) ◦ war initially in King's fa
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