User:Atcovi/History/Reading for Absolutionism/Page 7

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The Tudor monarchy produced some of the greatest, most well known, and most controversial monarchs in world history. The most famous and well known is King Henry VIII simply because of his 6 wives. The most controversial of the Tudors is without a doubt Queen Mary I who is more popularly known as “Bloody” Mary. Her desire to make England an entirely Catholic country came at the expense of the lives of English Protestants (300) whom she saw as enemies of England. Henry VIII’s other daughter, who was also Mary I’s half sister, is a close second to her father Henry VIII as being the most famous Tudor. History knows her by two names. This first is Queen Elizabeth I and the second is the catchy nickname that she gave to herself, the “Virgin Queen”. She ruled England for 45 years, and is arguably the best monarch in world history for a number of reasons. She successfully defended England from invasion on numerous occasions and more importantly she eased the tensions between English Catholics and Protestants that was started by her father and continued by her siblings. Elizabeth I also mended some fences with Parliament that had been destroyed by her father and siblings. During her rule of England Elizabeth always included Parliament in decisions concerning England. She always informed Parliament of her intentions and always included Parliament in her decisions. Elizabeth I stayed true to her nickname and never married in her lifetime. As a result she never had any children thus producing no heirs to her throne when she died in 1603. Because she left no heirs to the throne, her crown was passed to her cousin James Stuart who at the time had been the king of neighboring Scotland for 36 years.

James I: (1603 – 1625)

James I was crowned King of Scotland at age 1. Advisors ran Scotland until 1574 when James decided he would run the country at a mature age of 8. For another 28 years he would hold the throne of Scotland until he was crowned King of England. He would rule England for 22 years. Combining his time on the throne in both Scotland and England, he would be king for 58 years. Although he was related to Elizabeth I, James had the complete opposite attitude of Elizabeth I when it came to working with Parliament. Elizabeth I had always included Parliament in the governing process in her 45 years as queen of England. Parliament was very accustomed to this leadership style, but James I would have nothing to do with it. James I was firm believer in absolutism and saw Parliament as a bother to him. James I wanted to do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted and did not want Parliament placing limits on his power. After years of quarreling with Parliament James I finally had had enough with Parliament. In 1610 James dismissed Parliament after an argument based on raising the taxes of the English people. James I wanted to raise taxes and Parliament refused to approve the tax raise. For the remainder of his rule James I and Parliament would be in constant conflict.

James I’s Problems:

At the heart of the conflict between James I and Parliament was obviously money. Any English monarch needs money. The group that raises that money through taxes has always been Parliament. James I managed to raise the money himself without Parliament because he had some very economically gifted advisors. Another factor in James I’s clash with Parliament was religion. James I was a member of the Episcopalian religion, which is a Catholic sect. Just as Mary I wanted to turn England into a Catholic country, James I wanted England to be an Episcopalian country. This deepened his disagreement with Parliament which consisted of true Catholics, Protestants, and Puritans who were an emerging Protestant sect in England. The height of the debate was when James I issued the King James Bible in 1604, just one year after being crowned king of England. This new bible was James I’s interpretation of the bible with Episcopalian additions to it. This is the major contributing factor to the Gun Powder Plot of 1605, which was a failed assassination attempt on the life of James I. 36 barrels of gunpowder were found in the basement of the Parliament, which was intended to be detonated while James I was in session with Parliament.

This religious debate also caused many people to leave England. The most famous occurrences that came out these religious debates are the founding of two successful English colonies in North America. The two colonies are Jamestown, which was founded in Virginia in 1607, and Plymouth, which was founded in Massachusetts in 1620. Both groups that founded these colonies left England because of religious persecution and conflict. These two colonies eventually grew to become 13 colonies, which in later years became the United States of America. James I died in 1625 at age 59. His son Charles succeeded him as King Charles I of England.

Charles I: (1625 – 1649)

Like his dad Charles I was a believer in absolutism. Unlike his dad, Charles I did not surround himself with popular advisors nor did he have advisors with a good economic background. Because of this he had to rely on Parliament to get things done especially raising money. Charles I repeatedly used Parliament for personal gains which ultimately lead to his death. For the first three years of his rule Charles I was able to function on the amount of money his father has created during his time as king. In 1628 Charles found the English treasury very low. In need of money Charles I called Parliament back into session in an effort to raise the taxes on the English people. This meeting with Parliament produced a law known as the Petition of Right, which stated that Parliament must approve all tax raises on the English people proposed by the monarch in the future. In order for an immediate raise in taxes Charles I agreed to sign the Petition of Right in agreement. Less than a year after signing the Petition of Right Charles dismissed Parliament in 1629 just as his father James I did. Parliament, feeling very used, was very angry with Charles I. Charles I ruled England for the next 11 years never allowing Parliament to meet.

Charles I’s Problems:

Charles I was a Catholic. Like many of his predecessors he changed the beliefs of the Anglican Church (Church of England) to fit his personal beliefs. Like many of his predecessors, this angered many powerful and ordinary people in England. Charles decided to change the Book of Common Prayer, which outlines the beliefs of the Anglican Church, to reflect his Catholic beliefs. Two Protestant sects, Calvinism and Puritan, were very angered by this new Book of Common Prayer because they saw this as an effort by Charles I to destroy their religions. They openly opposed and criticized Charles I, and for that reason Charles I raised and English army in attempt to capture, kill, and silence them. While Charles I was somewhat successful in eliminating these critics, it drained the English treasury (bank) and angered some members of Parliament who were Calvinists and Puritans themselves. In order to replenish the English treasury Charles I saw a need to raise the taxes of the English people. Based on the Petition of Right (1629), he needed the approval of Parliament to make his proposed tax raise a reality. For the first time in 11 years Charles I called Parliament back into session in an effort to raise taxes. His decision to bring Parliament back into session was a fateful one which ended up being a major contributing factor to his death.

The Long Parliament: (1640 – 1653)

After not meeting for 11 years the English Parliament came back with an agenda and very angry. This Parliament was known as the “Long” Parliament because they refused to come out session or be dismissed from session for next 13 years. When Charles I asked Parliament to approve his tax raise they voted it down. On top of shooting down Charles I’s tax raise plan, they threw his top advisor in prison, and publically labeled Charles I a tyrant. These three actions by Parliament infuriated Charles I causing him to send his personal army to Parliament to arrest certain members of Parliament that he saw as the ring leaders of this opposition. When Charles I’s army entered Parliament the ring leaders escaped out the back door. This event was birth of the English Civil War between King Charles I of England and the English Parliament. The members of Parliament that evaded capture organized an army that would fight Charles I’s army for the next 7 years.

English Civil War: (1642 – 1649)

During the English Civil War the supporters of the English Parliament were known as the Roundheads, while the supporters of King Charles I’s were known as the Cavaliers. The Roundhead army was named the New Model Army, it was lead by Oliver Cromwell, and many of the soldiers in the New Model Army were Puritans. After 7 years of fighting the war came to an end with the Roundheads being victorious. Charles I was eventually captured and placed on trial for crimes against England. He was found guilty and executed on January 30, 1649, and his family was exiled to Scotland. Never before in the history of the world had a king been executed by the people he once ruled. This event would be an example for other countries to follow who were unhappy with their government.

Section # 5 Questions (Part I)[edit]

1. Thinking along the lines of heredity (family), why was James I crowned King of England?

  • Because the leadership of the country was passed down to a person based on blood.

2. Prior to being crowned King of England, what country was James I king of?

  • Scotland

3. Explain the relationship between the last Tudor Monarch (Elizabeth I) and the English Parliament. How do you think this contributed to James I’s problems with the English Parliament?

  • Elizabeth I got the Parliament used to being a play in the role of the country's government--so when James I came along and became absolutionist, the Parliament did not like that.

4. Was James I a believer in absolutism? How did the beliefs contribute to his relationship with Parliament?

  • Yes; They had several conflicts as a result.

5. Why did James I dismiss Parliament?

  • Because Parliament didn't accept the tax raise James I proposed.

6. How did James I rule England without Parliament for so long?

  • Because of his well-gifted advisors.

7. What were the two issues on which James I and Parliament clashed?

  • Money and religion

8. What religion is James I and what religion is this a sect of?

  • Episcopalian--Catholicism

9. What book did James I release in 1604 which angered members of other religious groups in England?

  • The King James Bible

10. What was the newly emerging Protestant sect In England during James I’s time on the throne?

  • Puritans

11. What two successful English colonies were established in North America during James I’s time on the throne?

  • Jamestown and Plymouth.

12. Why were the people who established these colonies leaving England?

  • Religious persecution

13. Who became the King of England after James I?

  • Charles I

14. Was Charles I a believer in absolutism?”

  • Yes

15. Why did Charles I call Parliament back into session in 1628?

  • Because he needed money.

16. Explain what the Petition of Right is.

  • The Parliament had to accept all tax raises that were proposed by the monarchs.

17. What did Charles I do with Parliament after the passage of the Petition of Right?

  • He dismissed them.

18. What religion is Charles I?

  • Catholicism

19. What book did Charles I change and what two religious groups were angered by this change?

  • The Book of Common Prayer, Calvinism and Puritans

20. Why did Charles I call Parliament back into session in 1640?

  • For a tax raise

21. Why is the “Long” Parliament given its name?

  • because they refused to come out session/be dismissed from session for next 13 years

22. What are the three things done by the Long Parliament that angered Charles I?

  • Threw his top advisor in prison, voted down every tax raise, and refused to come out/be dismissed from session.

23. Who supported Parliament and who supported King Charles I in the English Civil War?

  • Roundheads and Cavaliers

24. What was the name of Parliament’s army, who was its leader, what is the religion of many of the army members?

  • New Model Army, Oliver Cromwell, Puritans

25. Who won the English Civil War?

  • Roundheads

26. What was done with King Charles I at the end of the English Civil War? Why is this so historic?

  • Was executed.. family was exiled to Scotland... A king has never been executed by his people.