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THE PURITAN AGE - 1625/1642 - HISTORICAL CONTEXT

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THE PURITAN AGE - 1625/1642

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

- CHARLES I  1625 (JAMES I'S SON): DURING THIS PERIOD THERE WAS A CLASH BETWEEN THE KING AND THE PARLIAMENT = WHO BETWEEN THE TWO HAD TO HOLD THE POWER. THE PURITAN PARTY, WHOSE MEMBERS MAINLY BELONGED TO THE MIDDLE CLASSES, HAD GIVEN RISE  BOTH TO A RELIGIOUS AND SOCIAL/POLITICAL MOVEMENT. THEY HELD A CONSIDERABLE MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENT AND THEY WANTED A TRUE BALANCE BETWEEN KING AND PARLIAMENT.

CHARLES I SPENT A LOT OF MONEY FOR THE WAR WITH SPAIN AND FOR EXPEDITIONS IN FRANCE, AND THE PARLIAMENT BROUGHT FORWARD THE PETITION OF RIGHTS 1628 WITH WHICH THE KING WAS DENIED TO DO MANY THINGS WITHOUT THE CONSENSE OF PARLIAMENT.

THE KING AGREED TO THE PETITION BUT IN 1629 HE DISSOLVED PARLIAMENT AND RULED WITHOUT IT FOR 11 YEARS. HE DECIDED TO FINANCE HIS GOVERNMENT WITH A TAX CALLED 'SHIP MONEY'.

IN 1640 THE KING HAD TO SUMMON PARLIAMENT AGIN IN ORDER TO OBTAIN RESOURCES TO SUBDUE A RELIGIOUS REBELLION IN SCOTLAND. =SHORT PARLIAMENT= IT WAS DISMISSED AFTER 3 WEEKS; LONG PARLIAMENT= IT LASTED UNTIL 1653: IT LIMITED THE DIVINE RIGHT OF THE KING BY STATING THAT PARLIAMENT HAD TO MEET AT LEAST ONCE EVERY THREE YEARS. THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY WAS IMPEACHED AND IMPRISONED IN THE TOWER OF LONDON AND THE KING WAS ASKED TO GIVE UP THE COMMAND OF THE ARMED FORCES. CHARLES REFUSED AND THE CIVIL WAR BROKE OUT IN 1642.


                                     ROYALISTS                                               SUPPORTERS OF PARLIAMENT

                                 - CAVALIERS (LONG HAIR)                                  - ROUNDHEADS (SHORT HAIR)

OLIVER CROMWELL: HE TRAINED  CAVALRY COMPOSED OF SOLDIERS

WHO FOUGHT STRONGLY AND STEADILY= IRONSIDES.

EXECUTION OF CHARLES I, MONARCHY WAS ABOLISHED AND THE COUNTRY BECAME REPUBLICAN KNOWN AS

COMMONWEALTH. PARLIAMENT CONSISTED OF ONLY ONE HOUSE SINCE THE HOUSE OF LORDS WAS ABOLISHED AS USELESS AND DANGEROUS.

CROMWELL CRUSHED A REBELLION IN IRELAND, SINCE THEN THIS COUNTRY WAS REGARDED AS AN ENGLISH COLONY. IT FOLLOWED THE SUBMISSION OF SCOTLAND.

IN 1653 CROMWELL WAS APPOINTED 'LORD PROTECTOR OF ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND IRELAND'. DURING HIS RULE HE RESTORED THE LOST PRESTIGE OF ENGLAND FOLLOWING A MERCANTILIST POLICY AND REORGANIZED THE NAVY.

-DUTCH WAR: HOLLAND WAS DEFEATED AND HAD TO ACCEPT THE ENGLISH SUPREMACY ON THE SEAS.

-AGAINST SPANISH FLEET: THE COMMONWEALTH WON AND CAPTURED THE ISLE OF JAMAICA WHICH REMAINED AN ENGLISH POSSESSION FOR OVER 3 CENTURIES.

AFTER CROMWELL'S DEATH HIS SON RICHARD CROMWELL WAS UNABLE TO CONTROL THE ARMY COMMANDERS WHO HAD STARTED TO QUARREL AMONG THEMSELVES. HE RESIGNED AND SUCCEDED THE GENERAL GEORGE MONK WHO REASTABLISHED THE GOVERNMENT WITH LORDS AND COMMONS. IN 1660 THE PARLIAMENT INVITED CHARLES II TO RETURN TO HIS KINGDOM FROM HIS EXILE IN FRANCE AND THE REPUBLIC WAS OVER. THE RESTORATION OF MONARCHY WAS GREETED BY MOST ENGLISHMEN WHO HAD FELT OPPRESSED BY THE STRICT RULES OF THE PURITANS.





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