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The Stuarts Learned Nothing From the Civil War Essay

As history proves, the Stuarts learned nothing from the Civil War. One would think that after hiding away, awaiting the day that England would decide to restore its monarchy, they would have realized the faults in their fathers beliefs that had caused the disastrous civil war. Once they had reclaimed the throne from 11 years of Commonwealth, they followed the ways of their father, CharlesⅠ, into the belief of the Divine Right of Kings. This made Parliament wonder, did the Stuarts learn any thing from the Civil War?CharlesⅡ was the first monarch after the Civil War. When parliament decided that England needed a king, CharlesⅡ was called over from France where he had been hiding from Oliver Cromwells army. CharlesⅡ was a hide-away Catholic, because he, unlike his father, was attempting to stay on parliaments good side.

CharlesⅡdemanded religious tolerance, which gave him the ability to worship in the Catholic style, while keeping parliament happy. Although CharlesⅡ never went to the extremes of his predecessors, he still was a believer in the Divine Right of Kings, giving him, in his mind, full power over England. All in all, though CharlesⅡ was not a bad ruler to fix much of Englands problems, he still kept the beliefs of his father. As said by Judge Blackstone, The constitution of England had arrived to its full vigour, and the true balance between liberty and prerogative was happily established by law, in the reign of King Charles the SecondJamesⅡ, unlike his brother CharlesⅡ, was just like his father.

JamesⅡ believed, to the extreme, in the Divine right of Kings. Along with his previously stated belief, JamesⅡ also believed in Absolute Monarchy and was a devote Catholic. These three beliefs caused JamesⅡ to be very much disliked by parliament, and therefore, the people. After putting up with two years of his reign, Parliament finally called in Mary, JamesⅡprotestant daughter, and William of Orange, her husband, to come and force JamesⅡ to abdicate the throne. This change was welcome. Although JamesⅡ and his descendants, who are known as the Jacobites, tried to reclaim the throne they never succeeded. JamesⅡ did not, in recorded history, learn any thing from his fathers mistakes.

Both CharlesⅡ and JamesⅡ were not the best monarchs England had ever seen. Both CharlesⅡ and JamesⅡ were believers in the Divine Right of Kings. Both CharlesⅡ and JamesⅡ were images of their father. CharlesⅡ was a hidden believer. He never showed his true motive until its time had come, even if many of those times never came to pass. JamesⅡ was an open believer. Even more like his father, he did not care what people thought, and showed off his beliefs for all he was worth, which in his mind was a lot. This is how by 1688, and probably sooner, parliaments suspicions were proved. The Stuarts learned nothing from the Civil War.

Bibliography

JAMES II., The Columbia Encyclopaedia, Sixth Edition 2008Fox, Charles James. The Speeches of the Right Honourable Charles James Fox, in the House of Commons. University of Michigan: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1815.

James II, http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-James2Eng.htmlNote: This was an in class writing test so there is not as much detail as on an actual essay.


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