He took heart at this, and attempted to recommence government, even presiding over a meeting of the Privy Council. Then he received a request from William to remove himself from London. This assembly called for a convention and on December 28, William accepted the responsibilities of government.
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William and Mary were offered the throne as joint rulers, an arrangement which they accepted William demanded the title of king and disdained the office of regent. James had cultivated support on the fringes of his three kingdoms—in Catholic Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. In Ireland, local Catholics led by Richard Talbot, First Earl of Tyrconnell, who had been discriminated against by previous English monarchs, took all the fortified places in the kingdom except Derry to hold the kingdom for James.
James himself landed in Ireland with six thousand French troops to try to regain the throne in the Williamite war in Ireland. The war raged from — The Jacobite uprising in the Scottish Highlands was quelled despite the Jacobite victory at the Battle of Killiecrankie, due to death of their leader, John Graham of Claverhouse.
Many, particularly in Ireland and Scotland continued to see the Stuarts as the legitimate monarchs of the three kingdoms, and there were further Jacobite rebellions in and in Scotland. The bill is considered to be a cornerstone of the unwritten British constitution.
It clearly gave Parliament ultimate authority. It influenced the U.
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Bill of Rights. Since then, Parliament has gained more and more power, and the crown has progressively lost it. The Williamite victory in Ireland is still commemorated by the Orange Order for preserving British and Protestant dominance in the country. Locke wrote:. Charles, on the other hand, was a very joyful person who enjoyed parties, picnics and balls.
He was, we are told, particularly fond of masques, an extravagant form of entertainment involving music, dancing and scantily dressed young ladies. But how does one explain the dour asceticism of the Puritans? Was this the product of a genetic aberration, a psychological quirk, or simply bad taste?
No matter how much time and effort we spend trying to find a psychological explanation, we will fail. As a matter of fact, asceticism plays a role in every revolution in history. Deprived of the material means for obtaining a comfortable existence, let alone a luxurious one, the masses naturally have an attitude of hatred towards the extravagant and ostentatious luxury of the ruling class.
The obscene wealth of a small minority of idle parasites is itself a powerful contributing factor for revolution. This is just as true today as it was in the 17th century. But in the 16th century, asceticism was also a typical feature of the early period of capitalism, which Marx calls the period of the primitive accumulation of capital. The obsession with thrift and saving was one of the chief characteristics of the bourgeois in that period.
The stinginess of the bourgeois, especially in the early period, flows from the demands of primitive accumulation. Every penny must be saved for the purpose of accumulation. Precious money must not be wasted on frivolities like expensive clothes, theatres, extravagant feasting and drinking. The morality and religion of feudalism rested on entirely different foundations. Since feudalism is based on agriculture, and moreover on a labour-intensive form of agriculture, society was conservative and as unchanging as the seasons — the owners of land did not need to bother their heads about money.
They had no need to reinvest the surplus that they extracted from the peasantry. Consequently, the very idea of frugality, thrift and saving would have struck them as peculiar. On the contrary, the only purpose of wealth was to flaunt it. The feudal lord had no other idea of money than to spend it on feasting and drinking, on lavish clothes and other outward displays of splendour. He could be generous on occasions, at least to his friends, relations and clients. Above all, he could be generous to the Church. After a lifetime of sin, he would leave huge amounts of money to the monks to say prayers for his soul for the next hundred years, or to contribute to the building of a cathedral.
Not for nothing did the art of cathedral building flourish in this period like no other. The asceticism of the monks and nuns, their utter renunciation of all human enjoyment, was supposed to compensate for the extravagances of the ruling class, the members of which could rest easy in the sure knowledge that they had God or at least the Church on their side. Even the most sinful soul could be sent straight to Paradise, or at least get time off for good behaviour in Purgatory upon the payment of a sufficient sum of money to the appropriate ecclesiastic authority.
The fundamental doctrinal difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is the difference between salvation through Works which can work out as expensive and salvation through Faith which is highly economical. The devout Protestant could be sure of salvation by the mere act of believing that Jesus saves.
People and Parliament: Representative Rights and the English Revolution (Electronic book text)
On the other hand, by the late Middle Ages, the Catholic Church was becoming an increasingly expensive operation. To finance the numerous wars and lavish lifestyle of the Papacy, ever-increasing sums of money were required. This was extracted by a number of means — all of them unpopular. The tithes were a burdensome taxation imposed on all classes. Then there were all kinds of supplementary taxes and impositions. Finally, there were the notorious indulgences: bits of paper, the purchase of which was supposed to guarantee remission of sins. The revolt against this was one of the main forces that impelled the Reformation, which in turn opened the door to the first bourgeois revolutions, first in Holland, then in England.
To the mind of a Puritan, the very idea of a hierarchical church structure with priests and bishops was contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Gospels.
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The only authority they recognised was the Bible itself, which they regarded as the revealed word of God. This was a direct link between the individual man and woman with the Almighty, and nothing and nobody should be allowed to interpose themselves between the individual and the deity.
These religious gatherings were in fact hotbeds of subversion. The preachers, who were usually common workingmen or artisans, did not confine themselves to religious texts but launched into fierce denunciations of the injustices of the present order of things. The royalists were extremely suspicious about this. There is nothing new in this. The Roman slave owners offered the masses bread and circuses.
Their modern equivalent offers us football. The ostentatious display of riches was not confined to jewellery, expensive dresses and lavish parties and balls. It was also extended into the realm of religion. For the Puritans, who wanted to return to the simpler and purer forms of worship of the early Christians, the elaborate rituals and ornaments introduced by Archbishop Laud were complete anathema Laud, a key figure in these events, is not even mentioned once in the series. They believed that men and women should have direct contact with God, with only the Bible between them.
The Glorious Revolution of
That suggests that there should be no priesthood: if every man and woman was a priest, then nobody was a priest. This was a democratic and revolutionary idea, and a threat not only to the hierarchy of the Church but of the state itself. This was an age when the bourgeoisie was struggling to emerge from the fetters of feudalism. In an economic sense, capitalism had already made gigantic strides forward in England from the 14th century onwards. By the early part of the 17th century, it was already firmly entrenched both in agriculture and in trade, and also to some extent in the nascent development of industry in the towns.
It is no accident that in the struggle between King and Parliament, the revolutionary bourgeois found its main support in the towns, especially in London, but also in Bristol, Portsmouth, Hull, and all the other important commercial centres. A lot of confusion has been caused by academics who tried to show that the English Revolution was not a bourgeois revolution, because the nobility was fighting on both sides.
British History, 8: Government in the 18th C.
This shows a complete misunderstanding of the class nature of society at this time. The decay of feudalism, proceeding side-by-side with the rise of capitalism and bourgeois property relations in agriculture, produced a gradual fusion between sections of the old aristocracy and the rising bourgeois class.
Only the ardently adventurous or irredeemably stupid were sent abroad with horse and arms to become soldiers in foreign service. Patrician and parvenu both owed their ascent to causes of the same order. Judged by the source of their incomes, they were equally bourgeois. But the economic power of the rising bourgeoisie was not accompanied by corresponding growth in political power, which remained firmly in the hands of the monarchy and the nobility.
In the previous century, the Tudors balanced between the classes while concentrating power in the hands of the absolute monarch. By degrees, the nascent bourgeoisie conquered positions of influence, but still remained politically in a subordinate position. It also had a strong following in the seaports, especially Bristol. With its insistence upon sobriety and hard work, it fitted in perfectly with the capitalist mode of production.