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English Absolutism
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English Absolutism



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  • 1. English Absolutism
  • 2. James I
    Stuart (not a Tudor)
    King of Scotland
    Nephew of Elizabeth I
    Initially agreed to rule according to English law and customs
    Parliament involved
    Until…divine right
  • 3. Tensions with Parliament
    Disagreements about money
    Lavish lifestyle
    Disagreements about foreign policy
    James’ solution  dissolve Parliament
  • 4. Religious Tensions
    Puritans wanted:
    “purify” the Church of England of Catholic practices
    Simpler services
    More democratic church with no powerful bishops
    James rejected their demands
    Chased them out of England
  • 5. Charles I
    Inherits the throne from his father, James I (1625)
    Like his father, he ruled as an absolute monarch
    Bickered with Parliament
    Imprisoned enemies without trial
    Ran the nation into further debt
  • 6. Petition of Right
    Debt from:
    Super-luxurious lifestyle
    War with France
    Need of money  called for Parliament to convene
    Parliament refused to fork over any money until Charles I signed Petition of Right
  • 7. Petition of Right
    No funds could be borrowed or raised through taxes & tariffs without the explicit approval of Parliament
  • 8. Petition of Right
    2. No free person (Britain had slavery at this time) could be imprisoned without a reason
  • 9. The Deal
    Charles I signed the Petition, thereby agreeing to its terms (and getting his $$)
    Did Charles have any intention of keeping his word?
  • 10. Dissolution of Parliament
    Charles immediately broke his word
    To avoid a confrontation with Parliament, he dissolved it (would stay dissolved for 12 years)
    Now on his own…with no funds from Parliament
  • 11. Charles’ Budget Cuts
    Made peace with enemies (peace is cheaper than war)
    Downsized government administration
    Innovative tax increases
    One goal in mind  rule without Parliament
  • 12. Charles and Religion
    Much like his father, Charles was against the Puritans
    Allowed the Archbishop of Canterbury (William Laud) to freely take any measures to stifle the Puritans
  • 13. Puritans Under Charles I
    Forbidden to publish or preach
    Scottish Puritans were forced to use the Church of England’s prayer books, rituals, hierarchy, etc
    Rebellion occurred, thus forcing Charles to reconvene Parliament
  • 14. Twelve Years to Stew
    Parliament had 12 years to stew and were ready to show Charles no mercy
    Refused Charles any money until he addressed a very long list of complaints
    What do you think Charles did??
  • 15. Buh-Bye Parliament
    Charles refused their demands and dismissed them (known as “The Short Parliament”)
    Still, he was without money
    Reconvened Parliament again, but this time agreed to their demands
  • 16. Parliament’s Demands
    Illegal to raise taxes without Parliament okay
    William Laud – impeached & executed
    Charles’ centralized bureaucracy – abolished
    Law that only Parliament could dismiss itself
    Law that Parliament had to meet every 3 years
  • 17. Rebellion in Ireland
    Religious radicals in Ireland rebelled
    Charles wanted funds for an army to go in
    Parliament did not trust Charles with an army
    Proposal from radicals in Parliament – the army should be under Parliament’s control
  • 18. One Angry King
    Charles not very happy about this
    Stormed Parliament with his own army
    Bold, yet foolish move
    Parliament issued Militia Ordinance which officially declared the army under Parliament’s control
    The result????
  • 19. The English Civil War
  • 20. Cavaliers & Roundheads
    Cavaliers = Supporters of King Charles I
    Wealthy nobles
    Wore plumed hats
    Fashionably long hair
    Well trained in dueling & warfare
    Expected a quick win
  • 21. Cavaliers & Roundheads
    Roundheads = Supporters of Parliament
    Country gentry, town- dwelling manufacturers, & Puritan clergy
    Called Roundheads b/c of their hair style
    Leader – Oliver Cromwell
  • 22. Oliver Cromwell
    Puritan, gentry, military genius
    Organized “New Model Army” into a skilled force
    Defeated Cavaliers
    Became “Lord Protectorate” after Civil War
  • 23. The Execution of a King
    Charles I was put on trial
    Found guilty
    Sentenced to death as a “tyrant, traitor, murderer, and public enemy”
  • 24. Life Under Puritan Rule
    After Charles I’s execution, House of Commons abolished :
    The monarchy
    The House of Lords
    The Church of England
  • 25. England a Republic?
    England declared republic
    Not all agree – Charles II is the heir
    Rebellions broke out (Ireland)
    Oliver Cromwell
    crushed them
    persecuted Catholics
    exiled Catholics to remote parts of Ireland
  • 26. End of the Commonwealth
    After Cromwell’s death (1658) Puritans lost control of England
    New Parliament invited Charles II back as King
    Charles II met with cheering crowds
  • 27. Charles II
    Popular ruler
    “Man-crush” on Louis XIV (idolized him)
    Tolerant of various religions
    Accepted Petition of Right (learned from his Daddy’s mistakes!)
  • 28. James II
    Inherits the throne
    Brother of Charles II
    Flaunted his Catholic faith
    Many feared he would restore Catholicism
  • 29. William & Mary
    Parliament invited James’ Protestant daughter Mary II & her Dutch Protestant husband William of Orange to the throne
  • 30. The Glorious Revolution
    William & Mary arrived with an army
    No need – James II fled to France
    Parliament sets up a Limited Monarchy via a Bill of Rights
    Also affirmed habeas corpus (no person could be held in prison without first being charged with a specific crime)
    Radical concept in the Age of Absolutism…
  • 31. Homework
    Read Primary Source document, “Charles I on the Scaffold” and answer the questions on the back