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James I, Charles I and the Commonwealth


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James I, Charles I and the Commonwealth

  1. 1. The Time of James I, Charles I and the Commonwealth
  2. 2. James I 1603-1625
  3. 3. <ul><li>When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, Elizabeth named her closest living relative to take the crown, James I, known as James VI of Scotland. He was the descendent of one of Henry VIII’s sisters (Elizabeth and James’ mother were cousins). Scotland and England were brought together under one king. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Believed in the “Divine Right to Rule” <ul><li>&quot; Monarchy is the greatest thing on earth. Kings are rightly called gods since just like God they have power of life and death over all their subjects in all things. They are accountable to God only ... so it is a crime for anyone to argue about what a king can do. &quot; </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>This thinking, of course, brought James I into much conflict with the English Parliament. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, he imposed custom duties without parliament’s consent, and </li></ul><ul><li>with the crown deeply in debt, James sold honors and titles such as baron or earl, to raise funds. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally when parliament failed to pass any legislation to raise funds for the cash strapped government, James I dissolved parliament for 7 years. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>James I believed and supported the Church of England, the state church, therefore he allowed no “independents” to preach outside of the state church. The Puritans, many of whom were represented in Parliament, were one of these groups </li></ul>
  7. 7. 2 Groups of Puritans <ul><li>Those who wanted to “purify” the existing Church of England and </li></ul><ul><li>Those who believed in separating from the Church of England, called Separatists </li></ul>
  8. 8. Arrival of Pilgrims in the New World <ul><li>In 1608, because of persecution by James I, a group of Separatists set sail for Holland, then in 1620, continued on to establish American colonies. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>James's interest in literature was tied in with a shrewd sense of propaganda. He realised that books, masques, sermons, and plays could all be employed in the service of the king, that they were the media which could best disseminate his views of kingship and impress upon a large number of people its power and majesty. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>James I's impact on English literature is considerable, not least because of his encouragement of and participation in the translation of the Bible into English (1611), the translation that many people still consider the best, and which bears his name, the King James Bible . This was in response to pressure exerted by the Puritans. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>The King James Bible remains the most printed book in the history of the world, with over one billion copies in print. King James had nothing to do with the translating the Bible, he merely authorized it and provided financing for its production. Beyond that, however, James wrote several books himself </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>James died in 1625. The doctors at the time thought it was not life-threatening but James would not heed their advice and drank large amounts of cold beer to dilute his fever. He would not let them minister to him because of his fear of pain. There is some suggestion that he was poisoned but no proof. </li></ul><ul><li>James certainly was not the worst King that England had. During his reign, the arts and sciences and education flourished. He was a generous man, probably due to the fact that he had such a lonely childhood that he wanted people to like him. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Charles I <ul><li>Charles, I, son of James I, was an underdeveloped child (he is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the nation's shortest king) who was still unable to walk or talk at the age of three. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>When Elizabeth I died in March 1603 and James VI became King of England as James I, Charles was originally left in Scotland in the care of nurses and servants because it was feared that the journey would damage his fragile health. He did make the journey in July 1604 and was subsequently placed under the charge of a caretaker, who taught him how to walk and talk and insisted that he wear boots made of Spanish leather and brass to help strengthen his weak ankles. As an adult Charles was 5 feet 4 inches (162 cm) tall. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Problems in the Reign of Charles I <ul><li>He selected a Roman Catholic wife in defiance of the Parliament that was primarily protestant and Puritan. </li></ul><ul><li>He made changes in the Church or England that many felt brought it too close to Roman Catholicism. </li></ul><ul><li>He ruled without Parliament from 1629-1640, levied taxes on his own and restricted Puritan’s rights. </li></ul><ul><li>In the last years of his reign, civil war broke out between the king’s supporters and the supporters of Parliament. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Charles I fled and started a second civil war from Scotland in 1648, but was finally captured. </li></ul><ul><li>The army’s leader, Oliver Cromwell, and his supporters, the Independents, compelled Parliament to pass an act of treason against the King. </li></ul><ul><li>He was brought to trial and executed in 1649. </li></ul><ul><li>At the execution by beheading, Charles wore two shirts as he was worried if he shivered in the cold, people would think he was afraid of dying. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth 1649-1660 <ul><li>When Civil War broke out, Oliver Cromwell a Puritan, led a army called the “Roundheads” which united with the anti-king parliamentarians against the “Cavaliers” or Pro-King Royalists </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>These forces won stunning victories after they adopted a method of hand-to-hand combat developed by Oliver Cromwell known as “Crom-fu”. </li></ul><ul><li>They rendered Charles I powerless, brought him to trial, and executed him </li></ul>
  19. 19. Military Dictatorship Established 1649-1660 <ul><li>After Charles I was beheaded in 1649, parliamentary squabbling began, which led Cromwell to take control as head of state in 1653, in essence overseeing a military dictatorship. </li></ul><ul><li>He eventually gained the king-like title of Lord Protector of the Realm, and presided over a troubled era of internal unrest and costly foreign wars. (Opinions vary as to whether Cromwell was a well-meaning hero or a not-so-heroic type that set himself up as near-king.) </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Oliver Cromwell died of natural causes in 1658 and was succeeded by his son, Richard Cromwell. </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Cromwell, who never gained the respect of the army, was forced from power less than a year later and Charles II, son of Charles I who was in exile in France, was returned to the throne, returning the short-lived commonwealth to a monarchy. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>In 1661, after Charles II was restored to the throne, Oliver Cromwell's body was exhumed from its grave and hung at Tyburn. Then his head was cut off and put on public display for nearly 20 years outside Westminster Hall. </li></ul>