Charles 2nds

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  • How successful was the reign of Charles up to 1678?
    • Finance
      • successes
        • - royal income increased greatly, this was achieved through tax revenue on customs & excise payments, trade flourished towards the end of Charles reign
          • from 1670 onwards Charles received pensions & ump sums from Louis XIV of France
        • Annual gov increased from £700k -£1mil
        • earned £100k from tobacco imports
        • 'Fared revenue' - tax collection less corrupt as placed in hands of commissioned officers, helped increase revenue
        • Granted subsidies of £580k (navy)
        • Secret treaty w/ France for £75k a year
      • Failures
        • Parliament Would only provide funds if he suspended the declaration (SDI)
        • Financial crisis (1671-1672), Dutch 3rd war, debts began to grow
        • Introduction of the stop of the Exchequer in 1672 only paid intertest on his debts (charles)
        • Charles and parl fraud act 1662,1663 Staples act & plantations act focused on how trade was brought into ports
        • Promised £1mil a year if 30,000 troops raised to fight in France, only £30k raised... intentional?
    • Religion
      • Success
        • Clarendon used as scapegoat for catholic conspiracy
        • 1675 lack of enthusiasm for persecution
      • Failures
        • 1st few years of reign showed tolerance & commitment to Anglicanism, against parliaments wishes
        • still lots of non-conformists, Charles overestimated the number - tolerance perhaps unnecessary?
        • fears of Catholicism - Charles surrounded by Catholics, his mother & wife
        • James (brother of Charles & poss heir) converted to Catholicism
        • tolerant church denied by parliament
        • dutch defeat, plague, fire of london began theory of catholic conspiracy
        • SDI included toleration for catholics even sympatjisers w/ the dissenters opposed, financial iseeues caused him to recall (1673)
        • All public office holders had to swear allegiance to Anglican church
    • Foreign Policy
      • Success
        • After Test Act making all office holders swear on Anglican bible & getting rid of many officers, Charles appointed Thomas Osbourne Earl Danby (v Anglican)
          • Pushed for pro-protestant foreign policy after years of seemingly 'pro-French'
        • After 2nd Dutch war, didnt need to be involved
      • Failures
        • Dutch defeat, humiliating 1667
        • Great pague 1665 & Fire london 1666
        • Charles' brother James converted to Catholicism, didn't receive communion @ Easter - suspicion of him being 'pro-French'
        • Relied on parliament for simple expenses so couldnt pursue any active forgein policy w/o parliaments backing
        • Refused to invade france to protect Holland, Charles couldnt due to private treaty of Dover, cofirmed his catholic leanings
    • Charles royal prerogative and relationship w/ parl
      • Sucess
        • abandoned Clarendon as aw him as a liability, he did organise parliament
        • Pardoned Danby & agreed to 5 year imprisonemnt in tower of London
        • Policies proactive
      • Failures
        • Chalres ineherently lazy & not prepared to work through issues of Charles mistresses
        • CABAL ministry feel 1673/74
        • Forced by parl in 1672 to accept the Test Act
        • parl wanted to extend period of service of militia - infringed Charles right to dismiss the militia at will
        • Triennial Act 1664 - demonstrated that parl hadnt thought it was necessary to make provision for the possibility that they wouldnt meet within specified 3yrs
        • King distrustful towards subjects, interrupted their advice as dissatisfied or disruption


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