Personal Rule and the Collapse of Royal Power, 1681-88

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  • Created on: 14-04-20 19:48
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  • Personal Rule and the Collapse of Royal Power, 1681-88
    • National turmoil died down after the Oxford Parliament.
      • Thus, Charles took steps to strengthen is position:
        • The Whig leader (Shaftesbury) fled after being charged with treason.
        • Local government charters were amended to remove Whigs from office.
        • Charles used the Rye House Plot (1683) as an opportunity to arrest leading Whigs and further weaken his opponents.
          • The Plot was fro Cromwellian officers to kill the king.
        • Charles defied the Triennial Act by failing to summon parliament (1684).
    • The Collapse of the Stuart Monarchy, 1685-88
      • 1
        • Charles died in February 1685.
          • His brother James, despite being openly Catholic, was in a strong position to move to the throne.
            • Had the support of the Tories and Anglican Church.
              • Together it was the majority of the political elite.
            • He called Parliament, which was very Tory in it's outlook.
              • Granted him substantial funding.
              • However, within 3 years James had destroyed their good will.
                • Thus, he destoryed any chanced of establishing political stability under his rule.
                  • In 1688 he was forcibly removed from the throne.
      • 2
        • James showed a next level lack of political judgement by supporting Catholicism openly.
          • The policies included:
            • He appointed Catholics to various offices, including the Privy Council, university fellowships and officers in the army.
            • Over 200 Catholics replaced Protestants as Justices of the Peace (JPs)
            • James tried to broaden his support in 1687 with the Declaration of Indulgence.
              • Suspended laws against both Catholics and dissenters.
          • The political classes were prepared to accept these policies because they hoped that James' reign wouldn't last long.
            • James was in his mid-50's by this point.
            • They also believed that his Protestant daughter Mary would reverse his Catholic policies.
      • 3
        • However, 2 important events transformed the political scene.
          • - In April 1688, 7 Anglican bishops refused to allow the Declaration of Indulgence to be read in their churches and were put on trial, charged with sedition.
            • All 7 were freed amid widespread public celebrations.
          • - In June the birth of a son to Queen Mary threatened the permanent establishment of Catholicism in England.
        • These 2 events led 7 leading politicians, including both Whigs and Tories, to invite William of Orange, Mary's husband to intervene.
          • They wanted him to interviene to protect the English church, the country's liberties and to ensure the election of a free parliament.
          • When William arrived in November, James lost his cool and fled to France.
            • In December, William and Mary were jointly offered the crown.


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