Presbyterians and religious radicalism

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  • Presbyterians and religious radicalism
    • Charles I's policies towards Scotland
      • In 1625 when Charles became King, he didn't visit Scotland for his coronation until 1633.
        • His elaborate corination was not designed to win the support of the Scottish elite.
          • They were prominantly Presbyerian and strongly opposed to Arminianism.
        • During his Scottish visit, Charles announced his intention to replace the Scottish Prayer Book.
          • He wanted uniformity of religious practice in both England and Scotland.
          • Scottish Presbyterians saw this as a threat to their independance
            • Thus, they prepared to resist Charles' policy.
      • The Scottish Rebellion
        • 23rd July 1637, the Laudian prayer book was read for the first time in Scotland.
          • Triggered widespread opposition across Scotland.
            • Became known as the Scottish Rebellion.
            • The Presbyterian Scots wanted to show Charles that he should withdraw the prayer book.
              • They wanted him to stop meddling in what they regarded as their area of influence.
        • 1638, 300,000 Scots signed the National Covenant in protest against Charles' actions.
          • Charles was determined to crush the growing movement that came from the Scottish Rebellion.
            • However, this only escalated the revolt to become the Bishop' Wars.
              • Some regard these as the start of the British Civil Wars.
    • Religious Radicalism
      • The Scottish Rebellion weakened Charles' authority over church and state, thus was a key factor leading to the outbreak of civil war in 1642.
        • During and after the civil war, religious divisions multiplied, with the creation of a number of radical religious groups.
      • Other Radical Religious Groups:
        • Baptists
          • Believed in adult (rather than infant) baptism.
          • Separated from the CoE and preached that only those 'born again' through adult baptism would get salvation.
        • Ranters
          • Included many radical writers.
          • Not an organised group, but they rejected all forms of organised religion.
            • Even rejected the concept of sin.
        • Millenarians
          • Believed Jesus would return to Earth and reign for 1,000 years.
        • Muggletonians
          • Followers of Lodowicke Muggleton and John Reeve.
          • Claimed that after the execution of Charles I, the end of the world was imminent.
        • 5th Monarchists
          • Radicals millenarians who, by 1650, had formed into a political grouping under Major-General Thomas Harrison.
          • Believed there were 4 ancient monarchies that would precede the Kingdom of Christ.
      • The Quakers
        • Most significant form of relgious radicalism that developed in the 1650's.
          • Its developement was linked to the New Model Army as many Quakers had served in it.
        • Significant for 2 reasons:
          • By the late 1650's the Quaker movement had grown to about 50,000 members.
          • Before 1660, they were willing to take direct political action.
            • The commitment to political action included a willingness to use violence if necessary to achieve their aims.
              • Most radical groups would not take such direct action, thus Quakers stood out as dangerous.
        • Fear of the Quakers increased after 1658.
          • As political order broke down after Cromwell's death, the Quakers became more significant.
            • Quaker numbers increased and their cheif patron, the New Model Army General Lambert, became more influential.
            • Restoration of the monarchy was seen by the political elite as a way of reimposing order.
              • Believed it would removethe threat of a military dictatorship under Lambert, based on Quaker support.


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