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The Cavalier Parliament
What were the reforms of the Cavalier Parliament?
Corporation Act - Anglican Communion needed to be taken and Solemn League and
Covenant needed to be denied.
Conventicle Act - Groups of more than 5 people who aren't in the same household can't
Five Mile Act - Preachers who have been ejected from their parishes aren't allowed within
five mils of it or other incorporated towns.
Act against Tumultuous Petitioning - Prevention of large scale petitioning and intimidation.
Licensing of the press Act - Only licensed books can be published and printing presses
Act of Settlement
Act of Uniformity - Book of Common Prayer to be used in all services - caused 2000 to
leave - known as Great Ejection.
Act for the Safety and Preservation of His Majesty's person and government -
Parliament no longer able to legislate without the King. No - one can accuse the King of
bringing in Popery and those who try to raise hatred of the King are punished.
Does the Cavalier Parliament deserve it's name?
In terms of its make up the Cavalier Parliament definitely deserves its name as over 100
MP's in the Parliament had fought for King Charles in the Civil War but perhaps that is a bit
misleading, as just under a 1/3 o this new parliament were Presbyterians and 108 had
been members of the Long Parliament. This not dispels the idea that practically all the
MP's had been cavaliers but also the idea that they would give in to the King on whatever
issue he wanted. These men had experience of monarchy and monarchy that had too
much power; they weren't going to let Charles abuse his power in the same way his father
had. In addition it was often the Cavalier MP's that disagreed with Charles and his ideas.
On many issues most prominently religion Charles certainly did not get his way.
Was the Cavalier Parliament successful in its aims?
Ultimately the Cavalier Parliament helped to settle the nation further after the Convention
Parliament although when it came to the problem of religious settlement many, including
Charles, found its reforms to be too extreme; it created a very narrow church which
excluded many. Some consider that in comparison with the restored Church Cromwell's
protectorate Church was very wide and accommodating. The Cavalier Parliament lost a
lot of the powers gained by the Long Parliament up until that point; it couldn't legislate
without the King for example. However when you consider the make up of this new
Parliament many were merchants and had more important business to attend to than
Parliament , others had families and some were just eager to get home. They didn't want
to be the much maligned type of Parliament that had grown up over the Republic and in
this way they definitely achieved one of their aims. With other legislation they were lenient
but kept a tight leash on Charles particularly in regards to his finance and his ability to pay
What was Charles's relationship like with the Cavalier Parliament?
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Most of the time he found them very lenient and willing to bow to his position particularly
with the support he had in the Lords which helped reduce any resistance he found. But not
everything was so smooth; Parliament were not afraid to speak out against Charles or his
government, it seemed that after all this time Parliament had finally found its voice.
Charles was frustrated with its conservative, intolerant nature especially in regards to