The Exclusion crisis

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The Exclusion Crisis
The question of Succession was a big issue because Charles' wife had failed to produce
any children, which meant James would take the throne. James was unpopular
1) He was Catholic
2) His wife was Italian and under French influence
3) James had a reputation of authoritative views
4) There was a possibility of a Catholic heir which meant a Catholic dynasty
After the popish plot, was the ideal time for James's opponents to raise the idea of
Solutions to the Question of succession...
Exclude James from the crown
Persuade Charles to divorce and remarry
Legitimise one of Charles' many, MANY illegitimate children
Charles offered, not to exclude James, but to limit the powers he would have as king. The
Country became divided over the question of exclusion and split into two parties.
The Tories and the Whigs
The Whig Party ProExclusion
The Whigs believed that exclusion was the way to keep out popery; they thought the
limitations placed on James's power would be ineffective. The Whigs gained majorities
in the general elections of 167981 which suggested exclusion was the wish of the
nation. The Whig party was led by Shaftesbury, and had the support of a wide range of
people, in particular the nonconformists who hoped that in return for favour they
would be granted religious toleration. Whigs played on the popular view that Catholics
could not be trusted, and James would simply break all the promises he gave. The Whig
propaganda emphasised it was necessary to preserve the monarchy, they argued that
government should be for the benefit of those being ruled, but did admit that a Catholic
King and Protestant Nation could lead to another Civil war.
The Tory Party Pro King
The Anglican Church, gentry and some country members of parliament supported the
Tories. They called the opposition rebels and emphasised the idea that the Whigs would
destroy the monarchy's hereditary nature, they claimed this would end any hope of

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These logical arguments made the Whigs look like radicals.
Other events linked to the Exclusion crisis
The fall of Danby
The Earl of Danby was dismissed by Charles in 1679, given Charles' secret ProFrench
policy, he wanted to avoid a trial, so when parliament tried to impeach Danby, Charles
supressed a trial by pardoning him. Danby spent 5 years in the Tower because the
Commons pursued hum by means of attainer.…read more

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Charles ignored all petitions. The
Exclusionists also produced pamphlets attacking James and justifying exclusion.
The attempts to prosecute James as a recusant were stopped by Charles who dismissed
the jury before they could reach a verdict.
The Response of the Tories
In response there was a range of Tory propaganda, the L'Estrange Observator was the
most influential Tory newspaper. The Tories developed a range of arguments to show
that they were committed to the defence of Protestants.…read more


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