Personal Rule or the Eleven Years' Tyranny?



Eleven Years' Tyranny - Charles decided to rule without Parliament personally. He forbade anyone in his presence to even suggest the recall of Parliament.

Personal Rule - Charles decided to rule without Parliament temporarily, until wiser counsels prevailed among MPs. He was perfectly within his rights to do so.


Eleven Years' Tyranny - Charles' government raised taxes without Parliament's consent. This was an attempt to make the Crown financially independent, in order to avoid ever having to call Parliament. This was also a clear violation of Magna Carta.

Personal Rule - Charles' government did what its critics had always demanded, trying to enable the Crown to 'live of its own' income. By discovering sources of income neglected by his father or forgotten by the more affluent Tudors, the King was not breaking the law.


Eleven Years' Tyranny - The Earl of Strafford showed how absolutism could be imposed through the rigorous use of the Prerogative Courts and other government agencies. He used Ireland as a model to show how England could be governed.

Personal Rule - Strafford believed in 'Thorough' government - something which early 17th century England sorely needed. The 1620s had revealed how inefficient and corrupt government had become. Strafford may have been authoritarian, but he was no absolutist, as is shown by his continued use of the Irish Parliament.


Eleven Years' Tyranny - Archbishop Laud sympathised with the King's authoritarian tendencies. Using the prerogative courts, he launched an attack on Puritanism that drove many Puritans into exile.

Personal Rule - Archbishop Laud took the Elizabethan Act of Uniformity


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