Political Stability 1625-1688

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The quest for political stability


Charles I - 27rd March 1625- 30th January 1649

Dates of and the relationship with parliament


·         Charles’ first parliament- June to July 1625. Charles relationship with his first parliament wasn’t great. Firstly parliament refused to allow Charles to collect tonnage and poundage for life, the members of parliament suggested that the tonnage and poundage should be for one year and this way Charles would be forced to recall parliament. Furthermore Charles first parliament attempted to impeach Villiers.

·         Charles second parliament-February to June 1626. Charles relationship was slightly better with his second parliament because he started to realise that he needed them. However parliament tried to impeach the Duke of Buckingham and to stop them Charles dissolved parliament.

·         Charles third parliament- March to June 1628 and January to March 1629. The third parliament was demanded that Charles future citizens were not asked to pay forced loans or be imprisoned without trial.


Key Acts that changed/ challenged political power 

·         Prayer book- Charles introduced the Book of Common Prayer in Scotland in 1637

·         Ship money- In 1634 Charles called for ship money to be paid by the coastal areas to support the navy, however in 1635 Charles extended ship tax to the entire country and kept on collecting it every year until 1640.

·         William Laud and the Laudian reforms- When William Laud was made Archbishop of Canterbury he introduced the Laudian reforms. These reforms reintroduced organs into the church, brought back decorative font, stain glass windows and statues of colour were returned, the communion tables were moved from the centre back to the east of the church.


Evidence of political stability


·         The fact that Charles was able to keep personal rule for eleven years shows that the country must have had some sort of political stability, it was only after Charles tried to inforce religious uniformity in Scotland that he had to recall parliament.


Evidence of political instability

·         Civil war- It is clear to see that there was political instability as civil war was started.

·         Charles had little knowledge of Scotland- Even though Charles was born in Scotland he had spent little time there. After James I died and Charles was made King it took him eight years to have a coronation in Scotland, (Charles Scottish coronation was in1633).

·         George Villiers- Charles like his father spent a lot of money and time with Villiers, also known as Duke of Buckingham and when Villiers was stabbed to death in August 1628.

·         Bishops wars of 1639-40


Rump Parliament  -  (1649-1653)

Key Acts that changed/ challenged political power


·         The Monarchy and the House of Lords- The monarchy and the House of Lords were abolished.

·         The Killing of a King – 59 people signed Charles I death warrant in 1649.

·         The Rump Parliament took power.

·         The Blasphemy act was passed in August 1650

·         The


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