The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century

Major European Rebellions 

  • The Prayerbook Rebellion in Scotland, 1637-1640. 
  • Catholic Rebellion in Ireland, 1641. 
  • English Civil War, 1642-1646. 
  • The Revolt of the Catalans, 1640.
  • The Portuguese Revolt, 1646. 
  • The Fronde of the Parlement, 1648-1649. 
  • The Fronde of the Nobles, 1649-1653. 

Why was there so much crisis in the C17th? 

Climate change: 

  • In the 1630s/40s, the world experienced a global 'cooling', which appears to have been due to a lack of sunspots and repeated earthquakes. 
  • Nicknamed 'the little Ice Age'. 
  • London got so cold, that people were able to walk from one side of the Thames to the other. 
  • In the Alps, glaciers expanded. 
  • This new cold meant supplies ran out more quickly and as a result, crises soared. The poorest of the population were left starving.
  • Typical susbtinence crisis in the 1640s in the Madrid parish of St. Maria, showing the rising deathing rate in 1647 as the granaries ran out of flour. 
  • Geoffrey Parker - attributes poor living conditions to a rise in the levels of political tension. 

Court v Country: 

  • Expansion of the royal courts also produced tension and resentment among the people. 
  • The court was taken to represent everything that was wicked and corrupt. 
  • e.g the Duke of Buckingham, a favourite to James I and Charles, was a corrupt member of the court who created resentment and discontent amongst the people and other members of the court. His scandalous actions (sexual promiscuity with both sexes) also exacerbated the issue. 

The Fronde War 

The Fronde of the Parlement, 1648-1649: 

Major causes were: 

1) The Parlement of Paris tried to limit the power of King Louis XIV, 

2) The nobility felt threatended by the king and wanted more of a voice in the government, 

3) The people were unhappy with the tax burdens they had dealt with under Cardinal Richelieu and Cardinal Mazarin. 

The Fronde of the Parlement began when Anne of Austria (Louis XIV's mother) and Cardinal Mazarin (Anne's most trusted adviser) introduced a new…


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