1. MERRY "TALK LIKE A PIRATE" DAY! ARR!

Rating the Monarchs of Britain: Now Disc. George III

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Zaz, May 27, 2009.

  1. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Oh, hell. I forgot to include the other egregious example of James' decision-making, the Ulster Plantation. This involved a "Plantation" of colonists from Scotland and Ireland in Northern Ireland. Ulster was chosen because due to wars it was heavily depopulated, and the O'Neills and the O'Donnells were outlawed for general rebelliousness. A lot of the colonists were from Ayrshire and the borders, which meant they had a distinct reivers mentality (aka they were bloody-minded in the extreme).

    Granted, it was not the only Plantation in Irish history, and immigration from Scotland to Ireland was taking place already without it. And Ulster had only 25,000 to 40,000 people at that time, mostly involved in seasonal droving. Nor were ordinary Catholics actually derived of their lands.

    But the long-term effects in Ireland have been...mixed.
  2. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    So far you're thinking...the English Stuarts haven't been that bad, right?

    But that's as good as they get, unfortunately.

    Charles I

    [image=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Charles_I_%281600-49%29_in_three_positions%3B_Anthony_Van_Dyck_%281635%29.JPG]

    King of England and Ireland

    Reign 27 March 1625 ? 30 January 1649

    Coronation 2 February 1626

    Predecessor James I

    Successor Charles II (de jure)

    Council of State (de facto)

    King of Scots

    Reign 27 March 1625 ? 30 January 1649

    Coronation 8 June 1633

    Predecessor James VI

    Successor Charles II

    Consort Henrietta Maria of France

    Issue
    Charles II
    Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
    James II & VII
    Princess Elizabeth
    Princess Anne
    Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
    Henrietta, Duchess of Orléans

    House House of Stuart

    Father James VI and I

    Mother Anne of Denmark

    Born 19 November 1600(1600-11-19)

    Dunfermline, Scotland

    Died 30 January 1649 (aged 48)

    Whitehall, England

    Burial 7 February 1649

    Windsor, England

    Next up, we have Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland. The first King of England to have no competing pretender since 1399, and the death of Richard II. That should have made him safe and secure, but times were changing, and unfortunately for Charles, he wanted to be an absolutist king in two countries that were unprepared to accept Catholicism (or in Charles' case, crypto-Catholicism) along with it. The two States were, of course, Scotland and England; Ireland, as usual, was ignored by the Stuarts unless they wanted to use it to launch a rebellion.

    The three kingdoms Charles inherited from his father all had different religions. Ireland was Catholic (mostly); Scotland was radically Protestant (mainly); and England was moderately Protestant (mostly). This meant that religion was a sore subject, and ought to have been avoided. But unlike his father, Charles was of the type who believed that there should be religious uniformity. He decided, with the help of his Archbishop of Canterbury, Laud, to Romanize the Church of England, and to try and impose the result on Presbyterian Scotland. Scotland had been strongly Protestant for nearly 80 years, and was already resentful of the neglect of the Stuarts since they had succeeded to England. These notions went over not at all.

    Laud tightened the censorship introduced under James, and even forbade reprints of "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" the most popular book in England after the Bible. He and Charles appointed Romanizers to important religious posts. Charles could be heard chiding his Catholic wife for missing mass. The handwriting was on the wall, and most people could read pretty clearly.

    The English mostly ignored Charles and his fussy interference with the Church. The Scots, however, did not. When Charles smugly told the Scots his plans for their religious future, they exploded in rage and rebellion. In fact, the Church of England had no writ in Scotland at all, the kingdoms at that time not being united, but Charles decided it would; and he was mildly irritated by the reaction, and he decided to deal with their rebellion by force. That meant an army, and an army meant money, and money meant going to Parliament. Uh-oh.

    Charles called his first Parliament in 1625, just after his accession. He wanted, as usual, too much: he did not ask for a specific subsidy for a stated goal, but demanded guaranteed revenue, for unspecified military purposes for the rest of his reign. Big surprise, Parliament, for numerous reasons, including Charles' extremely unpopular marriage to Henriette Maria of France, said no. They didn't want to give this prissy nimrod a standing army, though he probably would have used it to shoot himself in the foot. Parliament also wanted Charles to pike the utterly incompetent Duke of Buckingham, to whom Charles, like James, was devoted (no, in Charles' case it was not sexual). Charles dissolved the 1625 Parliament, another in 1626, and yet another, and from 1629 for the next eleven years, Charles ruled without one, scraping money where
  3. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I still say if Charles I was among the kings of France or Russia, he really wouldn't seem half as bad.

    Of course, that's largely because those countries suffered a LOT of bad leadership, but I digress.
  4. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Both Elizabeth and James understood that a certain amount of consent for compliance was necessary...as Elizabeth put it: "I reign with your loves" and James, for all his theories, had at least some instinct (hard won) as to when he had to give way. Charles had none of this. A lot of historians have tried to pin the blame to what happens next on James and/or Elizabeth, but that's unfair. Charles did it himself, with his own ten fingers. If he had left religion alone, he might have reigned to his death. It gave the reformers something to rally everyone around, and rally around they did. In our day, when tolerance is inforced (to the point of intolerance), we have trouble understanding the forces that drove the British Isles at this point. But remember, the counter-reformation was having great success overseas, and Protestantism was under siege. And both the English and the Scots equated Catholicism with autocracy. Charles, in his smug incomprehension, said the ruler and the ruled were 'clean different things.' The ruled were not persuaded by this, and Charles made no attempt whatsoever to conciliate them.

    The Parliamentary forces were not just commoners, either. There were plenty of noblemen among them. They were just fed up with Charles. If he had been competent, and had left religion alone, he might have gotten away with reinstituting autocracy. But he wasn't--England was a laughingstock on the Continent because of his military debacles in France & Germany--and so the opposition grew a backbone. And quite a set of teeth.

    NOTE: Four kings of France and three Tsars were direct descendants of Charles.
  5. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    Elizabeth the 1st can be summed up in a few lines of her 'Golden Speech';

    To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it. For myself I was never so much enticed with the glorious name of a King or royal authority of a Queen as delighted that God hath made me his instrument to maintain his truth and glory and to defend his kingdom as I said from peril, dishonour, tyranny and oppression. There will never Queen sit in my seat with more zeal to my country, care to my subjects and that will sooner with willingness venture her life for your good and safety than myself. For it is my desire to live nor reign no longer than my life and reign shall be for your good. And though you have had, and may have, many princes more mighty and wise sitting in this seat, yet you never had nor shall have, any that will be more careful and loving.

    Makes me cry every time I read it!

    As for James 1st's Plantation of Ulster in many ways it was a masterstroke. A protestant Great Britain would always be under threat if her continental enemies could exploit the Irish Catholics to their own ends as the Glorious Revolution and Wolfe Tone rebellion prove

    Charles the 1st is a pitiful figure but brought his own destruction on himself through his failings. His dissolving Parliament and the appalling Irish massacres by his supporters in 1642 made his reign utterly untenable
  6. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    NOTE: Four kings of France and three Tsars were direct descendants of Charles.

    Well, I do suppose crap DOES roll downhill...

    I'm almost envisioning a "Monarch Jeopardy" situation along the lines of the SNL "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketches, where Charles I can compete against the likes of Nicky "I can win this war with both hands tied behind my back" the II and Louis "Screw you I'm dying and taking the good life with me" XV.
  7. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    [face_laugh]

    And yes, Louis the 15th was one of them, through Henriette Anne d'Orleans, Charles' youngest daughter.

    Charles should have been warned if he had studied any English or Scottish history.

    Unseated or murdered monarchs were not uncommon among the English (Edward the Martyr, Ethelred II, Harald II, William II, Stephen, Matilda, John, Edward II, Richard II, Henry VI, Edward IV, Edward V, Richard III, and Jane) nor the Scots (John Balliol, Edward Balliol, David Bruce, James I, James III, and Mary). But usually they were unseated for a rival. Charles was the first King in Christendom that was unseated by his people, tried for treason, and executed.
  8. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    Unless I'm mistaken Britain is the only country in the world to execute it's king, declare a republic and then bring it's monarchy back by choice?
  9. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    No...France did it. But in both cases, the monarchy didn't last after restoration, or at least, the Stuarts in Britain didn't last.
  10. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    There are advantages to having a monarchy in place even if it is only a figurehead one.

    I myself am mixed on the situation that the execution of Charles created.
    I am a supporter of democracy and having an un-elected head of state that has near total control of all things as many British monarchs used to is not really right.

    But I think a Monarchy that can have it's decisions monitored by an elected body of people to determine if they are what is best for the nation would be a good idea.

    That being said, in the current situation we have over here with the severe corruption of government ministers being exposed, the crown should have the power to restore order by dissolving a government that clearly can't be trusted anymore and calling for a new election.

    Alas, that will not happen.

    HM The Queen is head of the church and all armed forces. This makes her a sort of stopper against dictatorship from corrupt government (as has happened in places such as Zimbabwe) since the army cannot and will not act against it's sovereign ruler and commander, who will act in the interest of the people should a government attempt to seize control.
  11. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I have no problem with the current monarchy, actually.
  12. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    Absolutely, God Save the Queen! (and spare us President Blair!). Did the French people choose to take back their monarchy or have it imposed on them by the victorious powers after Napoleon's defeat?
  13. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    It was imposed by the victorious powers. Napoleon overthrew it again in 1815, but lost Waterloo, so that it was reimposed until 1830, where it was overthrown and (like the UK) replaced by another dynasty of the same family(the Orleans). That was Louis Philippe--he lasted 1830-48. He was replaced by a rickety Republic, and then in 1852, Louis Napoleon, nephew of the real McCoy, became Emperor Napoleon III until 1870. The French might have restored the Bourbons at that point, except that the Bourbon pretender objected to the Tricolour flag (he wanted the old fleur de lis flag, and yes, he was a very obvious descendant of Charles I), so they didn't, and have been a Republic ever since.
  14. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Part Two of the Misadventures of Charles Stuart tonight.
  15. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Part 2...

    Charles had married, in 1625, Henrietta Maria, youngest daughter of Henry IV, King of France, (we met him upthread as Henri de Navarre) and Maria de'Medici. She was then 14 years old. At first he had little interest in her, but after his crony, Buckingham, was assassinated in 1628, they grew closer and eventually fell in love. Charles I was the only male Stuart who was uxorious, and it would have been better for him if he hadn't been. The Queen's advice and influence was almost invariably bad (she was much more like her mother, a notorious intriguer, mischief-maker, and idiot, than her father). She knew very little about the British political history and climate and failed to understand it; she also proselytized endlessly with her husband and children in favour of her religion.

    [image=http://www.uoregon.edu/~dluebke/WesternCiv102/Henrietta_Maria.jpg]

    Charles needed money to deal with the Scots, so, swallowing hard, he recalled what became known as the Long Parliament in December, 1640. This Parliament impeached the Earl of Strafford almost immediately. Archbishop Laud was imprisoned in the Tower. Charles promised Strafford that he wouldn't sign the death warrant; he had to break the promise, and ever after regretted the betrayal. That was curious, given that Charles betrayed a host of people during his life, and regretted none of the others.

    Laud's imprisonment was not regretted. He had instituted censorship, and tried to turn England back to the Dark Ages.

    In December, 1641, Ireland joined Scotland by rising in revolt, attacking the Protestant plantations. This caused an economic slump in England.

    Charles' last kingdom, England, did not rise in revolt; the Stuart regime simply collapsed. Charles had no Treasury, army, civil service or judiciary. The Long Parliament invited Charles, civilly enough, to treat with them about the future of the country, but he would not. Charles tried again to arrest members of Parliament, but failed. Unnerved, he fled, and raised his standard at Nottingham in August, 1642, declaring war upon his subjects.

    End of Part 2...



  16. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    Question: Do we have to discuss in order?

    Because the machinations of the War of the Roses always interested me.
  17. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    I know he wasn't king (although they offered it to him) but are you going to do Cromwell?
  18. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Well, this is in chronological order, but if you don't mind me updating the Stuarts periodically, we can discuss anything. You might want to go upthread and read the York and Lancaster posts first.
  19. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    I am reading a fascinating book on Charles II, and his mistress. When you get to Charles II, I'll be able to make some intelligent posts.

    Love reading this thread!!

    Hate Cromwell, he's why I live in the US.
  20. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Yes, I'm going to do the Lord Protector (Cromwell), the only ruler of England in this century who was actually English.
  21. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    REALLY? Why?
  22. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    Heh, you have such a wealth of information about the Tudor and Lancaster kings that there's not much to discuss.
  23. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I warn you, I'm an admirer of Cromwell. For the most part, anyway.
  24. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    One of the really bad things that Cromwell did, aside from executing Charles I, was that he imposed Puritan values and beliefs on the English people. He closed the theaters, shut down the musicians, etc.

    England became a land of no fun. He also drove out those who had "Papist" leanings, i.e., Catholics.

    Charles II was a Catholic, altho he was the head of the Anglican church, he went to private mass in a Catholic chapel at the palace.

    Charles II is responsible for bringing Latin prayers to the Anglican church as well as the requirement that holy communion be taken kneeling at the altar rail.
  25. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Charles II accepted money from Louis XIV, so that he didn't have to call Parliament. In return, he promised Louis XIV to re-establish Catholicism in Britain. Louis XIV had not made this a condition. Charles offered. He also persecuted Covenanters in Scotland with absolute ruthlessness and violence (he loathed the Scots).

    The Commonwealth is not a popular period with most people, but as we will see, it was absolute necessary for England to move into its next phase. Without the Commonwealth, England would have remained the backwater it became under the early Stuarts. The reforms instituted by Cromwell were absolutely crucial.

    As for executing Charles I, Cromwell did not do that...Parliament did. And they did it because he wouldn't leave and he wouldn't compromise. A lot of Parliamentarians had lost sons and brothers in the war Charles started. They weren't feeling the milk of human kindness towards this stubborn, idiotic nimrod.