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England in the 17th Century


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Title: England in the 17th Century

England in the 17th Century Part II
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  • Establishing a Constitutional Monarchy From the
    Stuarts to the Hanoverians Robert Walpole

From Absolutism to Constitutionalism
  • And how does England do it???
  • ongoing opposition between kings and Parliament
  • bloody civil war
  • execution of a king
  • military dictatorship
  • son of executed king returned to throne
  • bloodless revolution,
  • finally constitutional monarchy!
  • The Triumph of Parliament!!!!

The Restoration of the Stuarts
  • Charles II 1660-1685
  • Fought for his father during the Civil War
  • Lived in exile in Holland and France
  • Attempted failed revolution in 1651
  • Invited to return in 1660 crowned on his
    birthday, 30 May 1660

Division of Power
  • King could
  • Parliament could
  • impeach minister
  • could make laws
  • control of state finances
  • choose his own ministers
  • decide foreign policy
  • call Parliament
  • veto Parliaments laws
  • dismiss Parliament

Religious Issues Charles II
  • CII Moderate Religious Toleration
  • BUT Puritans were punished
  • Parliament Anglican Church Book of Common
    Prayer ONLY
  • Clarendon Code, 1661 all clergyman MUST swear
    an oath to Anglicanism
  • Non-Anglicans NO PUBLIC worship
  • Anglicans worried Charles II has Catholic

Religious Issues Political Change
  • Treaty of Dover - Secret agreement with France
    (Louis XIV), 1670
  • Charles would receive 200,000 pounds annually
    from France in return for helping Catholics,
    fighting the Dutch, and pledging to convert to
  • Declaration of Indulgence, 1672
  • Extends more religious toleration to the Puritans
    and Catholics (remember many members of CIIs
    family are Catholic)
  • Parliament responds w/ Test Act 1672
  • Required all officials to take communion in the
    Anglican Church and swear an oath against
  • Parliament splits into two parties
  • Whigs (suspicious of king, the French
    Catholics) primarily noblemen, but also merchant
    class, middle class
  • Tories (supporters of king) lesser aristocracy
    gentry, often poorer classes as well

1685 the beginning of the end of the Stuarts
  • Charles II had no legitimate children
  • James II, Charles younger brother was in line
    for the throne
  • Parliament and Anglicans were fearful
  • James II was openly Catholic BUT his heirs at the
    time were two Protestant daughters Mary and Anne
  • Would he bring back Catholicism?

James II, 1685 1688
  • Tried to repeal the Test Act
  • Appointed Roman Catholics and dissenteres to
    positions in the army, universities, government

Glorious Revolution, 1688
  • June 1688, James wife gave birth to a son
    baptized him Catholic
  • Members of Parliament and English society have a
  • Offer the throne to James Protestant daughter
    Mary and her husband, William III of Orange
  • William and Mary
  • Arrive in November 1688
  • James II fled to France in December
  • Husband and wife were crowned in April 1689

William and Mary
  • William and Mary ruled with tolerance
  • They led jointly between 1689 1694
  • Mary died of smallpox in 1694
  • William ruled alone from 1694-1702

Section 1 ends here
Bill of Rights, 1689
  • contractual relationship btw. king people
  • enacted by Parliament it states
  • no law may be suspended by king
  • no taxes may be levied or army maintained w/o
    consent of Parliament
  • no subject could be arrested detained w/o legal

Additional Acts
  • Toleration Act, 1689 religious toleration
    (except for Unitarians and Catholics) BUT Test
    Act still holds for all officeholders
  • 1701
  • Act of Settlement no Catholic would ever be
    allowed to inherit the English throne
  • Royal judges given life tenure attempt to
    create a stronger more independent judiciary that
    would uphold the rule of law
  • 1707 Act of Union
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain England, Wales,
    Scotland and Ireland

Results of Glorious Revolution
  1. divine-right of kings no longer valid
  2. freely elected Parliament
  3. increased strength of Parliament
  4. foundation laid for constitutional monarchy
  5. end of religious persecution in England not
    all religions have the same rights

2 Responses to Revolution
  • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
  • Leviathan, 1651 supports idea of absolute rule
  • humans animalistic, solitary, poor, nasty,
    brutish, and short THEREFORE
  • the commonwealth must rely on a sovereign
    ruler and may not rebel
  • Lets look at the frontispiece What do you see?

2 Responses to Revolution
  • John Locke (1632-1704)
  • Two Treatises of Government - mutual agreement
    btw. government and governed
  • Govt. protects inalienable natural rights (life,
    liberty, property) of individuals
  • Individuals act reasonably toward govt BUT
  • if govt. breaks agreement, people should rebel
  • Who would make up the government?
  • The landed aristocracy

The Last Stuart
  • Anne, Queen 1702-1714
  • Although she was born 19 children none of them
    survived SO
  • It was determined that Sophia of Hanover and her
    heirs would be the successors to the English
  • Sophia was the granddaughter of James I

The Hanoverians
  • George I, 1714-1727
  • came to power at the end of the War of Spanish
  • Treaty of Utrecht granted
  • legitimacy to Hanoverian right to rule
  • new territories Gibraltar, Hudsons Bay, Nova
    Scotia, Newfoundland
  • the right of asiento (English merchants now
    allowed to ship African slaves into Spanish New
    World territories)
  • limited trade rights w/ Spanish colonies

Triumph of the Whigs
  • Sir Robert Walpole, 1st English Prime Minister,
  • refused to be ennobled Why?
  • prized civil decorum in politics Why?

Rise of English Dominance
  • See UEQs 9 and create list here
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