Such abuse of absolute power led to new concepts of power structures, which ultimately led to the development of modern democracy. Such examples include the power struggle of the English and French monarchy, and the independence of the United States. During the rule of Charles I, his decision to outright ignore the Parliament turned him into a controversial figure. Moreover, his marriage to a Roman Catholic princess during a time of turbulence between the Protestants and Catholics (with England being predominantly Protestant) further contributed to his controversies1. The Parliament, albeit limited in power, acquired de facto power in previous centuries, making them a significant group in the kingdoms.
The French Catholics, led by the noble family, Guise, faced off with the leading family of the Huguenots, the Bourbons. "The feuds which separate... ... middle of paper ... ...h the freedom to choose religion), and the Presbyterians (who wanted a strict Calvinist system controlled by a strong central power). The Independents dominated the war with their New Model Army, and became an unstoppable force in England. They were led by the influential and militant Oliver Cromwell (whose nickname became "Lord Protector")of the House of Commons, and captured Charles, removed the House of Lords and the Presbyterians from Parliament, and executed the "holy anointed." Although politics did play a major role in the conflicts that occurred in the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries; it was religion which was the major cause of the wars and devastation that occurred in this time period, and many times throughout history weather before or after the seventeenth century.
In the wake of Charles's regicide there was a "popular mid-seventeenth-centaury belief that the establishment of a prefect society was imminent" (coward). Many radical movements, from the Levellers to the 5th monarchists flourished, posing a threat to traditional conformist ideas on political, social and religious aspects, which defined many of the boundaries on which the traditional feudal system was based on. This created much controversy among a nation seeking stability, and so this period can be thought of radical in the sense of change. It is important to be aware just how deeply ingrained the church and the Monarchy was in every day life, both during and after the Civil War. They defined most of the boundaries, and structures of 17th century society, resulting in many radical groups expressing their ideas through religion.
During the sixteenth century there was a lot of rivalry between the Catholic Church and Protestants and when King Henry VIII broke away from the Pope and became Protestant, Ireland remained strongly Catholic. This caused conflict as in 1602 Elizabeth I gained control of Ireland. In 1603 King James I planted Protestants in a region of Ireland called Ulster. Various massacres took place, Protestants remember the massacre of Protestant settlers by Irish Catholics in 1641 and Catholics remember the massacre of Catholics troops by Protestant troops in 1649, although these are different events they were both used against the other side, and any fault of their own side was justified, this increases tension between the two and validates hatred. Generally the people in Ulster remained strong to the English crown, these are called Unionists and wanted to stay part of the United Kingdom.
Many people felt conflicted over which religion to practice with the fear of persecution by the crown. However, within these times of turmoil, the Elizabethan era gave rise to radical ideals, influential people, and great works in the arts, as well as advancements in science. The people of England formed a country filled with the brightest political, cultural, and academic minds in history. The Protestant and Catholic conflict during the Elizabethan era boasted numerous accomplishments in the fields of history, art, philosophy, sconce, and literature with a major contribution to humankind. The decades long battle between the Protestants and Catholics began when the Protestant ruler, Elizabeth I became the Queen of England after her Catholic half-sister, Mary I died.
This make the Thirty Years’ War the last major religious war in Europe (Richey, 2014). What was the Thirty Years’ War? The Thirty Years’ War was the last major religious war in European history. The war spanned 30 years, from 1618 until 1648, and has 4 major phases; Bohemian, Danish, Swedish and French. The Bohemian and Danish phases were religious and local conflicts, while the Swedish and French phases were political and continental.
The road leading up to the trial and execution of Charles is a tumultuous one with many twists and turns. Charles Stuart’s father, King James of England, left the country deeply in debt due to a war with Spain. During this time, the House of Commons controlled the funds to pay for war. Due to this, the House was able to expand its power because of the struggle to pay off debt. These same disputes about money and power between the Parliament and the King continued under Charles I, who reigned from 1625 to 1649, where he met his death.
The civil war was occurring at that time. According to Stewart Duncan, “Hobbes was associated with the royalist side, and might also have had reason to fear punishment because of his defense of absolute sovereignty in his political philosophy” (Duncan, 2009). John Locke was born August of 1632 in England. Locke is well known for his Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Locke lived during the conflict between Crown and Parliament and the overlapping conflicts between Protestants, Anglicans and Catholic into the civil war in the sixteenth hundreds (Uzgalis, 2001).
When one looks at the religious wars, it is very difficult to identify a beginning and middle. People can argue that the seed for the wars was planted in the wars between the Calvinists and Hapsburgs, otherwise known as the Dutch and the Spanish. In addition, people can argue that the Protestant Reformation in Germany and other parts of Europe sparked these “religious” wars. It was inevitable that the growing division between Christian churches in Europe would lead to a series of armed conflicts for over a century. Protestants and Catholics would shed each other''s blood in monumental amounts in national wars and in civil wars.
The royalists and King Charles fought the parliamentarians, but the parliamentarians won. When the parliamentarians won they held the trial of King Charles 1, the exile of his son, Charles II; and the replacement of English monarchy with, at first, the Commonwealth of England (1649–53) and then the Protectorate (1653–59) under Oliver Cromwell's personal rule. The monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England ended with the victors consolidating the established Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. Constitutionally, the war established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, but it was not upheld and a later king tried to rule without parliament again, which brought about the Bloodless revolution. The bloodless revolution was a war between the Catholic King of England and his son in law who was a protestant.