Charles I and the Establishment of Royal Absolutism Essay

Charles I and the Establishment of Royal Absolutism Essay

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Charles I and the Establishment of Royal Absolutism


Royal absolutism is a state of government whereby the monarch rules
supreme, with virtually no legislative power placed in other
organisations such as Parliament. For the people of England in the
1630s, it was a very real threat. After the dissolving of Parliament
in 1629, Charles I embarked on his Personal Rule. Without analysing
whose fault the breakdown in relations was, it was probably the only
thing Charles could do in the circumstances. Certainly, no dialogue
with Parliament was possible. After 1629, the country became
particularly distrustful of the King. Charles' problem was he was an
inept ruler whose belief in such ideas as the Divine Right of Kings
and Royal Prerogative meant that he did not moderate his beliefs
publicly. The public clearly saw his Arminian "Catholic" sympathies,
for example. England needed stability: the Continent was a very real
threat at the time, and England needed a monarch to represent England
and its people's principles. Unfortunately, Charles was not the right
person. Royal absolutism was one of the most important aspects in
European developments. Charles started to display some of the
characteristics of European rulers. This was cause for concern for
many people. But was Royal Absolutionism actually Charles' objective?

Part of the trouble was that there was great uncertainty about when
Charles would next call Parliament. In fact, Charles probably wasn't
sure himself. The times leading up to the dissolving of Parliament
were so fraught that it was understandable that people were concerned
with whether the King would actually consider calling o...


... middle of paper ...


... trying to create Royal
absolutism. However, this was probably not the case as Charles' aims
were more about turning England into a powerful country by creating
uniformity than creating absolutism. This is not to say that the
Personal Rule would have not resulted in absolutism, but it was not
Charles' original intention. His new initiatives were undermined by
deep suspicion of him working without Parliament and also poor
communication, particularly to rural areas. He may have been trying to
change the Church of England into an Arminian High church but this was
probably not directly linked to the creation of Royal absolutism. In a
time when England was threatened by superior overseas powers, Charles
needed to make England more stable and powerful, and this is the
reason for many of his schemes, particularly financially.

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