Women and Politics in the 17th Century Essay

Women and Politics in the 17th Century Essay

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In the seventeenth century, there was no authorized political place for women in the social hierarchy scale. Women had entered into a modern age and created their own form of politics in the 1660s where they were able to enforce political power, gain popularity, and become independently wealthy by being a part of the royal court. When King Charles II arrived back in England after ten years in exile, he had formed relationships with various women until the end of his life. Royal mistresses were not only able to have a relationship with King Charles, but also have political influence upon the court and its king. But we can ask ourselves; was this a new form of empowerment or a new form of exploitation of women?
The seventeenth century marked the beginning of modernity in social hierarchy. King Charles II had come back from the continent after ten years in exile with a new thought on how to treat women. “These women were intimately connected with the king. They would experience the most immediate and profound effects of the restoration. In order to see these effects, be a major member of the royal court, and gain a higher social standing, women became royal mistresses. The women of Charles’ court had gained celebrity, independent wealth, and influence, and this was unrecognizably modern for this age and time.” Charles had learned about how to have a successful marriage and many relationships with his mistresses from the aristocratic women of France. Women in France were not only playing a prominent role in French court but they were gaining respect for it. French aristocratic women were debating and writing about what they wanted from their relationships. These novels of allegorical love were guidebooks to help men get well on the...


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... social beings and never made an attempt to hide themselves or their wealth that came from the state under order form the king.
The restoration women of the royal were very impressive for their time. They were a new type of woman who could have only come forward in the maelstrom melting pot of the 1660s. If it weren’t for the return of King Charles II, where would women be? Would have made it as far as they have in politics and modern life today? Because of King Charles II and his love of women, they were successful at there are of backstairs politics giving political influence in the court which reshaped politics forever.



Works Cited:
1.) Worsley, Lucy. "Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls." Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls Recorded May 2012. BBC4. Web, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiFaSHd6H18.

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