Skip to comments.How a calamitous century helped win us our rights
Posted on 07/20/2014 3:34:22 PM PDT by Ellendra
When I'm in a, shall we say, mellow mood with friends, I can occasionally launch into accounts of politics in seventeenth-century England.
This usually results in incredulous stares, followed by, "Oh, so sorry. Fascinating story, I'm sure. But it's really just hours past my bedtime."
It's a shame anybody should feel that way, though. Because even in the hands of a dreary lecturer and deadly bore (um, not saying I am one), the story of seventeenth-century England is one of riotously awful chaos -- and the birth of modern freedom.
Sit down. Have another drink. Let's talk about it.
(Excerpt) Read more at jpfo.org ...
OK, here is my question, how come Queen Mary was a protestant?
Very interesting. Although you can easily make the case that the Dutch capital gave birth to the Enlightenment and that Before the eighteenth century, the Enlightenment was confined to Holland.
The brilliant Stuarts did not deign to recognize that "the times they are a changin.'" As powerful people so often do at pivotal moments in history, the Stuarts dug themselves even deeper into monarchy. They proclaimed their "divine right" to rule.
This pretty much ignores what I'd consider the deeper history of government in Europe.
In 1450 most all European governments were similar in nature. There was a king, with powers limited in practice though often not in theory by assemblies of nobles, burghers, gentry and sometimes other classes of the people. Usually, though not always, these limitations on the King were written down in some kind of a charter.
From 1450 to 1600 kings in almost every country of Europe gained in power relative to their "parliaments." This was largely due to military imperatives. A single monarch in control of a country is inherently more militarily effective than a loose coalition of nobles. Countries gave more power to their kings in self-defense against their neighbors who were doing the same.
By 1600 it was nearly universally assumed in Europe that absolute monarchy was the wave of the future, and monarchy limited by a parliament was increasingly obsolete.
The Stuarts were thus just going along with the consensus in Europe. That their subjects were able to resist effectively was due primarily to England being on an island, which meant England didn't need an army to defend itself from invasion. Every continental country did, and that army had to be put under the command of the King, who could obviously use it just as easily to stomp on subjects who pissed him off.
England needed only a navy to defend itself, which could not be used to quash resistance to royal authority.
I'll gladly agree with anything anybody has to say about the foolishness of the Stuarts (with the exception of Charles II, who was a much better ruler than the author admits), but they didn't create the notion of divine right of kings themselves. They were merely going along with the spirit of the age.
I thought you might find this interesting, and I’d certainly be interested in any comments someone of your background might have. I find Claire Wolfe quite interesting just because of a one-liner penned some time ago that seems to nail our current condition.
Excellent and sarcastic article.
Immuh gonna read sumb more of her writings and subscribe to this website.
Because she was.
Why was Christ a Jew?
What was the one liner that fascinated you?
I bet I know. Something about it being too late for reforms and elections to work, but too early to start shooting the bastards.
Yes, this is pretty much the way I teach it. If you haven’t looked at our two-volume series, “A Patriot’s History of the Modern World” you would find it interesting.
Thanks, and I’ll add that to the list.
In speeches of course one of the main questions I get is something like “things are so horrible, how can they get better,” and I remind people that history produces change-—sometimes very radical change, and sooner or later even “bad” has to change to “better” or good. That can take a century, but inevitably it happens.