[Back to Modern Europe Syllabus]

Paul Halsall
Modern Western Civilization

Class 5: Another Way: England, Holland, and America


I. Introduction

II. Elizabeth I (1558-1603) - Practical Constitutionalism

NB: Great age of literature in England - Shakespeare, Spencer, Jonson, Webster.

III. The Stuart Family - Attempted Absolutism

They promoted absolutism and the Divine Right of Kings.

James VI A Trew Law of Free Monarchies 1598
- advocated the Divine Right of kings to rule.

A. Problems Faced by the Stuart Kings

  1. Fiscal problems.
    Issue of Taxation and Consent.
  2. Religious issues between Anglican Kings and very Protestant parts of the population.
    Also there were Protestants in Scotland - opposed to bishops.
  3. Problem for Kings in England was the strong tradition of Parliament.
  4. James I and Charles I were not tactful in dealing with the Gentry class who controlled Parliament. James I and titles, plus favorites - Duke of Buckingham.
  5. Also had dirty habits. He had ruled well in Scotland, but did not go down well in England.


Side result:

The Establishment of English Colonies in North America

One result of dissatisfaction of some with Stuart government was the establishment of colonies of the disaffected and the enterprising in North America

a. The Colonies

  1. North America cf. Caribbean
  2. New England
  3. Mid Atlantic
  4. Virginia
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. The South

b. The Settlers

  1. Puritans - Who were they?
    Pilgrim fathers 1620
  2. Puritans and Indians
  3. Puritan Women - Gender and History

c. Colonial Society

  1. Expansion
  2. Indenture and Slavery
  3. Connection with Europe
  4. Rapid Growth

d. Colonial Government

  1. Charters
  2. Governors
  3. Political Freedom
  4. Probably the greatest in the Western world


IV. The English Civil War 1642-49

  1. Charles II tried to rule without Parliament but he needed it for direct taxation.
  2. Archbishop William Laud (1573-1645), Archbishop after 1633. Episcopacy in Scotland.
  3. Parliament called 1628.
    Petition of Right - against taxes and arbitrary royal power.
  4. Intellectual Debate in the Period
    Ranters Baptists evellers Unitarians Quakers Congregationalists
  5. War with Scotland
    Forced Charles to call Parliament twice in 1640. Short and Long Parliament,
  6. War broke out between Charles and Parliament.
    Cavaliers and Roundheads.
    He lost. Beheaded 1649
  7. The Parliamentry Army (New Model Army)
    Marston Moor 1644, Nasby June 1645

V. The Commonwealth 1649-1660

  1. Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) (Destroyer of Ireland) Cromwell became Lord Protector/Military Dictator died 1658
  2. England a Republic
    Scotland and Ireland conquered.

VI. The Restoration 1660-

  1. The Stuarts were restored 1660.
  2. Charles II (1660-1685) was clever king. died a Catholic.
  3. 1662 - Anglicanism restored fully
  4. Mercantilism - competition in trade.
  5. Restoration culture. Plays. Science

VII. James II & VII (1685-1688)

VIII. 1688 - The Glorious Revolution

IX. The Hanoverians

X. The Establishment of Political Stability

Control of Patronage was the issue.

Robert Walpole (1676-1745) becomes first in long series of Prime Ministers from about 1720 until 1742.

XI. Why did Kings in England Fail to Become Absolute Monarchs?

XII. The Netherlands

A. Dutch Wars with Spain

B. The United Provinces

  1. League of Counties
  2. Statholder

C. Social and Economic Issues

  1. High Population
  2. Trade as source of Wealth
  3. Amsterdam as and Entrepot

D. The Dutch Golden Age

E. The Atlantic Economy


XIV. Theoretical Elaboration of Constitutionalism

A. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
Absolutism defended as rational, not by divine right

B. John Locke, Two Treatises on Government

Side Result of European Conflicts: The Slave Trade

A result of economic activities of freest areas of Europe

  1. Slave Trade in Past
  2. Slavery in Africa
  3. Slavery to West Indies
  4. The Middle Passage
  5. Slavery in the American Colonies