Absolute monarchy is the monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government; his or her powers are not limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch wields unrestricted political power over the sovereign state and its people. Absolute monarchies are often hereditary but other means of transmission of power are attested. Absolute monarchy differs from limited monarchy, in which the monarch's authority is legally bound or restricted by a constitution; consequently, an absolute monarch is an autocrat.
In theory, the absolute monarch exercises total power over the land and its subject people, yet in practice the monarchy is counterbalancec by political groups from among the social classes and castes of the realm: the aristocracy, clergy (see caesaropapism), bourgeoisie, and proletarians.
Some monarchies have weak or symbolic parliaments and other governmental bodies that the monarch can alter or dissolve at will. Countries where the monarch still maintains absolute power are Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland, and Vatican City (elected monarch).
A standing army is a professional permanent army. It is composed of full-time career soldiers and is not disbanded during times of peace. It differs from army reserves, who are enrolled for the long term, but activated only during wars or natural disasters, and temporary armies, which are raised from the civilian population only during a war or threat of war and disbanded once the war or threat is over. Standing armies tend to be better equipped, better trained, and better prepared for emergencies, defensive deterrence and, particularly, wars. The term dates from approximately 1600, although the phenomenon it describes is much older.
The army of ancient Rome is considered to have been a standing army during much of the Imperial period and during some of the republic period after the Marian Reforms in 107BC. Here Gaius Marius abolished the old system of raising a citizen army based on property and replaced it with a professional army based on a period of service. This continued into the Roman Empire. Before this, the Roman army was a conscripted citizen militia.
The first 'modern' standing armies in Europe were the Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire, formed in the fourteenth century AD. In western Europe the first standing army was established by Charles VII of France in the year 1445. The Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus had a standing army from the 1460s called the Fekete Sereg, which was an unusually big army in its age, accomplishing a series of victories and capturing parts of Austria, Vienna (1485) and parts of Bohemia. The establishment of a standing army in Britain in 1685 by King James II and the later assumption of control over the British colonies in America by the British Army were controversial, leading to distrust of peacetime armies too much under the power of the head of state, versus civilian control of the military, resulting in tyranny.
From 1596, when he was added to Henry's finance commission, Rosny introduced some order into France's economic affairs. Acting as sole Superintendent of Finances (officially) so at the end of 1601, he authorized the free exportation of grain and wine, reduced legal interest, established a special court to try cases of peculation, forbade provincial governors to raise money on their own authority, and otherwise removed many abuses of tax-collecting. Rosny abolished several offices, and by his honest, rigorous conduct of the country's finances, he was able to save between 1600 and 1610 an average of a million livres a year.
His achievements were by no means solely financial. In 1599, he was appointed grand commissioner of highways and public works, superintendent of fortifications and grand master of artillery; in 1602 governor of Nantes and of Jargeau, captain-general of the Queen's gens d'armes and governor of the Bastille; in 1604 he was governor of Poitou; and in 1606 made first duke of Sully and a pair de France, ranking next to princes of the blood. He declined the office of constable of France because he would not become a Roman Catholic.
Sully encouraged agriculture, urged the free circulation of produce, promoted stock-raising, forbade the destruction of the forests, drained swamps, built roads and bridges, planned a vast system of canals and actually began the Canal de Briare. He strengthened the French military establishment; under his direction, the construction of a great line of defences on the frontiers began. Abroad, Sully opposed the king's colonial policy as inconsistent with French interests, and likewise showed little favor to industrial pursuits, but on the urgent solicitation of the king, he established a few silk factories. He fought together with Henry IV in Savoy (1600-1601) and negotiated the treaty of peace in 1602; in 1603, he represented Henry at the court of James I of England; and throughout the reign, he helped the king to put down insurrections of the nobles, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant. It was Sully, too, who arranged the marriage between Henry IV and Marie de' Medici.
La Paulette after the financier Charles Paulet, who proposed it) was the name commonly given to the "annual right" (droit annuel), a special tax levied by the French Crown during the Ancien Régime. It was first instituted on December 12, 1604 by King Henry IV's minister Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully. Originally under the terms of the Paulette, the holders of various government and judicial offices could secure the right to transfer their office at will by annually paying the Crown one sixtieth of the value of their office. The transmission of judicial offices had been a common practice in France since the late Middle Ages, and by the beginning of the sixteenth century the practice had extended to almost all levels of the ever-increasing Renaissance state administration (such as seats in the Parlements) and played an important role in state finances. Custom had permitted officers to transfer their offices (résignation) to their heirs with royal permission in return for the payment of a fee. Before it was made illegal in 1521, it had been possible to leave open-ended the date that the transfer was to take effect. In 1534, the "forty days rule" was instituted (adapted from church practice), which made the successor's right void if the preceding office holder died within forty days of the transfer (in which case the office reverted to the state); however, a new fee, called the survivance jouissante protected against the forty days rule. Still, the new office holder had to meet the minimum qualifications needed for the office or else the office went back to the crown. A modification of the preceding, the Paulette tax substituted an annual tax to protect against the clauses of the forty days rule.
The Paulette tax provided the crown with a steady source of revenue while consolidating the practice of hereditary government offices. This left the administration of justice in France in the hands of a new and increasingly powerful hereditary class of magistrates, which came to be known as the noblesse de robe ("nobility of the gown"), in contrast with the traditional aristocracy, known as the noblesse d'épée ("nobility of the sword"). This system was abolished after the French Revolution.
While the tax provided revenue for the Crown, the salaries of government officials stressed the royal funds and forced the Crown to tax the lower classes heavily. During the rule of Louis XIV, his minister of finance Jean Baptiste Colbert bought back the offices from the nobles in order to reduce the spending of the king.
was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.
Louis was only nine years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority. Mismanagement of the kingdom and ceaseless political intrigues by Marie de Medici and her Italian favourites led the young king to take power, in 1617, by exiling his mother and executing her followers, including Concino Concini, the most influential Italian at the French court. Louis XIII, taciturn and suspicious, leaned heavily on his Prime Minister Cardinal Richelieu, to govern the Kingdom. They are remembered for the establishment of the Académie française and for putting an end to the revolt of the great feudal lords. The reign of Louis "the Just" was also marked by the struggles against Huguenots and Habsburg Spain. France's greatest victory in the war against the Habsburg Empire came at the Battle of Rocroi (1643), five days after Louis's death—apparently from complications of intestinal tuberculosis. This battle marked the end of Spain's military ascendancy in Europe and foreshadowed French dominance in Europe under Louis XIV, his son and successor.
Consecrated as a bishop in 1608, he later entered politics, becoming a Secretary of State in 1616. Richelieu soon rose in both the Catholic Church and the French government, becoming a Cardinal in 1622, and King Louis XIII's chief minister in 1624. He remained in office until his death in 1642; he was succeeded by Cardinal Mazarin, whose career he had fostered.
The Cardinal de Richelieu was often known by the title of the King's "Chief Minister" or "First Minister". As a result, he is considered to be the world's first Prime Minister, in the modern sense of the term.[who?] He sought to consolidate royal power and crush domestic factions. By restraining the power of the nobility, he transformed France into a strong, centralized state. His chief foreign policy objective was to check the power of the Austro-Spanish Habsburg dynasty, and to ensure French dominance in the Thirty Years' War that engulfed Europe. Although he was a cardinal, he did not hesitate to make alliances with Protestant rulers in attempting to achieve his goals.
Richelieu was also famous for his patronage of the arts; most notably, he founded the Académie Française, the learned society responsible for matters pertaining to the French language. Richelieu is also known by the sobriquet l'Éminence rouge ("the Red Eminence"), from the red shade of a cardinal's clerical dress and the style "eminence" as a cardinal.
Under the Old Regime, the Nobles of the Robe or Nobles of the Gown (French: Noblesse de robe) were French aristocrats who owed their rank to judicial or administrative posts — often bought outright for high sums. As a rule, these positions did not grant the holder with a title (count, duke, baron, etc.), but were honorary positions almost always attached to a specific office (judge, councilor, etc.). The office was often hereditary and by 1789, most Nobles of the Robe had inherited their position. They were the opposite of the "Nobles of the Sword" whose nobility was based on their families' traditional function as the military class, and whose titles were customarily attached to a fiefdom under the feudalist system. Together with the older nobility, Nobles of the Robe made up the Second Estate in pre-revolutionary France. L'Académie française (French pronunciation: [la.ka.de.mi fʁɑ̃'sɛz]), also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution, it was restored in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the oldest of the five académies of the Institut de France.
The Académie consists of forty members, known as immortels (immortals). New members are elected by the members of the Académie itself. Académicians hold office for life, but they may be removed for misconduct. Philippe Pétain, named Marshall of France after the victory of Verdun in World War I, was elected to the Academy in 1931 and, following his governorship of Vichy France in World War II, was forced to resign his seat in 1945. The body has the task of acting as an official authority on the language; it is charged with publishing an official dictionary of the language. Its rulings, however, are only advisory, not binding on either the public or the government.
Louis XIV (5 September 1638 - 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great or the Sun King (French: le Roi-Soleil), was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is one of the longest in French and European history.
Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661 after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the theory of the divine right of kings, which advocates the divine origin and lack of temporal restraint of monarchical rule, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralized state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility, especially the noble elite, to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis's minority. By these means he became one of French history's most powerful monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
During Louis's reign France was the leading European power and fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession, as well as two lesser conflicts, the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political, military and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Colbert, Turenne and Vauban, as well as Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Le Brun, Rigaud, Bossuet, Le Vau, Mansart, Charles and Claude Perrault, and Le Nôtre.
Upon his death just days before his seventy-seventh birthday, Louis was succeeded by his five-year-old great-grandson, Louis XV. All his intermediate heirs—his son Louis, le Grand Dauphin; the Dauphin's eldest son Louis, duc de Bourgogne; and Bourgogne's eldest son and his second eldest son, Louis, duc de Bretagne (the older brothers of the future Louis XV)—predeceased him.
The battle began after dawn. The French army attacked, but the French infantry in the centre were bested by the Spanish. The cavalry on the French left, advancing against Enghien's orders, was also thrown back. But the cavalry on the French right, under the command of Jean de Gassion, routed the Spanish cavalry opposite. Enghien was able to follow this up by attacking the exposed left flank of the Spanish infantry. Spanish cavalry made a successful counter-attack to drive off the French cavalry, but were checked by the advance of the French reserve.
Enghien now carried out a huge cavalry encirclement, sweeping behind the Spanish army and smashing his way through to attack the rear of the Spanish cavalry that was still in combat with his reserves. The Spanish horse was put to flight, leaving the Spanish infantry to carry on the fight. The French were twice repulsed by the stubborn Spanish squares, so Enghien arranged for his artillery and captured Spanish guns to blast them apart.
The German and Walloon tercios fled from the battlefield, while the Spanish remained on the field with their commander, repulsing four cavalry charges by the French and never breaking formation, despite repeated heavy artillery bombardment. Young Enghien, the French commander, then offered surrender conditions just like those obtained by a besieged garrison into a fortress. Having agreed to those terms, the remains of the two tercios left the field with deployed flags and weapons.
Total Spanish losses were about 15,000 dead, wounded, or captured. French losses were about 4,000.
The battle was an important propaganda victory for Mazarin and Enghien, the future "Great Condé" and represented a weakening of the besieged Spanish Low Countries. It was also of symbolic importance, as it was one of the few major battlefield defeats of a Spanish army in over a century and, moreover, a defeat of one its most famous units. It has been noted that Melo's German, Walloon, and Italian troops actually surrendered first, while the Spanish infantry cracked only after repeated cavalry charges and a vicious spell under the French guns. Though Rocroi was not the military disaster claimed by French propagandists (ten years later the Spanish captured Rocroi and held it until the peace treaty was signed) it marked the end of Spanish military doctrinal supremacy and the maturing of the doctrines prefigured by Gustavus Adolfus.
n Mazarin's death in 1661, Louis assumed personal control of the reins of government. He was able to utilize the widespread public yearning for law and order resulting from prolonged foreign war and domestic civil strife to further consolidate central political authority and reform at the expense of the feudal aristocracy. Praising his ability to choose and encourage men of talent, Chateaubriand noted that "it is the voice of genius of all kinds which sounds from the tomb of Louis".
Louis began his personal reign with administrative and fiscal reforms. In 1661, the treasury verged on bankruptcy. To rectify the situation, Louis chose Jean-Baptiste Colbert as Contrôleur général des Finances in 1665. However, Louis first had to eliminate Nicolas Fouquet, the Surintendant des Finances. Fouquet was charged with embezzlement. The Parlement found him guilty and sentenced him to exile. However, Louis commuted the sentence to life-imprisonment and also abolished Fouquet's post. Although Fouquet's financial indiscretions were not really very different from Mazarin before or Colbert after him, his ambition was worrying to Louis. He had, for example, built an opulent château at Vaux-le-Vicomte where he lavishly entertained a comparatively poor Louis. He appeared eager to succeed Mazarin and Richelieu in assuming power and indiscreetly purchased and privately fortified Belle Île. These acts sealed his doom.
Divested of Fouquet, Colbert reduced the national debt through more efficient taxation. The principal taxes included the aides and douanes (both customs duties), the gabelle (a tax on salt), and the taille (a tax on land). Louis and Colbert also had wide-ranging plans to bolster French commerce and trade. Colbert's mercantilist administration established new industries and encouraged manufacturers and inventors, such as the Lyon silk manufacturers and the Manufacture des Gobelins, a producer of tapestries. He invited manufacturers and artisans from all over Europe to France, such as Murano glassmakers, Swedish ironworkers, and Dutch shipbuilders. In this way, he aimed to decrease foreign imports while increasing French exports, hence reducing the net outflow of precious metals from France.
ouis instituted reforms in military administration through Le Tellier and his son Louvois. They helped to curb the independent spirit of the nobility, imposing order on them at court and in the army. Gone were the days when generals protracted war at the frontiers while bickering over precedence and ignoring orders from the capital and the larger politico-diplomatic picture. The old military aristocracy (the Noblesse d'épée) ceased to have a monopoly over senior military positions and rank. Louvois in particular pledged himself to modernizing the army, re-organizing it into a professional, disciplined and well-trained force. He was devoted to the soldiers' material well-being and morale, and even tried to direct campaigns.
Legal matters did not escape Louis's attention, as is reflected in the numerous Grandes Ordonnances he enacted. Pre-revolutionary France was a patchwork of legal systems, with as many coutumes as there were provinces, and two co-existing legal traditions—customary law in the northern pays de droit coutumier and Roman civil law in the southern pays de droit écrit. The 'Grande Ordonnance de Procédure Civile' of 1667, also known as Code Louis, was a comprehensive legal code attempting a uniform regulation of civil procedure throughout legally irregular France. It prescribed inter alia baptismal, marriage and death records in the state's registers, not the church's, and also strictly regulated the right of the Parlements to remonstrate. The Code Louis played an important part in French legal history as the basis for the Code Napoléon, itself the origin of many modern legal codes.
The first building campaign (1664-1668) commenced with the Plaisirs de l'Île enchantée (Pleasures of the Enchanted Island) of 1664, a fête that was held between 7 and 13 May 1664. The first building campaign (1664-1668) involved alterations in the château and gardens to accommodate the 600 guests invited to the party. (Nolhac, 1899, 1901; Marie, 1968; Verlet, 1985)
The second building campaign (1669-1672) was inaugurated with the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which ended the War of Devolution. During this campaign, the château began to assume some of the appearance that it has today. The most important modification of the château was Le Vau's envelope of Louis XIII's hunting lodge. (Nolhac, 1901; Marie, 1972; Verlet, 1985) Significant to the design and construction of the grands appartements is that the rooms of both apartments are of the same configuration and dimensions - a hitherto unprecedented feature in French palace design. Both the grand appartement du roi and the grand appartement de la reine formed a suite of seven enfilade rooms. The decoration of the rooms, which was conducted under Le Brun's direction, depicted the "heroic actions of the king" and were represented in allegorical form by the actions of historical figures from the antique past (Alexander the Great, Augustus, Cyrus, etc.). (Berger, 1986; Félibien, 1674; Verlet, 1985)
With the signing of the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678, which ended the Dutch War, the third building campaign at Versailles began (1678-1684). Under the direction of the architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the Palace of Versailles acquired much of the look that it has today. In addition to the Hall of Mirrors, Hardouin-Mansart designed the north and south wings and the Orangerie. Le Brun was occupied not only with the interior decoration of the new additions of the palace, but also collaborated with Le Nôtre's in landscaping the palace gardens (Berger, 1985; Thompson, 2006; Verlet, 1985).
Soon after the defeat of the War of the League of Augsburg (1688-1697), Louis XIV undertook his last building campaign at Versailles. The fourth building campaign (1699-1710) concentrated almost exclusively on construction of the royal chapel designed by Hardouin-Mansart and finished by Robert de Cotte. There were also some modifications in the appartement du roi, namely the construction of the Salon de l'Œil de Bœuf and the King's Bedchamber. With the completion of the chapel in 1710, virtually all construction at Versailles ceased; building would not be resumed at Versailles until some twenty one years later during the reign of Louis XV (Nolhac, 1911; Marie, 1976, 1984; Verlet, 1985).
The Estates of the realm were the broad social orders of the hierarchically conceived society, recognized in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period in Christian Europe; they are sometimes distinguished as the three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and commoners, and are often referred to by medieval ranking of importance (as the hierarchy was ordained by God) as the First, Second, and Third Estates respectively. In the scheme, God ordained the ministry, which was necessary to ordain the royalty and nobility, who settled privileges on the more prestigious commoners, or burghers (bourgeoisie) ; hence the frequent references to the peasantry of Europe as "the Fourth Estate" — albeit one which was believed to be powerless in the theories of the others. Individuals were born into their class, and change in social position was slow, if possible at all. The exception was the Medieval Church, which was the only institution where men (and women) could reach, in one lifetime, the highest positions in society. Jean-Baptiste Colbert 29 August 1619 - 6 September 1683) was a French politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1665 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV. His relentless hard work and thrift made him an esteemed minister. He achieved a reputation for his work of improving the state of French manufacturing and bringing the economy back from the brink of bankruptcy. Historians note that, despite Colbert's efforts, France actually became increasingly impoverished because of the King's excessive spending on wars. Colbert worked to create a favorable balance of trade and increase France's colonial holdings. Colbert's plan was to build a general academy.
Colbert's market reforms included the foundation of the Manufacture royale de glaces de miroirs in 1665 to supplant the importation of Venetian glass (forbidden in 1672, as soon as the French glass manufacturing industry was on sound footing) and to encourage the technical expertise of Flemish cloth manufacturing in France. He also founded royal tapestry works at Gobelins and supported those at Beauvais. Colbert worked to develop the domestic economy by raising tariffs and by encouraging major public works projects. Colbert also worked to ensure that the French East India Company had access to foreign markets, so that they could always obtain coffee, cotton, dyewoods, fur, pepper, and sugar. In addition, Colbert founded the French merchant marine.
Colbert issued more than 150 edicts to regulate the guilds. One such law had the intention of improving the quality of cloth. The edict declared that if the authorities found a merchant's cloth unsatisfactory on three separate occasions, they were to tie him to a post with the cloth attached to him.
Self-sufficiency is the state of not requiring any aid, support, or interaction, for survival; it is therefore a type of personal or collective autonomy. On a national scale, a totally self-sufficient economy that does not trade with the outside world is called an autarky.
The term self-sufficiency is usually applied to varieties of sustainable living in which nothing is consumed outside of what is produced by the self-sufficient individuals. Examples of attempts at self-sufficiency in North America include simple living, homesteading, off-the-grid, survivalism, DIY ethic and the back-to-the-land movement.
Practices that enable or aid self-sufficiency include autonomous building, permaculture, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy.The term is also applied to limited forms of self-sufficiency, for example growing one's own food or becoming economically independent of state subsidies.
By the Edict of Fontainebleau, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes and ordered the destruction of Huguenot churches, as well as the closing of Protestant schools. This policy made official the persecution already enforced since the dragonnades created in 1681 by the king in order to intimidate Huguenots into converting to Catholicism. As a result of the officially sanctioned persecution by the dragoons who were billeted upon prominent Huguenots, a large number of Protestants — estimates range from 210,000 to 900,000 — left France over the next two decades. They sought asylum in England, the United Provinces, Sweden, Switzerland, Brandenburg-Prussia, Denmark, the Habsburg's Holy Roman Empire, South Africa and North America. They left without money, but took with them many skills. In the host nations they established small businesses and their new ideas revitalised indigenous industries. On January 17, 1686, Louis XIV himself claimed that out of a Huguenot population of 800,000 to 900,000, only 1,000 to 1,500 had remained in France.
Louis XIV's pious second wife Madame de Maintenon was a strong advocate of Protestant persecution and urged Louis to revoke Henry IV's edict; her confessor and spiritual adviser, François de la Chaise, must be held largely responsible.
The revocation of the Edict of Nantes created a state of affairs in France similar to that of virtually every other European country of the period (with the brief exception of Great Britain and possibly the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), where only the majority state religion was legally tolerated. The experiment of religious toleration in Europe was effectively ended for the time being.
In an attempt to restrict the proliferation of private centers of intellectual or literary life (so as to impose the royal court as the artistic center of France), Cardinal Richelieu took an existing literary gathering (around Valentin Conrart) and designated it as the official Académie française in 1634. Other original members included Jean Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin, Jean Ogier de Gombauld, Jean Chapelain, François le Métel de Boisrobert, François Maynard, Marin le Roy de Gomberville and Nicolas Faret; members added at the time of its official creation included Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac, Claude Favre de Vaugelas and Vincent Voiture. This process of state control of the arts and literature would be expanded even more during the reign of Louis XIV.
"Classicism" (as it applies to literature) implies notions of order, clarity, moral purpose and good taste. Many of these notions are directly inspired by the works of Aristotle and Horace, and by classical Greek and Roman masterpieces. In theater, a play should follow the Three Unities:
Unity of place: The setting should not change. In practice this led to the frequent "Castle, interior". Battles take place off stage.
Unity of time: Ideally, the entire play should take place in 24 hours.
Unity of action: There should be one central story, and all secondary plots should link to it.
Although based on classical examples, the unities of place and time were seen as essential for the spectator's complete absorption into the dramatic action; wildly dispersed scenes in China or Africa, or over many years would—critics maintained—break the theatrical illusion. Sometimes, grouped with unity of action is the notion that no character should appear unexpectedly late in the drama.
Linked with the theatrical unities are the following concepts:
Les bienséances (decorum): Literature should respect moral codes and good taste; nothing should be presented that flouts these codes, even if they are historical events.
La vraisemblance: Actions should be believable. When historical events contradict believability, some critics advised the latter. The criterion of believability was sometimes used to criticize soliloquy; in late classical plays characters are almost invariably supplied with confidants (valets, friends, nurses), to whom they reveal their emotions.
These rules precluded many elements common in the baroque tragi-comedy: flying horses, chivalric battles, magical trips to foreign lands and the deus ex machina; the mauling of Hippolyte by a monster in Phèdre could only take place offstage. Finally, literature and art should consciously follow Horace's precept "to please and educate" (aut delectare aut prodesse est).
These rules (or codes) were seldom completely followed, and many of the century's masterpieces broke these rules intentionally to heighten emotional effect:
Corneille's Le Cid was criticised for having Rodrigue appear before Chimène after having killed her father, a violation of moral codes.
La Princesse de Clèves' revelation to her husband of her adulterous feelings for the Duc de Nemours was criticised for being unbelievable.
In 1674 there erupted an intellectual debate (la querelle des Anciens et des Modernes) on whether the arts and literature of the modern era had achieved more than the illustrious writers and artists of antiquity. The Académy was dominated by the "Moderns" (Charles Perrault, Jean Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin) and Perrault's poem "Le Siècle de Louis le Grand" ("The Century of Louis the Great") in 1687 was the strongest expression of their conviction that the reign of Louis XIV was the equal of Augustus. As a great lover of the classics, Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux found himself pushed into the role of champion of the Anciens (his severe criticisms of Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin's poems did not help), and Jean Racine, Jean de La Fontaine and Jean de La Bruyère took his defense. Meanwhile, Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle and the newspaper Mercure galant joined the "Moderns". The debate would last until the beginning of the 18th century.
The term "classicism" is also linked to the visual arts and architecture of the period, most specifically to the construction of the château of Versailles (the crowning achievement of an official program of propaganda and regal glory). Although originally a country retreat used for special festivities—and known more for André Le Nôtre's gardens and fountains—Versailles eventually became the permanent home of the king. By relocating to Versailles Louis effectively avoided the dangers of Paris (in his youth, Louis XIV had suffered during the civil and parliamentary insurrection known as the Fronde), and could also keep his eye closely on the affairs of the nobles and play them off against each other and against the newer noblesse de robe. Versailles became a gilded cage; to leave spelled disaster for a noble, for all official charges and appointments were made there. A strict etiquette was imposed; a word or glance from the king could make or destroy a career. The king himself followed a strict daily regimen, and there was little privacy. Through his wars and the glory of Versailles Louis became, to a certain degree, the arbiter of taste and power in Europe; both his château and the etiquette in Versailles were copied by the other European courts. However, the difficult wars at the end of his long reign and the religious problems created by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes made the last years dark.
The War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the feared possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch.
While Spain had been decaying throughout the 17th century, to the point that it was barely considered a first rate power by 1700, it still possessed an immense territorial domain, including Naples, Milan, the Spanish Netherlands and the Indies. For that reason, England and other countries felt that such a unification would have drastically altered the European balance of power. The war was fought primarily by forces supporting the unification - the Spanish loyal to Philip V, France, and the Electorate of Bavaria, together known as the Two Crowns - against those opposing unification - the so-called Grand Alliance among the Spanish loyal to Archduke Charles, the Holy Roman Empire, Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, Portugal and the Duchy of Savoy.
The war was fought mostly in Europe but included Queen Anne's War in North America. It was marked by the military leadership of notable generals including the Duc de Villars, the Jacobite Duke of Berwick, the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy. Several battles are considered classics in history, notably the Grand Alliance victories at Blenheim (1704) and Ramillies (1706), which drove the French forces from Germany and the Netherlands, or the French victory at Almansa (1707). Inconclusive fighting and skirmishing followed in Spain with little result, and the action turned to France. After considerable maneuvering and inconclusive action, the French were once again decisively defeated at the Battle of Oudenarde (1708). This string of losses prompted Louis XIV to start negotiations, but the terms were humiliating and he decided to press the war to its end.
This led to the Grand Alliance Pyrrhic victory at the Battle of Malplaquet (1709) and a Two Crowns victory at the Battle of Villaviciosa (1710). Continued skirmishing, sieges, and battles, such as the decisive victory of Denain (1712), allowed the French to re-capture considerable ground, especially during 1712. At the same time, a series of events led to the Allied cause faltering. The recall of the Duke of Marlborough for political reasons, combined with a new parliament pressing for peace, dramatically reduced the effectiveness of the British forces. Peace negotiations between France and Britain started in secret. In 1711, Archduke Charles' elder brother Joseph died and the Archduke became Emperor Charles VI. Other members of the Allies were thus presented with the equally unsavoury possibility of a Spanish-German superpower in place of a Spanish-French one.
The war, over a decade long, was concluded by the treaties of Utrecht (1713) and Rastatt (1714). As a result, Philip V remained King of Spain but was removed from the French line of succession, averting a union of the two kingdoms. The Austrians gained most of the Spanish territories in Italy and the Netherlands. France's hegemony over continental Europe was ended and the idea of a balance of power became a part of the international order. Philip quickly revived Spanish ambition; taking advantage of the power vacuum caused by Louis XIV's death in 1715, Philip announced he would claim the French crown if the infant Louis XV died and attempted to reclaim Spanish territory in Italy, precipitating the War of the Quadruple Alliance in 1717.
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of the Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713. The treaties between several European states, including Spain, Great Britain, France, Portugal, Savoy and the Dutch Republic, helped end the war. The treaties were concluded between the representatives of Louis XIV of France and Philip V of Spain on the one hand, and representatives of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, the Duke of Savoy, the King of Portugal and the United Provinces on the other.
The treaty registered the defeat of French ambitions expressed in the wars of Louis XIV and preserved the European system based on the balance of power.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
29 September 1547 - 22 April 1616) was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered the first modern European novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. His influence on the Spanish language has been so great that the language is often called la lengua de Cervantes ("the language of Cervantes"). He was dubbed El Príncipe de los Ingenios ("The Prince of Wits").
In 1569, Cervantes moved to Rome, where he served as a valet to Giulio Acquaviva, a wealthy priest who was elevated to cardinal the next year. By then, Cervantes had enlisted as a soldier in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment and continued his military life until 1575, when he was captured by Algerian corsairs. After five years of slavery he was released on ransom from his captors by his parents and the Trinitarians, a Catholic religious order. He subsequently returned to his family in Madrid.
In 1585, Cervantes published a pastoral novel named La Galatea. Because of financial problems, Cervantes worked as a purveyor for the Spanish Armada, and later as a tax collector. In 1597, discrepancies in his accounts of three years previous landed him in the Crown Jail of Seville. In 1605, he was in Valladolid, just when the immediate success of the first part of his Don Quixote, published in Madrid, signaled his return to the literary world. In 1607, he settled in Madrid, where he lived and worked until his death. During the last nine years of his life, Cervantes solidified his reputation as a writer; he published the Novelas ejemplares (Exemplary Novels) in 1613, the Journey to Parnassus (Viaje al Parnaso) in 1614, and in 1615, the Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses and the second part of Don Quixote. Carlos Fuentes noted that, "Cervantes leaves open the pages of a book where the reader knows himself to be written."
Don Quixote fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
is a novel written by Miguel de Cervantes. The novel follows the adventures of Alonso Quijano, a hidalgo who reads so many chivalric novels, that he decides to set out to revive chivalry under the name of Don Quixote. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who frequently deals with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood with a unique, earthy wit. He is met by the world as it is, initiating themes like intertextuality, realism, metatheatre and literary representation.
Published in two volumes a decade apart, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. In a 2002 list compiled by 100 professional writers, Don Quixote was cited as the "best literary work ever written".
was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called "The Virgin Queen", "Gloriana", or "Good Queen Bess", Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born a princess, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed two and a half years after her birth, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her half-brother, Edward VI, bequeathed the crown to Lady Jane Grey, cutting his two half-sisters, Elizabeth and the Catholic Mary, out of the succession in spite of statute law to the contrary. His will was set aside, Mary became queen, and Lady Jane Grey was executed. In 1558, Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister, during whose reign she had been imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.
Elizabeth set out to rule by good counsel, and she depended heavily on a group of trusted advisers led by William Cecil, Baron Burghley. One of her first moves as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement later evolved into today's Church of England. It was expected that Elizabeth would marry and produce an heir so as to continue the Tudor line. She never did, however, despite numerous courtships. As she grew older, Elizabeth became famous for her virginity, and a cult grew up around her which was celebrated in the portraits, pageants, and literature of the day.
In government, Elizabeth was more moderate than her father and half-siblings had been. One of her mottoes was "video et taceo" ("I see, and say nothing"). In religion she was relatively tolerant, avoiding systematic persecution. After 1570, when the pope declared her illegitimate and released her subjects from obedience to her, several conspiracies threatened her life. All plots were defeated, however, with the help of her ministers' secret service. Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, moving between the major powers of France and Spain. She only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands, France, and Ireland. In the mid-1580s, war with Spain could no longer be avoided, and when Spain finally decided to attempt to conquer England in 1588, the failure of the Spanish Armada associated her with one of the greatest victories in English history.
Elizabeth's reign is known as the Elizabethan era, famous above all for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Sir Francis Drake. Some historians are more reserved in their assessment. They depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler, who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor, in an age when government was ramshackle and limited and when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones. Such was the case with Elizabeth's rival, Mary, Queen of Scots, whom she imprisoned in 1568 and eventually had executed in 1587. After the short reigns of Elizabeth's half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity.
James VI and I (19 June 1566 - 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death. The kingdoms of England and Scotland were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciary, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union.
He became King of Scotland at the age of thirteen months, succeeding his mother Mary, Queen of Scots, who had been compelled to abdicate in his favour. Four different regents governed during his minority, which ended officially in 1578, though he did not gain full control of his government until 1583. In 1603, he succeeded the last Tudor monarch of England and Ireland, Elizabeth I, who died without issue. He continued to reign in all three kingdoms for 22 years, a period known as the Jacobean era after him, until his death in 1625 at the age of 58. After the Union of the Crowns, he based himself in England (the largest of the three realms) from 1603, only returning to Scotland once in 1617, and styled himself "King of Great Britain and Ireland". In his reign, the Plantation of Ulster and British colonisation of the Americas began.
At 57 years and 246 days, his reign in Scotland was longer than any of his predecessors. He achieved most of his aims in Scotland but faced great difficulties in England, including the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and repeated conflicts with the English Parliament. Under James, the "Golden Age" of Elizabethan literature and drama continued, with writers such as William Shakespeare, John Donne, Ben Jonson, and Sir Francis Bacon contributing to a flourishing literary culture. James himself was a talented scholar, the author of works such as Daemonologie (1597), True Law of Free Monarchies (1598), and Basilikon Doron (1599). He sponsored the translation of the Bible that was named after him: the Authorised King James Version. Sir Anthony Weldon claimed that James had been termed "the wisest fool in Christendom", an epithet associated with his character ever since. Since the latter half of the twentieth century, however, historians have revised James's reputation and have treated him as a serious and thoughtful monarch
was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles believed was divinely ordained. Many of his English subjects opposed his actions, in particular his interference in the English and Scottish churches and the levying of taxes without parliamentary consent, because they saw them as those of a tyrannical absolute monarch.
Charles's reign was also characterised by religious conflicts. His failure to successfully aid Protestant forces during the Thirty Years' War, coupled with the fact that he married a Roman Catholic princess, generated deep mistrust concerning the king's dogma. Charles further allied himself with controversial ecclesiastic figures, such as Richard Montagu and William Laud, whom Charles appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. Many of Charles's subjects felt this brought the Church of England too close to the Roman Catholic Church. Charles's later attempts to force religious reforms upon Scotland led to the Bishops' Wars, strengthened the position of the English and Scottish parliaments and helped precipitate his own downfall.
Charles's last years were marked by the English Civil War, in which he fought the forces of the English and Scottish parliaments, which challenged his attempts to overrule and negate parliamentary authority, whilst simultaneously using his position as head of the English Church to pursue religious policies which generated the antipathy of reformed groups such as the Puritans. Charles was defeated in the First Civil War (1642-45), after which Parliament expected him to accept its demands for a constitutional monarchy. He instead remained defiant by attempting to forge an alliance with Scotland and escaping to the Isle of Wight. This provoked the Second Civil War (1648-49) and a second defeat for Charles, who was subsequently captured, tried, convicted, and executed for high treason. The monarchy was then abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England, also referred to as the Cromwellian Interregnum, was declared. Charles's son, Charles II, who dated his accession from the death of his father, did not take up the reins of government until the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653-1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. After the English Civil War and the execution of Charles I, the republic's existence was initially declared by "An Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth" adopted by the Rump Parliament, on 19 May 1649. Executive power had already been entrusted to a Council of State. The government during 1653 to 1659 is properly called The Protectorate, and took the form of direct personal rule by Oliver Cromwell and, after his death, his son Richard, as Lord Protector. The term Commonwealth is, however, loosely used to describe the system of government during the whole of 1649 to 1660, when England was de facto, and arguably de jure, a republic Oliver Cromwell (25 April 1599 - 3 September 1658) was an English military and political leader and later Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. Born into the middle gentry, he was relatively obscure for the first 40 years of his life. After undergoing a religious conversion in the 1630s, Cromwell became an independent puritan, taking a generally (but not completely) tolerant view towards the many Protestant sects of his period. An intensely religious man—a self-styled Puritan Moses—he fervently believed that God was guiding his victories.
He was elected Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in 1628 and for Cambridge in the Short (1640) and Long (1640-49) Parliaments. He entered the English Civil War on the side of the "Roundheads" or Parliamentarians. Nicknamed "Old Ironsides", he was quickly promoted from leading a single cavalry troop to become one of the principal commanders of the New Model Army, playing an important role in the defeat of the royalist forces.
Cromwell was one of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant in 1649 and as a member of the Rump Parliament (1649-53) he dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England. He was selected to take command of the English campaign in Ireland during 1649-50. Cromwell's forces defeated the Confederate and Royalist coalition in Ireland and occupied the country - bringing to an end the Irish Confederate Wars. During this period a series of Penal Laws were passed against Roman Catholics (a significant minority in England and Scotland but the vast majority in Ireland), and a substantial amount of their land was confiscated. Cromwell also led a campaign against the Scottish army between 1650 and 1651.
On 20 April 1653 he dismissed the Rump Parliament by force, setting up a short-lived nominated assembly known as the Barebones Parliament, before being invited by his fellow leaders to rule as Lord Protector of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland from 16 December 1653. As a ruler he executed an aggressive and effective foreign policy. After his death in 1658 he was buried in Westminster Abbey, but after the Royalists returned to power in 1660 they had his corpse dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded.
Cromwell is one of the most controversial figures in the history of the British Isles, considered a regicidal dictator by historians such as David Hume as quoted by David Sharp, but a hero of liberty by others such as Thomas Carlyle and Samuel Rawson Gardiner. In a 2002 BBC poll in Britain, Cromwell was selected as one of the ten greatest Britons of all time. However, his measures against Catholics in Scotland and Ireland have been characterized by some as genocidal or near-genocidal, and in Ireland his record is harshly criticized.
Charles II (29 May 1630 - 6 February 1685) was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War. Although the Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II King of Great Britain and Ireland in Edinburgh on 6 February 1649, the English Parliament instead passed a statute that made any such proclamation unlawful. England entered the period known as the English Interregnum or the English Commonwealth, and the country was a de facto republic, led by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell defeated Charles at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, and Charles fled to mainland Europe. Cromwell became virtual dictator of England, Scotland and Ireland. Charles spent the next nine years in exile in France, the United Provinces and the Spanish Netherlands.
A political crisis that followed the death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in the restoration of the monarchy, and Charles was invited to return to Britain. On 29 May 1660, his 30th birthday, he was received in London to public acclaim. After 1660, all legal documents were dated as if Charles had succeeded his father as king in 1649.
Charles's English parliament enacted laws known as the Clarendon Code, designed to shore up the position of the re-established Church of England. Charles acquiesced to the Clarendon Code even though he himself favoured a policy of religious tolerance. The major foreign policy issue of Charles's early reign was the Second Anglo-Dutch War. In 1670, Charles entered into the secret treaty of Dover, an alliance with his first cousin King Louis XIV of France. Louis agreed to aid Charles in the Third Anglo-Dutch War and pay Charles a pension, and Charles secretly promised to convert to Roman Catholicism at an unspecified future date. Charles attempted to introduce religious freedom for Catholics and Protestant dissenters with his 1672 Royal Declaration of Indulgence, but the English Parliament forced him to withdraw it. In 1679, Titus Oates's revelations of a supposed "Popish Plot" sparked the Exclusion Crisis when it was revealed that Charles's brother and heir (James, Duke of York) was a Roman Catholic. The crisis saw the birth of the pro-exclusion Whig and anti-exclusion Tory parties. Charles sided with the Tories, and, following the discovery of the Rye House Plot to murder Charles and James in 1683, some Whig leaders were killed or forced into exile. Charles dissolved the English Parliament in 1681, and ruled alone until his death on 6 February 1685. He was received into the Roman Catholic Church on his deathbed.
Charles was popularly known as the Merrie Monarch, in reference to both the liveliness and hedonism of his court and the general relief at the return to normality after over a decade of rule by Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans. Charles's wife, Catherine of Braganza, bore no children, but Charles acknowledged at least twelve illegitimate children by various mistresses. As illegitimate children were excluded from the succession, he was succeeded by his brother James.
A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue. Cabals are sometimes secret societies composed of a few designing persons, and at other times are manifestations of emergent behavior in society or governance on the part of a community of persons who have well established public affiliation or kinship. The term can also be used to refer to the designs of such persons or to the practical consequences of their emergent behavior, and also holds a general meaning of intrigue and conspiracy. The use of this term usually carries strong connotations of shadowy corners, back rooms and insidious influence; a cabal is more evil and selective than, say, a faction, which is simply selfish; because of this negative connotation, few organizations use the term to refer to themselves or their internal subdivisions. Amongst the exceptions is Discordianism, in which the term is used to refer to an identifiable group within the Discordian religion. James II and VII (14 October 1633O.S. - 16 September 1701) was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Members of Britain's political and religious elite increasingly opposed him for being pro-French and pro-Catholic, and for his designs on becoming an absolute monarch. When he produced a Catholic heir, the tension exploded, and leading nobles called on William III of Orange (his son-in-law and nephew) to land an invasion army from the Netherlands, which he did. James fled England (and thus was held to have abdicated) in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was replaced by William of Orange, who became king as William III, ruling jointly with his wife (James's daughter) Mary II. Thus William and Mary, both Protestants, became joint rulers in 1689. James made one serious attempt to recover his crowns, when he landed in Ireland in 1689 but, after the defeat of the Jacobite forces by the Williamite forces at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, James returned to France. He lived out the rest of his life as a pretender at a court sponsored by his cousin and ally, King Louis XIV.
James is best known for his belief in the Divine Right of Kings and his attempts to create religious liberty for English Roman Catholics and Protestant nonconformists against the wishes of the English Parliament. Parliament, opposed to the growth of absolutism that was occurring in other European countries, as well as to the loss of legal supremacy for the Church of England, saw their opposition as a way to preserve what they regarded as traditional English liberties. This tension made James's four-year reign a struggle for supremacy between the English Parliament and the Crown, resulting in his deposition, the passage of the English Bill of Rights, and the Hanoverian succession.
The Bill of Rights or the Bill of Rights 1688 is an Act of the Parliament of England passed on 16 December 1689. It was a restatement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 (or 1688 by Old Style dating), inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England. It lays down limits on the powers of sovereign and sets out the rights of Parliament and rules for freedom of speech in Parliament, the requirement to regular elections to Parliament and the right to petition the monarch without fear of retribution. It reestablished the liberty of Protestants to have arms for their defence within the rule of law, and condemned James II of England for "causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law".
These ideas about rights reflected those of the political thinker John Locke and they quickly became popular in England. It also sets out—or, in the view of its drafters, restates—certain constitutional requirements of the Crown to seek the consent of the people, as represented in Parliament.
Along with the Act of Settlement (1700 or 1701), the Bill of Rights is still in effect. It is one of the main constitutional laws governing the succession to the throne of the United Kingdom and—following British colonialism, the resultant doctrine of reception, and independence—to the thrones of those other Commonwealth realms, by willing deference to the Act as a British statute or as a patriated part of the particular realm's constitution. Since the implementation of the Statute of Westminster 1931 in each of the Commonwealth realms (on successive dates from 1931 onwards) the Bill of Rights cannot be altered in any realm except by that realm's own parliament, and then, by convention, and as it touches on the succession to the shared throne, only with the consent of all the other realms.
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, was the overthrow of King James II of England (James VII of Scotland and James II of Ireland) by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau (William of Orange). William's successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and army led to his ascending of the English throne as William III of England jointly with his wife Mary II of England.
King James's policies of religious tolerance after 1685 met with increasing opposition by members of leading political circles, who were troubled by the king's Catholicism and his close ties with France. The crisis facing the king came to a head in 1688, with the birth of the King's son, James Francis Edward Stuart, on 10 June (Julian calendar).[nb 1] This changed the existing line of succession by displacing the heir presumptive, his daughter Mary, a Protestant and the wife of William of Orange, with young James as heir apparent. The establishment of a Roman Catholic dynasty in the kingdoms now seemed likely. Some of the most influential leaders of the Tories united with members of the opposition Whigs and set out to resolve the crisis by inviting William of Orange to England, which the stadtholder, who feared an Anglo-French alliance, had indicated as a condition for a military intervention.
After consolidating political and financial support, William crossed the North Sea and English Channel with a large invasion fleet in November 1688, landing at Torbay. After only two minor clashes between the two opposing armies in England, and anti-Catholic riots in several towns, James's regime collapsed, largely because of a lack of resolve shown by the king. However, this was followed by the protracted Williamite War in Ireland and Dundee's rising in Scotland. In England's geographically-distant American colonies, the revolution led to the collapse of the Dominion of New England and the overthrow of the Province of Maryland's government. Following a defeat of his forces at the Battle of Reading on 9 December, James and his wife fled the nation; James, however, returned to London for a two-week period that culminated in his final departure for France on 23 December. By threatening to withdraw his troops, William in February 1689 convinced a newly chosen Convention Parliament to make him and his wife joint monarchs.
The Revolution permanently ended any chance of Catholicism becoming re-established in England. For British Catholics its effects were disastrous both socially and politically: Catholics were denied the right to vote and sit in the Westminster Parliament for over a century; they were also denied commissions in the army, and the monarch was forbidden to be Catholic or to marry a Catholic, a prohibition still in force. The Revolution led to limited toleration for nonconformist Protestants, although it would be some time before they had full political rights. It has been argued[who?] that James's overthrow began modern English parliamentary democracy: the Bill of Rights of 1689 has become one of the most important documents in the political history of Britain and never since has the monarch held absolute power.
Internationally, the Revolution was related to the War of the Grand Alliance on mainland Europe. It has been seen as the last successful invasion of England. It ended all attempts by England in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century to subdue the Dutch Republic by military force. However, the resulting economic integration and military co-operation between the English and Dutch Navies shifted the dominance in world trade from the Dutch Republic to England and later to Great Britain.
The expression "Glorious Revolution" was first used by John Hampden in late 1689, and is an expression that is still used by the British Parliament. The Glorious Revolution is also occasionally termed the Bloodless Revolution, albeit inaccurately. The English Civil War (also known as the Great Rebellion) was still within living memory for most of the major English participants in the events of 1688, and for them, in comparison to that war (or even the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685) the deaths in the conflict of 1688 were mercifully few.[original research?]
William III & II (Dutch: Willem III; 4 November 1650 - 8 March 1702) was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange (Dutch: Willem III van Oranje) over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland. By coincidence, his regnal number (III) was the same for both Orange and England. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is informally known by sections of the population in Northern Ireland and Scotland as "King Billy". In what became known as the "Glorious Revolution", on 5 November 1688 William invaded England in an action that ultimately deposed King James II & VII and won him the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland. In the British Isles, William ruled jointly with his wife, Mary II, until her death on 28 December 1694. The period of their joint reign is often referred to as "William and Mary".
A Protestant, William participated in several wars against the powerful Catholic king of France, Louis XIV, in coalition with Protestant and Catholic powers in Europe. Many Protestants heralded him as a champion of their faith. Largely because of that reputation, William was able to take the British crowns when many were fearful of a revival of Catholicism under James. William's victory over James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is still commemorated by the Orange Order. His reign marked the beginning of the transition from the personal rule of the Stuarts to the more Parliament-centred rule of the House of Hanover.
Mary II (30 April 1662 - 28 December 1694) was joint Sovereign of England, Scotland, and Ireland with her husband (who was also her first cousin), William III and II, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant, respectively, following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. William became sole ruler upon her death in 1694. Popular histories usually refer to their joint reign as that of "William and Mary".
Mary wielded less power than William when he was in England, ceding most of her authority to him, though he heavily relied on her. She did, however, act alone when William was engaged in military campaigns abroad, proving herself to be a powerful, firm, and effective ruler.
John Locke (29 August 1632 - 28 October 1704), widely known as the Father of Classical Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work had a great impact upon the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.
Locke's theory of mind is often cited as the origin of modern conceptions of identity and the self, figuring prominently in the work of later philosophers such as Hume, Rousseau and Kant. Locke was the first to define the self through a continuity of consciousness. He postulated that the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasa. Contrary to pre-existing Cartesian philosophy, he maintained that we are born without innate ideas, and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception.
The theory of natural law is closely related to the theory of natural rights. During the Age of Enlightenment, natural law theory challenged the divine right of kings, and became an alternative justification for the establishment of a social contract, positive law, and government — and thus legal rights — in the form of classical republicanism. Conversely, the concept of natural rights is used by some anarchists to challenge the legitimacy of all such establishments.
The idea of human rights is also closely related to that of natural rights; some recognize no difference between the two and regard both as labels for the same thing, while others choose to keep the terms separate to eliminate association with some features traditionally associated with natural rights. Natural rights, in particular, are considered beyond the authority of any government or international body to dismiss. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an important legal instrument enshrining one conception of natural rights into international soft law. Natural rights were traditionally viewed as exclusively negative rights, whereas human rights also comprise positive rights.
The idea that animals have natural rights is one that has gained the interest of philosophers and legal scholars in the 20th century, Even on a natural rights conception of human rights, the two terms may not be synonymous.
The legal philosophy known as Declarationism seeks to incorporate the natural rights philosophy of the United States Declaration of Independence into the body of American case law on a level with the United States Constitution.
Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford,
(26 August 1676 - 18 March 1745), known before 1742 as Sir Robert Walpole, was a British statesman who is generally regarded as the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. Although the position of "Prime Minister" had no recognition in law or official use at the time, Walpole is nevertheless acknowledged as having held the office de facto because of his influence within the Cabinet.
A Whig who was first elected in 1701, Walpole served during the reigns of George I and George II. His tenure is normally dated from 1721 when he obtained the post of First Lord of the Treasury; others date it from 1730 when, with the retirement of Lord Townshend, he became the sole and undisputed leader of the Cabinet. The "longer" version of the tenure is generally upheld by the contemporary press, most notably that of the opposition, who focused far more attention upon Walpole than his counterpart. Walpole continued to govern until his resignation in 1742 prompted by the Battle of Cartagena disaster, making his administration the longest in British history. Because of his homely ways and strong Norfolk roots, he was often known to both friends and detractors as the "fat old Squire of Norfolk."
A regent, from the Latin regens, "[one] reigning", or regency council is a person or group of persons selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. The period of rule of a regent or regents is referred to as a regency.
In a monarchy, a regent usually governs due to one of these reasons, but may also be elected to rule during the interregnum when the royal line has died out. This was the case in the Kingdom of Finland and the Kingdom of Hungary, where the royal line was considered extinct in the aftermath of World War I. In Iceland, the regent represented the King of Denmark as sovereign of Iceland until the country became a republic in 1944. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1795), kings were elective, which often led to a fairly long interregnum. In the interim, it was the Lithuanian Roman Catholic Primate (the Archbishop of Vilnius) who served as the regent, termed the "interrex" (Latin: ruler "between kings" as in ancient Rome). In the small republic of San Marino, the two Captains Regent, or Capitani Reggenti, are elected semi-annually (they serve a six-month term) as joint heads of state and of government.