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The Restoration


The restoration is the name of Charles II’s reign, because the king was ‘restored’ to the throne. During this period there were struggles between Anglicans, Catholics and dissenters, and some puritan communities were founded.
In 1665 the plague and the great fire on London decimated the population and destroyed most of the buildings of London, which was completely rebuilt and began to become the London we know today.
After Charles II, came to throne James II. He was catholic and wanted to re-establish Catholicism, but he met the opposition of the Parliament, which appealed to William of Orange. He came from Holland and led an army against the king, which was finally forced to flee.
The overthrowing of the king is known as the glorious revolution because of the political changes introduced peacefully. The changes were: the bill of rights, limiting the power of the king without consulting the parliament; the toleration act and the act of settlement, that all future monarchs must be members of the Church.
In this period there were two political parties: the Tories and the Whigs. The Tories represented the aristocracy and the Church of England, and were more conservative. The Whigs were supported by the middle class and were more liberal.
The last queen of the Stuart dynasty was Queen Anne. She found herself ruling a peaceful country with no conflicts, but after the act of union between England and Scotland, she had to face the war of Spanish succession, which ended with the treaty of Utrecht signed with France and Spain. Britain obtained the monopoly of the African slave trade for its colonies. The slave trade began in the second half of the 16th century. African slaves were forced to work on American plantations.

The Augustan Age


History: George I was a member of the German house of Hanover and spoke no English, this causes his unpopularity, showing little interest in England.
Due to his absence, the ministers of the Wigh government decided to choose themselves the prime minister. They choose Robert Walpole, which was an efficient and popular politician. Under his leadership, manufacturing industries, commerce and agriculture grew.
The Catholics tried to restore the exiled catholic, James Stuart, with the Jacobite rebellions. Both rebellions failed because they weren’t supported from the people. As a result James was obliged to leave England.
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