17th Century (1600-1699)
- Britain went through a republican experiment
James I died:
His son, Charles I, succeeded him (he ascended the throne in 1625)
Charles I thought he was "King by Divine Right"
a vast majority of the Parliament was made of Puritans, whose members mainly belonged to the middle classes
Who were the Puritans?
Name given to "Extreme Protestants", who wanted to reform the doctrine and structure of the Church
They wanted to purify their national Church by eliminating the traces of the Catholic Influence
They also attempted the purification of the self and society
Why did the Civil War break out?
Puritans wanted balance of power between the King and the Parliament
But Charles I believed he was "King by Divine Right", so his reign was troubled by a continuous clash with the Parliament
In 1642 the King was asked to give up his command of the armed forces (he refused so the Civil War broke out)
They were divide into:
Royalists (Cavaliers), who sided with the King
Parliamentarians (Roundheads), supporters of the Parliament led by Oliver Cromwell
Cavaliers: they let their hair grow long. It included Lord, Gentry (alta aristocrazia) and officials of the Church of England.
Roundheads: they considered ling hair sinful and cut theirs short. It included London, the ports, the navy, the new gentry, small landowners, artisans and puritans.
How did the war end?
The king was taken prisoner in 1647 (war ended)
Cromwell took control of London and expelled or arrested more than 100 members of the House of Lords
The remaining members voted for the execution of the King on 30th January 1649
After Charles I execution, the Monarchy was abolished and the Country was ruled as a republic known as Commonwealth