English politics in the 17th century

In the 17th century powers struggles between the king and the parliament led to the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution.
Religion also affected these conflicts, ending with a Protestant succession of the throne.


BBC: Civil War and Revolution including an overview.
England in the 17th century on localhistories.org


When did James I become King of England and Ireland?

Enter a year.
James I took the English throne on March 24 1603. On this day the Stuart dynasty succeeded the Tudor dynasty. James had already been King of the Scots and he became King of England and Ireland after his third cousin Elizabeth I's death. His accession resulted in the Union of the Crowns.

(Wikipedia: James I)

Catholicism in England

the Church of England had separated from the
established Protestantism during her reign from 1559 to 1603. Many protestants developed an aversion to Catholicism.
The myth of
developed. According to it Catholics planned to
the Church of England and the monarchy. The failed assassination attempt against
in 1605 - known as the
- further fueled protestant fears.
tension was an important factor in 17th century English politics, also because of
varying religion.
Elizabeth I
James I
Gunpowder Plot
Roman Catholic Church
Enter the answers into the text boxes or drag them there.
"The term [papist] was coined during the English Reformation to denote a Christian whose loyalties were to the Pope, rather than to the Church of England." Popery
Wikipedia: Catholic Church in the Tudor era
BBC: The Gunpowder Plot


Charles I and the Civil War

Charles I became James I's successor. However, he soon found himself in a
position because of unsuccessful wars and marrying a
. In 1628 the parliament had him sign the
. It limited his power to
and secured rights for the his subjects.
After that Charles I did not
again for 11 years. He was a believer in the
that allowed him to reign without parliamentary participation. This period is called the
. During this time Charles used fines and royal property to support his finances.
In 1637 Charles tried to introduce a new
to Scotland. This caused resistance that the king tried to put down militarily. That was unsuccessful and in
he called a parliament to get more money. But Charles did not come to an agreement with this so-called
that was soon dissolved. Later that year Charles reached an agreement with a parliament that would be called the
. While
were happy with the reforms,
hoped for further changes.
In 1641 there was a Catholic uprising in
. Parliament refused to
unless they would also be in command of it. In early 1642 Charles attempted to
5 members of the House of Commons. This further divided Royalists and Parliamentarians.
In mid-1642
broke out.
Charles surrendered to the
in May 1646 and was handed over to the English parliament in 1647. However, he later concluded an alliance with the Scots who then
England in the
To avoid further conflict parliamentarians decided to try Charles I with
. He was found guilty and executed in January
prayer book
Eleven Year Tyranny
raise an army
raise taxes
April 1640
Second Civil War
Petition of Right
Divine Right of Kings
Short Parliament
call parliament
high treason
Long Parliament
civil war
Enter the answers into the text boxes or drag them there.

When did the English Civil War end?

Enter a year.
Parliamentarians finally defeated Royalists and Charles's son at the Battle of Worcester in September 1651. (Wikipedia: English Civil War)

The Cromwellian Republic and the restoration of the monarchy

After Charles I's execution in 1649 a republican government was established under army general and statesman Oliver Cromwell. Till 1652 he fought against Charles II and undertook a brutal suppression of
Cromwell reigned as
of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1653 until his death in
. After a short reign by Cromwell's son the
was restored under Charles II in 1660. Cromwell had not managed to establish broad support for the
Charles II cooperated with the French
to achieve greater autonomy. In
he dissolved the parliament. Charles was succeeded by
in 1685.
James II
Lord Protector
Louis XIV
Enter the answers into the text boxes or drag them there.
The period of the Republic is called the Interregnum.

Conflict between James II and the parliament

James tried to
about the Church of England.

James supported Catholic
the accession of the Catholic James II.

Parliamentarians worried
gain independence from parliament.

In 1688 James was
officers and politicians.

Protestants had tried to prevent
born a male heir.

Drag the boxes on the left to the corresponding boxes on the right.
Before 1681 some parliamentarians tried to prevent James II's accession to the throne. They were calle the Whigs. Those opposing exclusion of James's succession were called Tories.
Wikipedia: Exclusion Bill
Created with Raphaƫl

When was the Glorious Revolution

Enter a year.
James II was overthrown in 1688.

Revolution and its aftermath

Fearing Catholic succession parliamentarians - both Whigs and Tories - asked the Dutch
- who had married James's daughter Mary - to invade England. William agreed as he expected war with France and he worried James might
William landed in England in November 1688. He didn't face much
and many of James's soldiers switched sides. Because of the little bloodshed in
the revolution was called "glorious".
James was captured but later allowed to flee. His flight was interpreted as an
and William was made joint monarch with Mary. Before that William had accepted the
that limited his independence as a monarch. In return parliament agreed to support him in the war against
. The Triennial Act
guaranteed annual parliamentary meetings and
every three years.
Freedom of worship was granted to nonconformist protestants but not to
Bill of Right
William of Orange
Enter the answers into the text boxes or drag them there.
From 1688 till 1697 England and Holland fought France in the Nine Years' War.
The Act of Settlement 1701 ensured protestant succession.
Freedom of worship: Act of Toleration