Friday, August 28, 2015

What was the Restoration of 1660 in England? What were the Effects of the Restoration on the English life?

Accession of Charles-II to the English throne is called the restoration of 1660. After Cromwell’s death, his son Richard Cromwell became protector. He was an incapable ruler and could not hold the balance between the army and parliament but resigned soon after as he found his position very embarrassing. The army then restored the rump which had been ejected by Cromwell. But the rump assumed an arrogant attitude and so it was turned out by Lambert, the leader of the Army. But the soldiers could not govern and so the Rump was recalled for the second time. This quarrel between the army and the Rump led to disorder and misrule. The long parliament thus restored, voted its own dissolution and declared for a new, free” parliament. To facilitate monks work.   Charles II issued the declaration of Bread promising (a) a general pardon.(b)parliamentary government and (c) religious liberty in so far as it would not disturb the peace of the realm. This new parliament which met was known as the convention parliament, because it was not summoned by the king's writ. It invited Charles and restored him to the throne in 1660.

The restoration was not merely restoration of the crown but also a restoration of the parliamentary forms of government. The cause of the monarchy indeed triumphed but the cause of absolutely monarchy was defeated. In the reign of Charles I parliamentary life had long been in abeyance and parliament had to take up arms to maintain its rights.

After the execution of Charles I a new republican constitution was tried in England. Monarchy and the house of Lords were abolished and the government was carried on by the Rump and a council of state. But it was soon realized that in the absence of a king a parliamentary despotism might be established. Hence the need was felt for a written or rigid constitution clearly defining the right and duties of the different parts of the government.
 Effects of Restoration:

The Restoration of Charles II completely changed the face of England and this change affected national life at all points. (1) Cromwell’s military despotism and the anarchy which followed his death, gave rise to a strong reaction in favor of monarchy and Charles II was enthusiastically received by the people. Hatred of kingship gave way to sincere loyalty to the crown. (2) Another most noticeable change was the strong feeling aroused against Puritanism. The Puritans by their religious fanaticism in the days of the commonwealth had completely estranged the bulk of the population. The result was that a series of penal laws was passed, imposing various disabilities on the Puritans. (3)  The change that took place in the social life of the people was extremely deplorable. From the rigid asceticism of the Puritanical rule, the people went to the other extreme of undisguised debauchery and profligacy. (4) As regards government the change was for the better. Charles II took warning from the fate of his father and never dared go against the wishes of the people. The abolition of the arbitrary courts, such as the Star Chamber and of the feudal-dues of the crown greatly reduced the royal power.
 Restoration of the parliament:

The parliament which restored Charles II was known as the convention parliament because
it was summoned without royal writ.(1)It passed an Act of Indemnity and oblivion, promising general pardon to all except the regicides.(2)The royal revenue was fixed at a definite sum; feudal dues and purveyance were abolished, and a permanent excise tax was granted to the king in compensation for his loss of the feudal revenue.(3)It paid off the arrears of pay to the soldiers and disbanded the army, keeping only two regiments which for- med the nucleus of the modern standing army.(4)The confiscated estates of the crown, the church and the royalists were restored except those disposed of by private sale.(5)The beneficial measures of the early days of the Long parliament were retained.(6)The Navigation Act of 1651 was renewed.

Restoration of the Cavalier parliament:
The convention parliament was dissolved in 1661 and was followed by the cavalier parliament. This parliament was so called because the old cavalier sprit in favor of the king was strong in it. The cavalier parliament was Royalist in politics and strongly Anglican in religion. Its most important work was the settlement of the church. It hated the puritans as the authors of the late revolution and passed a series of penal laws against them. It sat from 1661 to 1679.

Restoration of Religion:

The cavalier parliament was strongly ant puritan in feeling and passed a series of Acts against the Presbyterians and Non-conformists. These were:(1)The corporation Act: By it all members of the municipal corporation were required to renounce the covenant and to take the sacrament according to the  rites of the church of England.(2)The Act of Uniformity: It enforced the use of the Book of common prayer and required the unqualified consent of all clergymen to its contents. It also required that the beneficed clergy should receive Episcopal ordination, ordination at the hands of the bishops. (3)The conventicler Act: It forbade the meeting of more than five persons for religious worship not in accordance with the usage of the church of England.(4)The Five Mile Act: It forbade the expelled clergy to teach in schools or to come within five miles of any corporate town where they had once held a cure.

The religious policy of the cavalier parliament was opposed to the wishes of the king who was in favor of toleration for all sects, so that the disabilities of the Roman Catholics might be removed.