Showing posts with label English History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English History. Show all posts

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bill of Rights

James II fled from England in 1688 during events described as the ‘Glorious Revolution’. James’s Roman Catholic sympathies and belief in the divine right of the Crown resulted in disgruntled parliamentarians offering the throne to his eldest Protestant daughter, Mary. She accepted it on condition that she could reign jointly with her Dutch husband, William of Orange, who became William III. The convention Parliament of 1689 while offering the crown jointly to William and Marry, took several steps to ensure the supremacy of parliament and to safeguard the liberties of the people. Its first work was to turn the Declaration of Rights which it had drawn up into the Bill of Rights. This document formed the third great character of English liberties and completed the work which the Magna Carta had begun. It declared the illegality of (1) the suspending and dispensing powers as exercised by James II, (2) of maintaining a standing army, and (3) of levying money without the consent of parliament. It asserted that (a) Parliaments should be freely elected, frequently held and should have freedom of speech and debate, (b) and that subjects should have a right to petition the king. (c) Lastly, it provided that those “who are Papists or shall marry a papist”, shall be incapable of possessing or inheriting the crown. Although the Bill of Rights had established the order of succession with the heirs of Mary II, Anne and William III, neither of James II’s daughters had surviving heirs casting uncertainty on the future of succession.

The Act of Settlement

The Act of Settlement of 1701 was designed to secure the Protestant succession to the throne, and to strengthen the guarantees for ensuring parliamentary system of government. The constitutional provisions of this act was: (a) It provided that after the death of William and his sister-in-law, Anne, without heirs the English crown was to pass to Electress Sophia  was the grand-daughter of James I of England. There are other nearer heirs but they were all passed over as Catholics. (b) All future kings must belong to the Church of England. (c) England must not be involved in any foreign war without the consent of Parliament. (d) Judges were to receive fixed salaries and were not to be removed from their office except on petition by parliament to the king. This secured the independence of the judges for they were to hold office not at the king’s pleasure but as long as they behaved themselves well. (e) No royal pardon could be produced as an answer to impeachment. This clause finally established the responsibility of the king’s ministers for all acts of state. The Act of Settlement not only addressed the dynastic and religious aspects of succession, it also further restricted the powers and prerogatives of the Crown.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

What was The Seven Years War ?What were the effects of The Seven Years War ?

The Seven Years War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, officially begins when England declares war on France. However, fighting and skirmishes between England and France had been going on in North America for years.

In the early 1750s, French expansion into the Ohio River valley repeatedly brought France into armed conflict with the British colonies. In 1756--the first official year of fighting in the Seven Years War--the British suffered a series of defeats against the French and their broad network of Native American alliances. However, in 1757, British Prime Minister William Pitt recognized the potential of imperial expansion that would come out of victory against the French and borrowed heavily to fund an expanded war effort. Pitt financed Prussia's struggle against France and her allies in Europe and reimbursed the colonies for the raising of armies in North America.

By 1760, the French had been expelled from Canada, and by 1763 all of France's allies in Europe had either made a separate peace with Prussia or had been defeated. In addition, Spanish attempts to aid France in the Americas had failed, and France also suffered defeats against British forces in India.
The Seven Years War ended with the signing of the treaties of Hubertusburg and Paris in February 1763. In the Treaty of Paris, France lost all claims to Canada and gave Louisiana to Spain, while Britain received Spanish Florida, Upper Canada, and various French holdings overseas. The treaty ensured the colonial and maritime supremacy of Britain and strengthened the 13 American colonies by removing their European rivals to the north and the south. Fifteen years later, French bitterness over the loss of most of their colonial empire contributed to their intervention in the American Revolution on the side of the Patriots.

What were the  effects of  The Seven Years War  ?

The effects of the war helped propel the country of Britain into one of the world's leading colonial powers. In the time following the war, Britain took power over parts of Africa, India, America, Canada, the Middle East and many other significant territories in the world. If not for their victory in the Seven Years War, Britain would have never had the power to invade so many other countries. Our world has been remarkably shaped by Britain's conquests, and they are largely due to the impacts of the war.

The effects of the Seven Years' War can also be seen in India. The 1800's could have been a remarkably prosperous time for the country.  Britain took over India soon after the war ended and began a quite lengthy stretch of military rule that prevented India from progressing into the 20th century. The Seven Years' War was, in every way, a detriment to India's advances in government, politics and culture. If not for the war, India would be much better off today.

The history of the United States has also been grossly affected by the war, too. In the late 1700's, Britain took control over many parts of America that were once owned by the French. Because of their takeover, countless events have ocurred that never would have happened if not for the British. One example is the Revolutionary War, one of the most influential wars ever. If not for the Seven Years' War, and Britain's victory, America would be distinctly altered from what it is today.

Russia also owes much of it's  current status to the Seven Years' War. In the 1700's, Russia was fairly isolated from the rest of Europe, and therefore fell behind technologically. The war was their way of 'tuning in' to the western way of life. After the war ended, many of the wealthy Russian people had become distinctly European in culture. Therefore, a gap grew between the lower and upper-classes that have still not been filled entirely. If not for the Seven Years' War, Russian society would have been much more peaceful throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Seven Years' War affected not only the people living in Europe during the war, but millions of others as time progressed. It is truly a historically significant event that has shaped lives, governments and countries to extreme degrees. The war played a crucial role in determining where we are today and where we'll be tomorrow. Concluding, if not for the Seven Years' War, our world would hardly resemble what it now, culturally, socially and governmentally. 

The Napoleonic Wars

    Napoleon Bonaparte was the first emperor of France. He is one of greatest military leaders who rose to prominence during the later stages of the French Revolution .He fought about sixty wars .These wars are known as Napoleonic Wars. Here some wars are given from Peace of Amiens to the Battle of Waterloo:

1.      Battle of Austerlitz:
The Battle of Austerlitz also known as the Battle of the three emperors .It was one of Napoleon’s greatest victories where the French Empire effectively crushed. It was fought on December 2, 1805.

  1. Battle of Jena and Aurestadt:
The twin battles of Jena and Aurestadt were fought on October 14, 1806 on Plateau west of the river Saale in today’s Germany, between the force of Napoleon of France and Frederick William of Prussia.

  1. Battle of Friedland:
The Battle of Fried land was fought on June 14, 1807 during the war of Fourth Coalition (1806-1807). With the beginning of the war of the Fourth Coalition in 1806, Napoleon advanced against Prussia and won stunning victories at Jena and Aurestadt. Having brought Prussia to heel the French pushed into Poland with the goal inflicting a similar defeat on the Russian.

  1. Battle of Vimeiro:
The Battle of Vimeiro was fought on August 21, 1808 during the peninsular war which was part of the Napoleonic War (1803-1815).The General of the battle was Major General Jean-Andoche Junot.
  1. Battle of Corunna:
The Battle of Corunna was part of the peninsular war which was in turn part of the Napoleonic War (1803-1815). It was fought on 16th January 1809.Following the recall of Sir Arthur Wellesley after the signing of the convention of Cintra in 1808, command of British Force in Spain developed to Sir John Moore. Commanding 23000 men Moore advanced to Salamanca with the goal of supporting the Spanish armies that were opposing Napoleon. Reluctant to abandon his allies, Moore pressed on to Valladolid to attack the crops of Marshal Nicolas de Dieu Soult .As he neared, reports were received that Napoleon was moving against him the bulk of the French Army.
  1. Battle of Talavera :
The Battle of  Talavera was part of the peninsular war which was part of the Napoleonic War (1803-1815).The fighting at Talavera occurred on July 27-28, 1809.Wellesley defeated the French at Talavera in 1809 but was forced to retire to Portugal. Wellesley next constructed a double chain of entrenchments called the Lines of Torres Vedras to check the advance of French Army.
  1. Battle of Busaco:
The Battle of Busaco in the peninsular war in central Portugal with the British against the French. Busaco was a victory for Wellington. While immediately after the battle Wellington’s army continued its retreat to Lisbon.
  1. Battle of Albuera:
Richard Cavendish describes the Battle of Albuera on May 16, 1811. In relation to the numbers involved it, was the bloodiest battle of the peninsular war .The British under Wellington with their Portuguese and Spanish allies, were defending Lisbon against the French under Marshal Massena. Allied Spanish Army at Albuera in an attempt to receive the French garrison of the border fortress of Badajoz. The action was one of the utter butchery of the British infantry saving the day for the Allies.
  1. Battle of Salamanca:
The Battle of Salamanca in the peninsular war between the British Portuguese and French in Spain 22 July, 1812.From the start of the war in 1807, the allied forces of Britain, Spain and Portugal had mostly fought on the defensive. As more and more French troops were siphoned from Spain to prepare for the advance on Russia, the British position in the peninsula became strong.
  1. Battle of Waterloo :
Waterloo was the forth battle of waterloo campaign Wellington retreating after the battle  of Quarter bras in order to cooperate with the Prussia forces retreating after the battle of Ligny under the command of  Blucher. The famous Battle of Waterloo happened in present-day Belgium on 18th June, 1815. At the time Waterloo still belongs to United Kingdom of the Netherlands .When the Imperial Force army commanded by infamous Emperor Napoleon got defeated by an Anglo-Allied army referred to the Seven Coalition commanded by Duke of Wellington along with Prussian Army commanded by Gebhard Von Blucher .It marked a culminating battle campaign that ended Napoleon’s rule as a French emperor. It also marked the end of his return from exile which lasted a hundred days.

            It should be noted that England played the most important part in bringing about the overthrow of Napoleon. She was the builder of every coalition against him. She proved to be the most persistent enemy of Napoleon and very often had to carry on the war single-handed when her allies were compelled to make peace. She had enormous resources with which she helped her allies and, above all, she had the command of the seas. Her naval victories at the battle of the Neil and Trafalgar frustrated the well-laid plans of Napoleon. In the Peninsular War England took a most active and successful part and she had the chief share of the glory in the crowning victory at Waterloo.

Reign of Terror

After the death of Louis XVI in 1793, the Reign of Terror began. The first victim was Marie Antoinette. She had been imprisoned with her children after she was separated from Louis. First they took her son Louis Charles from her (often called the lost dauphin, or Louis XVII). He disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Then she led off a parade of prominent and not-so-prominent citizens to their deaths.  The guillotine, the new instrument of egalitarian justice, was put to work. Public executions were considered educational. Women were encouraged to sit and knit during trials and executions. The Revolutionary Tribunal ordered the execution of 2,400 people in Paris by July 1794. Across France 30,000 people lost their lives.

The Terror was designed to fight the enemies of the revolution, to prevent counter-revolution from gaining ground. Most of the people rounded up were not aristocrats, but ordinary people.

Nepoleaon's Continental System

It was a plan devised by Napoleon to exclude all British commerce from the continent of Europe. He sought to affect this by issuing two decrees known as the Berlin and Milan Decrees which declared a blockade of all the British ports and forbade the nations of the continent to trade with Britain. It was one of the great blunders of Napoleon and eventually led to his downfall.

After the death of Pitt in 1806, Britain continued to fight the French for a further nine years. Between 1807 and 1810, Napoleon made his first mistakes. Only Britain and Russia were left outside the French empire and therefore were the only countries left for him to defeat. Napoleon believed that he had to defeat Britain because she was keeping alive the coalitions against France through "Pitt's gold" - payments to European monarchs to continue fielding armies against the French.

Napoleon failed to take advantage of Britain's partial collapse and even allowed European grain to be sold in Britain in return for gold, which he needed desperately. Trade restrictions were lifted and Britain reaped the benefits because smuggling began again.

However bad the Continental System was for Britain, it was disastrous for Napoleon because it backfired on him. French custom' revenue fell and European nations were starved of British colonial goods: coffee, sugar, tobacco, cocoa, and cotton textiles. Apart from cotton, the imported goods were addictive luxuries and people resented the French depriving them of these commodities. Replacement items such as sugar beet and linen were not tolerated. The British blockade of European ports and the scarcity of goods created a rise in European nationalism.


GeorgeIII  was the grand son of GeorgeII  whom he succeeded to the throne his father Frederick, prince of Wales, having died  in 1751. Unlike the first two Georges he was a born Englishman and he said that he gloried in the name of Britain. GeorgeIII was the king  in (1760-1820) period. He was a good man but a bad king. He was well meaning, simple in his tastes, sincere in his religion and strictly moral in his habits. But he was ill educated, narrow minded and extremely obstinate. He was bigoted in his opinions as he was obstinate in up holding them. He wanted to be king in fact as well as in name a policy early impressed upon him by his mother and his tutor, Butte. He was opposed to the party government and the cabinet system under which the ministers chosen by the majority in parliament, were all powerful. He meant to choose his own ministers and to dictate his own policy. George III being a born English man took more interest in domestic affairs than in foreign politics. His great object was to revive the king's power.       

The Stamp Act of 1765

The Seven years war, which was waged by England against France mainly in the interests of the American colonies, imposed upon England a heavy financial burden. So Prime Minister Greenville decided that the colonies should contribute something towards cost of their own defense. Hence in 1765 he passed the stamp act which required that all legal documents and formal acts in America should be written on stamped paper. The revenue arising from the duty on stamps was to be used for supporting a military establishment for the defense of the colonies. This attempt at levying an inland revenue produced widespread discontent for the colonists maintained that England could not legally tax them as they were not represented in the British parliament. The Rockingham Ministry repealed the stamp Act but passed a Declaratory Act maintaining England right to make laws binding upon the colonies. Townsend further irritates the colonies by imposing new taxes on tea glass colors etc.

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.