Charles I and the Establishment of Royal Absolutism Essay example

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Charles I and the Establishment of Royal Absolutism

Royal absolutism is a state of government whereby the monarch rules supreme, with virtually no legislative power placed in other organisations such as Parliament. For the people of England in the 1630s, it was a very real threat. After the dissolving of Parliament in 1629, Charles I embarked on his Personal Rule. Without analysing whose fault the breakdown in relations was, it was probably the only thing Charles could do in the circumstances. Certainly, no dialogue with Parliament was possible. After 1629, the country became particularly distrustful of the King. Charles' problem was he was an inept ruler whose belief in such ideas as the Divine
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Religion was very much a pivotal issue in people's concern. Right from the start of his reign, Charles had displayed Catholic sympathies as expressed in Arminianism, which some people called "Catholicism under another name". But now with Parliament gone, there was seemingly no-one to keep the King's beliefs in check and to remind him that England was a Protestant country. The King's religious beliefs were of special concern thanks to the rapid promotion of William Laud, eventually to Archbishop of Canterbury. Laud was an unpopular figure even by the King's own supporters. Those opposing the King detested Laud for his Arminian reforms in the Church of England. Unfortunately for Charles, this did tend to unite people against him.

The problem was that Puritans and Calvinists who opposed the Arminian innovations had good reason to be concerned. Laud's changes were very Catholic in nature, including repositioning the altar so that staunch Puritans would say that the minister is blocking the route to God. Laud tried to raise the status of the clergy so that they were "equal to any gentleman in England." He ordered that the private pews of the gentry that set them apart from the rest of the congregation be removed. This humiliated them.Arminianism was such an ambiguous idea that, while it

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