English Rulers Essay, Research Paper
The English rulers from the time of James I till William and Mary s reign, encountered many problems economically, with parliament and with the people. Many of the mistakes they made have occurred many of times throughout history and could easily have been avoided. By looking at problems endured by the English rulers of this time, one can easily find problems that through simple measures would have been prevented.
James I inherited a rich English thrown, and although many of his problems were caused by little accord of his own, his personality caused many problems; he fiercely believed in the divine right of kingship and his own importance, but found great difficulty in gaining acceptance from an English society that found his rough-hewn manners quite unbecoming. James saw little use for Parliament. His extravagant spending habits and nonchalant ignoring of the nobility’s grievances kept king and Parliament constantly at odds. He came to the thrown at the zenith of monarchical power, but never truly grasped the depth and scope of that power. If James had merely allowed Parliament some power, to appease the English people, acceptance for him would have been much easier.
Charles I inherited his father s beliefs in the divine right of kings, and found little use of Parliament, this ultimately led to his downfall in a showdown with Parliament. Charles required money for armies, which English people did not support, and by dismissing Parliament numerous times angered the people. England disrupted into civil war, in which Charles still would not bow down to Parliaments demands. Both Charles and James I would have been much more successful had they been lenient with Parliament and have saved more money for matters that evolved the English people.
After the Civil War in which Cromwell came to power, he still disagreed with the laws Parliament wished to pass and with the English army forced matters his own way. Cromwell was unable to have any sympathy towards other religions and persecuted any persons who opposed him; this lack of understanding caused many of people to disregard his proposals for a democracy.
Cromwell II reign was extremely short for he lacked any confidence in his own decisions. Many political leaders resented the rule they were under and without his fathers tough demeanor, the system his father had made fell through.
Charles II, who came into power by Richards leaving, was far more lenient than any ruler before him and allowed parliament to make many laws, which he would agree with. Charles was however ridiculed for not having enough interest in the English people and their affairs. This shows that any ruler will not be able to please any group of people fully.
James II stood in dark contrast to his predecessor and tried once again to gain complete control over the English thrown. James lacked the good nature to be loved by the people and the skills to convince Parliament of his views, therefore neither of the groups were found of him. Had James II acted with more of a level head and utilized the powers left to him, his rule and his views may have left more of an everlasting impression on England.
Parliament and the people were greatly pleased with England s choice of William and Mary as rulers; neither required a vast amount of power, which pleased parliament. Although, William was persistent in his wish to control the army, Parliament granted him this because of the amends he made in allowing parliament to control the government of England.
The lack of sense to make peace with a parallel governing power was the ultimate downfall of many of these rulers. Had they made concord with Parliament many of these rulers could have vastly contributed to the betterment of England. One asset of history is to realize the mistakes that previous generations have committed, unfortunately, these rulers were unable to see the folly of their ways.