England during 16th & 17th century

by Kara, Philip, and Michelle

brief history

Conflicts in between Kings of England and its parliament caused a civil war, an execution of a King and a revolution. With the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, the Tudor dynasty ended, and the Stuart Dynasty began.

List of important rulers/names and dates ruled

  • Elizabeth Tudor: 1558-1603

  • James I: 1603-1625

  • Charles I: 1625-1649

  • Charles II: 1660-1685

  • James II: 1685-1688

  • William III: 1689-1702

Tudor Dynasty

    • Elizabeth Tudor→ became queen in 1558→ in her reign the small island became→ leader of protestant nations of Europe→ and laid foundations for world empire

    • Elizabeth→ Intelligent, careful, self confident→ she moved quickly to solve difficult religious issues→ inherited by her half christian sister Queen Mary Tudor

    • favored catholics (made laws favoring catholics)

    • New Act of Supremacy→ name Elizabeth→ to be the “the only supreme governor” of both church and state

    • Church Of England→ when following Queen Elizabeth→ followed a moderate protestantism that kept most people satisfied

    • moderate in foreign policy → tried to keep Spain and France from becoming too powerful→ by balancing power→ example) If one nation seemed to be gaining too much power→ England would support the weaker nation

    • feared war would be bad for England and for her own rule→ but could not escape conflict with Spain

Stuart Dynasty

James I

  • reigned from 1603-1625

  • started the Stuart line of rulers

  • believed that he received his power from God and was responsible only to God-called the divine right of kings

  • Puritans did not like the king’s strong defense of the Church of England

  • while members of the Church of England, the Puritans wished to make the church more Protestant

Charles I

  • He reigned for 24 years

  • Many times did not get along with Parliament

  • His forces were defeated and he was sentenced to death

  • He died on January 30, 1649

  • He wanted to be remembered as an “honest man and a good king”

  • his death was used by Parliament to show the world about the “divine right” of Kings Charles II

    • son of charles I

    • push his own ideas → clearly out of step with many English people

    • sympathetic to Catholicism

    • took bold step to suspending the laws that Parliament had passed against Catholics and Puritans→ after restoration of the monarchy

    • decided to convert to Catholicism

    • left no heirs to his throne

    after death

    • was put to power to restore the monarchy

    • Parliament kept most of its power that it had won and still played a major role in Government, therefore the Restoration of the Stuart Monarchy did not mean that the work of the English Revolution was over. Parliament also must give its consent to the taxation and that was accepted

    • Charles still pushed through with his own ideas

    • James II took his throne→ 1685

    James II

    • became king→ 1685

    • was open and devout catholic

    • Named catholics to high positions in government, army, navy, and universities

    • parliament objected to James's policies but stopped short of rebellion

    • member knew James was old → protestant daughters→ Mary and Anne→ born to his first wife would succeed him

    • in 1688→ James and 2nd wife a catholic had a son= possibility of a catholic monarchy loomed large

William and Mary

William of Orange

  • sent by dutch leader to invade England

  • informed that the people wanted a change

  • William,(his wife) Mary, and daughter of James II→ in difficult position

  • a foe of France’s Catholic King Louis XIV→ welcomed this opportunity to fight France with England resources

  • made preparations to invade England in early 1688

  • tried to hide plans from james

  • James realized william’s intention later in early october

  • November 1688→ William’s forces landed at Torbay→ and marched down to London

  • fought against James's soldiers= blood shed and was called “Glorious Revolution”

  • issue became who would be the monarch ?

  • 1689→ William and Mary were offered the throne by the parliment

  • they accepted, along with Bill of Rights


  • the wife of William of Orange and daughter of James II

  • Mary and her husband were in a difficult position when they found out that most of the people in their kingdom wanted a change

  • Mary’s father, James II, was the King of England

  • It would’ve been bad for Mary to rise up against her father

  • She didn’t really like her father

  • Sees opportunity to overthrow her father’s reign to fix things she doesn't see is right

  • Her husband takes advantage of the opportunity to fight against France using England’s supplies

Legacy of the Empire

- bill of rights

Supporters/Religion of empire or monarchs

  • James

  • Charles

  • William of orange

  • Mary(William’s wife)

What changed during the period?

  • tudor dynasty ending → protestant→ stuart dynasty--. James the first wants to bring divine right of kings→ he changed it to absolutism→ which comes from divine right of kings→ absolutism =having absolute power-->does not work because of parliament,

- Parliament becomes stronger because of stuart dynasty(parliament offered throne to william and mary)constitutional monarchy→ power is limited to monarch

New ideas originated from the empire

  • After this time period Kings and Queens did not have absolute power most of the power was given to the Parliament

  • They couldn’t just do whatever they wanted anymore they had to be monitored


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