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Charles I After James I died, Charles I inherited throne (1625) Physically weak – didn’t walk until 7 and severe speech impediment Overcame weaknesses with hard work – sports and elocution Like his father, believed in the Divine Right Of Kings

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Charles I After James I died, Charles I inherited throne (1625)

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Charles I

  • After James I died, Charles I inherited throne (1625)
  • Physically weak – didn’t walk until 7 and severe speech impediment
  • Overcame weaknesses with hard work – sports and elocution
  • Like his father, believed in the Divine Right Of Kings
  • Married Henrietta Maria who shared beliefs and hated Puritans
  • Puritans – wished to “purify” the Anglican Church from any remaining traces of Roman Catholic ritual.
  • Also believed in Predestination – God determined who would be saved, the “elect”, and who would not –from the beginning of time.

Charles I cont…

  • Puritan movement strong in South England – ran opposite the landed aristocracy in the north, who were largely Catholic.
  • Parliament 1625 – Charles wanted money to fund his expenses and ongoing war with Spain. He got less than he wanted, and Parliament passed measures to restrict his right to collect import and export duties and to meet annually to review government expenses.
  • Charles’s response – forcing “loans” to the government and collecting unapproved taxes.
  • 1628 Parliament – Charles demands his requests for money met.
  • Parliament’s response – The Petition of Right – King must have Parliamentary consent to levy taxes.

Charles I cont…

  • Charles orders Parliament to adjourn after it begins to enforce strictly Calvinist views and to punish Catholics. Only adjourns after the king’s troops threaten.
  • Several leading Parliamentarians imprisoned.
  • Absolute King – the next 11 years. No Parliament. New taxes without consent of the people.
  • Puritans angered – Puritan leaders imprisoned, tortured, and executed. Puritans begin emigrating to America.
  • Scottish Revolt – didn’t stand for the new rules imposed by Calvinism – in favor of Scottish Presbyterianism

Revolution and Civil War

  • The Long Parliament – The Grand Remonstrance - required that the king’s appointees be approved by Parliament. Charles attempted to arrest the members of Parliament, but they weren’t there. They retreated to Guildhall and were protected by a citizen army. Charles fled to York. His wife fled to France.
  • Roundheads – Parliament’s army Cavaliers – Royalist Troops
  • Oliver Cromwell – the leader of the Puritans. Defeated the Royalist forces .
  • 1649 – Rump Parliament tried Charles I for treason (making war on Parliament), and was executed on January 30th.

Commonwealth and Protectorate

  • Protestant Interregnum – 1649 – 1660 Era of Puritan rule in England.
  • Commonwealth – 1649-1653 – Cromwell and radical Puritan Parliament closed newspapers, outlawed “frivolous” activities such as going to the theater and dancing.
  • Faced riots in Scotland and Ireland, and war with Holland and Spain.
  • Country deeply divided over the right to execute a rightful heir to the throne.
  • Parliament dissolved in 1653, and Cromwell declared “Lord Protector for Life,” essentially a dictator and absolute monarch.

Commonwealth and Protectorate

  • Special Session of Parliament called after Cromwell’s death, and Charles II, in exile in France, called back to be king. Monarchy restored, revolution ended.
  • In Summary, War broke out in 1642, and it officially ended in 1649 with the execution of Charles I. The period which follows is known as the Interregnum (from Latin), implying a "time between" kings, because there was no king during this time. For most of it, England was ruled by Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector. The monarchy was restored in 1660, less than two years after Cromwell's death; his son and followers simply couldn't muster the iron will or the military power to keep the nation unified after his death.

Literature of the period

  • The Metaphysical Poets – John Donne
  • The Cavalier Poets – Robert Herrick, Andrew Marvell
  • Puritan Writers – John Milton and John Bunyan
  • The war and its aftermath, had tremendous effects on the literature of the day. Most of the writers were considered by themselves, as well as by later scholars "Cavaliers," (supporters of the Monarchy), or Metaphysical Poets, or Puritans.

Metaphysical Poetry

  • The term was first coined by Samuel Johnson and was used in a negative light. He and another poet named John Dryden were critical of the group of poets as “too proud of their wit.”
  • The Metaphysicals were out of critical favor for the 18th and 19th centuries (the Romantics wouldn’t like this heavily intellectualized poetry).
  • Metaphysical Poetry joins together a number of 17th century poets, most notable among them John Donne and Andrew Marvell

Metaphysical Poetry cont…

  • Metaphysicalmeans dealing with the relationship between spirit to matter or the ultimate nature of reality.
  • The Metaphysical poets are obviously not the only poets to deal with this subject matter, so there are a number of other qualities involved as well: 
  • Use of ordinary speech mixed with puns, paradoxes andconceits (a paradoxical metaphor causing a shock to the reader by the strangeness of the objects compared; some examples: lovers and a compass, the soul and timber, the body and mind)

Metaphysical Poetry cont…

  • The exaltation of wit, which in the 17th century meant a nimbleness of thought; a sense of fancy (imagination of a fantastic or whimsical nature); and originality in figures of speech.
  • Abstruse terminology often drawn from science or law Often poems are presented in the form of an argument In love poetry, the metaphysical poets often draw on ideas from Renaissance Neo-Platonism to show the relationship between the soul and body and the union of lovers' souls
  • They also try to show a psychological realism when describing the tensions of love.

The Cavalier Poets

  • An early seventeenth-century movement, centered on Robert Herrick, for example, and most were admirers of Ben Jonson.
  • They get their name from the supporters of King Charles I in the seventeenth century: the Cavaliers were Royalists during the Civil Wars. (The supporters of Parliament were nicknamed Roundheads.)
  • It's traditional to contrast the Cavalier poets to the Metaphysical Poets.
  • Whereas the Metaphysical poets were fond of abstruse imagery and complicated metaphors, the Cavaliers preferred more straightforward expression.

The Cavalier Poets

  • They valued elegance and were part of a refined, courtly culture, but their poetry is often frankly erotic.
  • Their strength was the short lyric poem, and a favorite theme was carpe diem, "seize the day.”
  • "Cavalier" implies more than just "Royalist"  - it implies a particular class of man: Courtly, well-educated, genteel.
  • The Cavaliers are as likely to be talented with the rapier (sword) as with rapier wit, and seemingly honored skill with each.
  • Cavalier Poetry is distinguished by a certain airiness, a lightness of tone and often of subject.

The Cavalier Poets

  • Certain themes and techniques - Many are love poems.
  • Different attitude toward love - more carefree, even flippant, and often more sexual than Renaissance Poetry.
  • Also a Dark Side - The history of this period is shadowed by the darkness of war and persecution, so the poetry often has a dark side.
  • Darkness and Death are less obvious, or less seriously dealt with, than in Donne and other Metaphysical Poetry. Underlying sense of impending decay or death. Part of Carpe Diem.
  • Robert Herrick - “To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time.”

Restoration and 18th Century

  • Charles II becomes king in 1660. Parliament restored.
  • James II forced to abdicate the throne out of fear of another staunch Catholic ruler. William and Mary become joint monarchs in 1688.
  • William and Mary give Parliament the right to levy taxes and moved government toward Constitutional Monarchy.
  • Queen Anne creates nation of Great Britain in 1707 by uniting Scotland and England.
  • George I created the cabinet system of ministers chosen from Parliament to aid the monarch.

Science, Philosophy, and Reason

  • Sir Isaac Newton – laws of gravity and motion
  • Idea of “natural order” - a clockwork universe regulated by rational principles – influenced idea that human intellect could solve social, political, and economic problems by discovering natural laws.
  • Leads to the name “Age of Reason” or “Enlightenment”
  • The Divine Right of Kings under dispute, and the idea that we all have “natural rights” comes to surface.
  • Neoclassical literature – in search for rationality and order, the classics are rediscovered. Used classical forms and allusions and promoted ideals of harmony, tradition, and reason. Emphasis on social interactions.

Neoclassical Literature

  • Age of Pope – - Alexander Pope - “The Rape of the Lock” – mock epic satirizes the battle of the sexes. - Jonathan Swift – “A Modest Proposal” – Essay, andGulliver’s Travels
  • Age of Dryden – - Mock Heroic or Mock Epic Poetry – grand scope, lofty language, but mocks the heroes. - Oroonoko – first English novel written
  • Age of Johnson – move away from neoclassicism toward the free, more emotional, and more natural style of the Romantics.

The End of The Enlightenment

  • Progress achieved through scientific and technological advances of Industrial Revolution began to appear less positive. - Overworked in factories and mills - Deteriorating social conditions
  • Is it worth it?
  • Turn from rational and orderly ideals of Neoclassicism to intense, emotional ideals that would become ROMANTICISM.