United Kingdom History: The Advent of The Bourgeoisie and The Municipalities

United Kingdom History: The Advent of The Bourgeoisie and The Municipalities

He was the founder of a new dynasty under which (from 1485 to 1603) England underwent important transformations. First of all, the decimation of the great feudal nobility favored the advent of the bourgeoisie on which the kings of that family relied firstly to trim down the claims of true or false aspirants to the throne, then to fight the Catholic Church with which Henry VIII, who also he had refuted Luther’s doctrine by earning the title of Defensor Fidei (1521), had to fight for political-religious as well as sentimental reasons. Having voted by Parliament the principle that the English Catholic Church was removed from the papal authority and subjected to that of the king (1531), Henry VIII unleashed a ruthless struggle both against all those who disapproved of his anti-Roman decisions and against those who recommended a rapprochement with the German Reformed religion. Calvinist influences infiltrated England under the reign of the minor Edward VI (1547-53) by the regent Somerset, which had the support of all those who had obtained the goods seized from the convents: it was in this period that the marriage of the priests was admitted, that the adoration of the Cross, the use of holy water and sacred images were suppressed, which were abolished the laws enacted in the century. XV against the Lollards, that the book of prayers to be recited by the faithful of the Anglican Church was composed and the decree that allowed the primate to investigate dissidents (Act for Uniformity of Public Worship) was issued. This address was strengthened after the brief and bloody repression of the Catholic Maria I (1553-58) under the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) who obtained the confirmation of the Act of Supremacy, to which every holder of public employment was forced to take an oath (1559). The foreign policy of the Tudors oscillated between the need to maintain the balance-of-power between the great European powers and that of procuring allies against the Catholic powers and the clergy: oriented in favor of Spain under Henry VII, oscillating between Francis I and Charles V under Henry VIII, a decidedly anti-Catholic line followed under Elizabeth; she supported the anti-Spanish revolt in the Netherlands, the Huguenot movements in France and the Puritan movements in Scotland, she favored the corsairs who devastated the Spanish American colonies and finally, with the triumph (1588) over the Invencible Armada Spanish that Philip II had sent against her to avenge the capital execution of Maria Stuart, initiated England to the dominion of the seas.

Under his reign, the colonization of the Atlantic coast of North America also began (1585) although, for the time being, the initiative was stunted and controversial. Greater development had during the reign of James I, under which the colonization was entrusted to two companies (1606) and Virginia itself, until then languishing, flourished again by the governor of Delaware. Ireland, over which English sovereignty was often precarious, especially after the religious conflict with Rome, was subjected to colonization by Protestant elements in its northern part, Ulster, starting from 1610. But already under his reign, the first on the England of the Scottish Stuart family, there were the first symptoms of the struggle that was to oppose the crown, reached with the Tudors at the apogee of its strength, to the Municipalities, which represented a rich bourgeoisie, economically becoming the ruling class of the state, which claimed to wrest from the king a part of the immense power he enjoyed. The conflict broke out open and violent under Charles I, of impetuous temperament, which could hardly tolerate being spared the subsidies for wars to which he had been induced by the same Parliament and in the course of which, for lack of means, he had suffered humiliating failures. Refusing to yield to the requests presented with the Petition of Right of 1628, Charles I ruled the country without Parliament, taking advantage of an ancient organism that Henry VII had brought back to life, the Starry Chamber; but when a conflict broke out with Scotland, on which he wanted to impose the Anglican religion, he was forced to reconvene the Parliament. The Puritans dominated in the House of Commons who, wanting to reduce the royal power to little, also attacked the Anglican Church of which the king was the head and found it easy to accuse Charles and the Anglicans of “papism”.

According to a2zdirectory, the errors of the king, who alienated Scotland and yielded to the claims of the Commons (not shared by the House of Lords) both on the ground of concessions (abolition of the Starry Chamber, impossibility for the sovereign to dissolve Parliament) and by sacrificing to their revenge the faithful ministers Strafford and Laud, did the rest: a civil war broke out which, once the royal forces were defeated, resulted in the trial and beheading of the king (1649) and the proclamation of the Republic (Commonwealth). It was a brief but glorious interval (1649-60) during which Oliver Cromwell emerged, who imposed a harsh military dictatorship on the country by stifling parliamentary opposition, abolishing the House of Lords, and leading two victorious and bloody military campaigns in Ireland and Scotland. and abroad by subtracting Jamaica and Dunkirk from the Spaniards, striking with the Navigation Act (1651) the Dutch trade based on the chartering of ships and thus favoring the development of the national merchant navy.

United Kingdom History

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