The puritan age: riassunto del contesto storico e letterario del periodo del Puritanesimo (3 pagine formato doc)
THE PURITAN AGE: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
The puritan age.Historical background. After the death of James I, Charles I did unsuccessful expeditions to France and Spain, so the Monarchy lowered its prestige.
The House of Commons refused money for these wars, so Charles dissolved Parliament and tried to obtain money by illegal means, but it was still insufficient. The king was obliged to call a Parliament again in 1628. The Commons granted a large sum of money if Charles accepted the Petition of Rights; two very important rules were:
- no man was to pay any tax not approved by Parliament
- no man was to be imprisoned arbitrarily.
Charles was in favour of the High Church. When Charles made Cardinal Laud Archbishop of Canterbury, the High Church Party became stronger and was one of the causes of the civil war. Cardinal Laud persecuted the Puritans and when he tries to impose uniformity of workship on the Presbyterians of Scotland, the Scots rebelled against England. Charles was obliged to call the Parliamnet after eleven years, in 1640, but only for one month, because he didn’t tolerate any form of opposition.
The quarrel between the King and the Parliament was also a quarrel between two doctrines: THE ROMAN LAW followed by all the countries of Europe, and THE COMMON LAW of England.
THE PURITAN AGE: RIASSUNTO
The Rona Law considered the king’s will as “the source of the Law”; the English Common Law said that the law of the land belonged to native civilization, it was independent of the King’s will, it was above the King and above the subjects as well.
Charles recalled a Parliament again, as he wanted more money, on the contrary it passed important acts in opposition to the king: Cardinal Laud was imprisoned and executed and in 1641 the Commons asked Charles to abandon the control of all his affairs. He refused and the Civil war broke out in 1642.
The nobility, the Clergy and most of the gentry sided with the king ( they were called CAVALIERS), London, the towns, the trading and middle classes were for Parliament ( they were called PARLIAMENTARIANS). Thanks to OLIVER CROMWELL, who guided special soldiers called Ironsides, the King was defeated, imprisoned, brought to London, and condemned to death and executed in 1649.
All the powers were entrusted to a Council of State. The House of Lords was abolished and England was declared a Commonwealth (Republic) and a Free State with a Parliament of one chamber, the Commons. In 1654 England was ruled by Oliver Cromwell, who was made Lord Protector of England and Ireland.
THE PURITANS: RIASSUNTO
Cromwell was a greater man: he reduced Scotland and Ireland to obedience, he revived Eglish sea-power and reorganized the Navy. In his ladt years Cromwell tried ti diminish the power of the Army; the crown was offered to Cromwell, but he refused.
When Cromwell died in 1658, his son Richard became Protector, but he was not supported by the Army and obliged to resign. After months of confusion a strong man, General Monk demanded the formation of a free Parliament, which met in 1660, restored the Monarchy and recalled Charles II from Holland, on condition that he should permit religous toleration.