Crown and Political Nation, 1604-1640 
Crown and Political Nation, 1604-1640
by Yale / Keith Wrightson
Video Lecture 19 of 25
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Date Added: June 15, 2011

Lecture Description

Professor Wrightson reviews the events leading up to the outbreak of the English civil wars and assesses the various historiographical interpretations that have been advanced to explain the war. He notes that while it is essential to appreciate the various long-term causes of the conflict, we must also recognize the role of contingency in the period leading up to the war. He then describes tensions between the crown and the political nation under James I and Charles I with particular attention to the role of the Duke of Buckingham, growing dissatisfaction with royal policy and the increasingly acrimonious tone of parliaments in the 1620s. The fresh start represented by the period of "personal rule" 1629-40 is then considered, with an emphasis on the anxiety aroused by royal financial expedients (notably Ship Money) and religious policy. He ends with the violent response to the attempt by Charles I and Laud to impose prayer book worship on the Scottish church, which triggered the collapse of Charles attempt to rule without calling parliament.

Reading assignment:
Kishlansky, Monarchy Transformed, chapters 3-5

Course Index

Course Description

This course is intended to provide an up-to-date introduction to the development of English society between the late fifteenth and the early eighteenth centuries. Particular issues addressed in the lectures will include: the changing social structure; households; local communities; gender roles; economic development; urbanization; religious change from the Reformation to the Act of Toleration; the Tudor and Stuart monarchies; rebellion, popular protest and civil war; witchcraft; education, literacy and print culture; crime and the law; poverty and social welfare; the changing structures and dynamics of political participation and the emergence of parliamentary government.

Course Structure:
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.

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