HIST 251 - Lecture 22 - An Unsettled Settlement: The Restoration Era, 1660-1688

Lecture 22 - An Unsettled Settlement: The Restoration Era, 1660-1688


In this lecture Professor Wrightson discusses the Restoration settlement of 1660 and the reigns of Charles II and James II. He highlights the manner in which tensions between the crown and the political nation slowly escalated during Charles's reign (as a result of his attempts to grant religious toleration, unpopular wars against the Dutch and diplomatic alliances with France). Charles showed himself to be a shrewd politician and managed to contain these tensions, but the situation became increasingly fraught after the alleged "Popish Plot" precipitated the Exclusion Crisis of 1679-81 and the emergence of the Whig and Tory parties. Charles faced down the threat to his authority successfully. However, he was succeeded in 1685 by his openly Catholic brother James II, who proved politically inept and unable to build on Charles' success. Fears of James' catholicizing and absolutist intentions erupted in 1688 in the Glorious Revolution, when the Dutch leader William of Orange (husband of James' daughter Mary) was invited to intervene, leading in James' flight abroad and the offer of the crown to William and Mary.


Kishlansky, Monarchy Transformed, pp. 222-286 

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