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As a theorist, however, Guizot believed that ideas had a life of their own distinguishable from the individuals who espoused them.We have seen this tendency alive in many previous chapters and it often causes him to make rather bold, controversial claims (like arguing that feudalism was a necessary step in historical development).As in our last number, Guizot once again adopts a very sympathetic interpretation of people and events, though he takes pains to balance his narrative with criticism.
In 1642, he went to Parliament with 300 soldiers to arrest his five biggest critics. Here was Charles attempting to arrest five Members of Parliament simply because they dared to criticise him.He had witnessed the damaged relationship between his father and Parliament, and considered that Parliament was entirely at fault.He found it difficult to believe that a king could be wrong. Members of Parliament arrived at Westminster to find that the doors had been locked with large chains and padlocks.Spain was still not considered a friendly nation to England and many still remembered 1588 and the Spanish Armada.The marriage never took place but the damaged relationship between king and Parliament was never mended by the time James died in 1625.The status of the monarchy had started to decline under the reign of James I. James was a firm believer in the “divine right of kings”.This was a belief that God had made someone a king and as God could not be wrong, neither could anyone appointed by him to rule a nation.Charles decided that everyone in the kingdom benefited from the navy’s protection and that everyone should pay.In one sense, Charles was correct, but such was the relationship between him and the powerful men of the kingdom, that this issue caused a huge argument between both sides.Few people could have predicted that the civil war, that started in 1642, would have ended with the public execution of Charles.His most famous opponent in this war was Oliver Cromwell – one of the men who signed the death warrant of Charles.