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do you hate the Stuarts?

They were arrogant, pompous, and conniving. they also oversaw the biggest wars in British history.

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Original post by calmoceanforthem
They were arrogant, pompous, and conniving. they also oversaw the biggest wars in British history.


Yeah they were definitely entitled, greedy, arrogant ***** but it does make them interesting to study for History. The Tudors were quite similar but I like studying both those time periods.
Original post by calmoceanforthem
They were arrogant, pompous, and conniving. they also oversaw the biggest wars in British history.

The civil wars of the 1640s and 1680s were not the biggest wars in British history. You may be overlooking WW2, WW1, the Korean War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Hundred Years War, and the Seven Years War. If looking only at civil wars, consider also the Anarchy during the reigns of Stephen and Matilda, and the Wars of the Roses (taking the long view from 1399 to 1485). The deficiencies of James I, Charles I, and James II helped the UK to develop Constitutional liberty. Charles II, Mary II, and Anne, were rather better than the other three Stuart Monarchs.
Original post by Stiffy Byng
The civil wars of the 1640s and 1680s were not the biggest wars in British history. You may be overlooking WW2, WW1, the Korean War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Hundred Years War, and the Seven Years War. If looking only at civil wars, consider also the Anarchy during the reigns of Stephen and Matilda, and the Wars of the Roses (taking the long view from 1399 to 1485). The deficiencies of James I, Charles I, and James II helped the UK to develop Constitutional liberty. Charles II, Mary II, and Anne, were rather better than the other three Stuart Monarchs.

In terms of casualties, the wars of the three kingdoms had more proportionate losses than the world wars. James VII/II idn't "help" anything. he was ousted from the throne for being Catholic in a Protestant kingdom, and he was a waste like most of his family. You ignored William, as he and Mary ruled together. He outlived Mary.
Original post by calmoceanforthem
In terms of casualties, the wars of the three kingdoms had more proportionate losses than the world wars. James VII/II idn't "help" anything. he was ousted from the throne for being Catholic in a Protestant kingdom, and he was a waste like most of his family. You ignored William, as he and Mary ruled together. He outlived Mary.

William III was not a Stuart. He just married one. I did not say that James II helped, I said that that his deficiencies helped. James II's authoritarian impulses and open Catholicism were the trigger for the 1688-89 revolution and settlement, which paved the way for the development of the modern Constitution of the UK. Cromwell had ended up being a worse tyrant than Charles I, but 1642-49 laid the ground for what happened in 1688-89.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Stiffy Byng
William III was not a Stuart. He just married one. I did not say that James II helped, I said that that his deficiencies helped. James II's authoritarian impulses and open Catholicism were the trigger for the 1688-89 revolution and settlement, which paved the way for the development of the modern Constitution of the UK. Cromwell had ended up being a worse tyrant than Charles I, but 1642-49 laid the ground for what happened in 1688-89.

He's considered a Stuart and was the recognised king of England, Scotland and Ireland. Both he and Mary were officially joint monarchs with equal standing, though as a man in his time and place he in effect had the most power. He is widely considered in the Stuart line no matter his birth. They actually were first cousins, as they were Charles I's grandchildren. So he WAS a Stuart by blood. Eithe way, it's not common to say he wasn't a Stuart.
You appear to be assuming that I haven't studied the period. I have. William was Willem Van Oranje. He's one of the Monarchs of the Stuart period, but it's a stretch to describe him as a Stuart. He was one of the more capable Monarchs of the period. You may recall that William's main interest was military campaigning in Europe, but that he agreed terms to assist in deposing James II and later agreed terms to become King during his lifetime, with the throne passing to Anne when William and Mary had no children.

By the way, Jacobites did not recognise William as King, and Jacobite resistance rumbled on until 1746, by which time George II was King.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Stiffy Byng
You appear to be assuming that I haven't studied the period. I have. William was Willem Van Orange. He's one of the Monarchs of the Stuart period, but it's a stretch to describe him as a Stuart. He was one of the more capable Monarchs of the period. You may recall that William's main interest was military campaigning in Europe, but that he agreed terms to assist in deposing James II and later agreed terms to become King during his lifetime, with the throne passing to Anne when William and Mary had no children.
By the way, Jacobites did not recognise William as King, and Jacobite resistance rumbled on until 1746, by which time George II was King.

I made no such assumption. I just said that William was a Stuart and considered part of the dynasty. He didn't just marry the heir, he was specifically made joint monarch. He wasn't also some random in-law, he was the literal family of his wife.
Mary was James II's heir apparent when William married Mary in 1677, but the widowed James had a son by his second wife in 1688, and that infant son was James II's heir at the time of the Glorious Revolution. The arrival of a Catholic heir was trigger to the revolt against James. Later, after James II died in exile in 1701, the younger James came to be known as the Old Pretender (Jacobites regarding him as James VIII and III).

The Glorious Revolution was a successful coup d'etat staged by Whig oligarchs opposed to James II's Catholicism and his despotic aspirations, obtaining William's political leadership and military abilities in return for assistance in his European ventures. The Bill of Rights 1689 cemented the effects of the seventeenth century power struggles, and established the Constitution which, following the Reform Acts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, led to democracy. Thus, taking the long term view James, by his political blundering, was unwittingly a factor in the development of political stability in what became the UK.

As for hating the Stuarts, I rarely hate or experience any other strong emotions about anyone in the past. Expressing moral disapproval of what people long dead did or failed to do (for example, everyone except a few far right nutters detests what Hitler did) is not, perhaps, the same as hating them as people. Even the very flawed Charles I displayed some admirable qualities: He was physically courageous, and he showed dignity and composure at his trial. The only Seventeenth Century Kings of England and Scotland who appear from biographical details to have been likeable men were Charles II (also very flawed) and William III, who hoped for greater religious tolerance but was stymied by Sectarianism. Each of Charles and William was adept at politics, something which James I, Charles I, and James II couldn't manage. Anne, the last Stuart, is perhaps a bit underrated as a Monarch.
(edited 1 month ago)
seems you just want to be right. I've said nothing wrong. intellectually, you know I'm correct but your impulses and ego say differently.
Correct about what? You can't possibly know what anyone else knows. You appear to have a curious approach to history. It's not a competitive sport. Impulses and ego should have nothing to do with historical analysis. The days of Hugh Trevor-Roper et al are long past.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by calmoceanforthem
They were arrogant, pompous, and conniving. they also oversaw the biggest wars in British history.

Same goes to another dynasties in times of absolutism and imperialism too, not for the Stuarts only.
Reply 12
Original post by calmoceanforthem
They were arrogant, pompous, and conniving. they also oversaw the biggest wars in British history.

'Biggest wars in British history', its not like we fought 2 world wars, various imperial campaigns and so on...
Original post by Stiffy Byng
The civil wars of the 1640s and 1680s were not the biggest wars in British history. You may be overlooking WW2, WW1, the Korean War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Hundred Years War, and the Seven Years War. If looking only at civil wars, consider also the Anarchy during the reigns of Stephen and Matilda, and the Wars of the Roses (taking the long view from 1399 to 1485). The deficiencies of James I, Charles I, and James II helped the UK to develop Constitutional liberty. Charles II, Mary II, and Anne, were rather better than the other three Stuart Monarchs.

Realistically William III was the best stuart monarch in terms of accepting changes to the constitution and allowing a lot of royal prerogatives to be taken away - e.g. militia acts (1661,1662), dispensing power and taxation w/o consent which charles i loved. Yet, William didn't do this out of the kindess of his heart, he was desperate for war with LXIV (9 years war) and would accept any reforms parliament thrown his way to receive funding for his aims. This was when the monarchy could never become personal again and was closer to constitutional monarchy.

Charles II only appeared as an alright monarch because he recognised that he needed to build a good relation with parliament in order to get parliamentarians on his side. (Declaration of Breda, Indemnity act....)

In the earlier period, James I was most definitely the best monarch. James could compromise with parliament and was able to put his "divine right" aside and make concessions. For example, the introduction of the 1618 book of sports. There was immediate backlash from puritans and James backed down. Also, introducing a prayer book in Ireland was met with protest which James recognised and backed down. Unlike Charles I (obviously the worst monarch in this period) who reintroduced the book of sport in 1633 and was adamant on keeping it. He introduced a common book of prayer in 1637 which resulted in the first bishops war (1639) where Charles had to take a whooping before backing down, and another bishops war in 1640 where the english got whooped again and had to pay £850 a day to keep the covenanters in newcastle.
I agree with your observations. The Bill of Rights 1689 remains the anchor point of the UK's Constitution.

I would also give Charles II some moderate credit for promoting science, music, and the arts in general, and for his government having the good sense to hire Samuel Pepys to build a logistics system for the Royal Navy that was still substantially in place in the age of Nelson. Charles may or may not have been a Catholic, but in public he was a Protestant, and his foolish brother James II didn't listen to Charles' advice to maintain public Protestantism.
(edited 1 month ago)
I add that, having been a seventeenth century politics nerd for ages (not least because I did the old style History Prelims at Oxford, which included reading Macaulay on 1685-9), I recently came across the BBC's late 1960s portrayal of the careers of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough: "the First Churchills". It's low budget, but historically well informed, well written and well acted. It's available on YouTube
Original post by stiffy byng
Mary was James II's heir apparent when William married Mary in 1677, but the widowed James had a son by his second wife in 1688, and that infant son was James II's heir at the time of the Glorious Revolution. The arrival of a Catholic heir was trigger to the revolt against James. Later, after James II died in exile in 1701, the younger James came to be known as the Old Pretender (Jacobites regarding him as James VIII and III).
The Glorious Revolution was a successful coup d'etat staged by Whig oligarchs opposed to James II's Catholicism and his despotic aspirations, obtaining William's political leadership and military abilities in return for assistance in his European ventures. The Bill of Rights 1689 cemented the effects of the seventeenth century power struggles, and established the Constitution which, following the Reform Acts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, led to democracy. Thus, taking the long term view James, by his political blundering, was unwittingly a factor in the development of political stability in what became the UK.
As for hating the Stuarts, I rarely hate or experience any other strong emotions about anyone in the past. Expressing moral disapproval of what people long dead did or failed to do (for example, everyone except a few far right nutters detests what Hitler did) is not, perhaps, the same as hating them as people. Even the very flawed Charles I displayed some admirable qualities: He was physically courageous, and he showed dignity and composure at his trial. The only Seventeenth Century Kings of England and Scotland who appear from biographical details to have been likeable men were Charles II (also very flawed) and William III, who hoped for greater religious tolerance but was stymied by Sectarianism. Each of Charles and William was adept at politics, something which James I, Charles I, and James II couldn't manage. Anne, the last Stuart, is perhaps a bit underrated as a Monarch.

Someone in this forum with a mind. I think the very impulse of looking back in hatred about very old figures tells us a lot about our understanding of history. Whig historiography followed the Dutch invasion of 1688 abided by both Whig and Tory oligarchs. It's still the main school of historiography today, I'd stake, as we seem to trace whether something ought to be hated or begrudgingly accepted based on how well it affected the shift towards democracy in the United Kingdom. In the same manner that Christian historiographers rated Roman emperors based on how well they accommodated the inevitable triumph of Christianity.

As for the Stuarts, your view on every Stuart monarch will be the same if you read history books (Marxist or Whig), that focus on social and economic factors as driving movements in all historical development. For my own part, I read biographies, and try to look at the individual virtues and vices of sovereigns and notable people, such as Pepys, John Churchill, Evelyn, or Burnet who all provide our shining characters and narration of this period.

For anyone that wants to genuinely assess the Stuarts, I would strongly recommend Meriol Trevor's biography of James II, or the Marxist assessment of James II by John Callow. Both books really delve into the actions and intentions of James, as a microcosm of the Stuart dynasty's rule in England, as one of the most complex of the Stuart sovereigns. I'm fully bought over that the attempt to bring about toleration was genuine, and further that Parliament did not "defeat" the Crown in 1688, rather that powerful Whig and Tory oligarchs (later purely Whigs under the Hanoverians) managed to isolate and depose monarchs that went against their interests. Sure, it led to democracy, but only after centuries, and certainly it not was aimed towards that on an inevitable course as Whig and Marxist theory argues.

I'd write about this topic more if I could, but I'm mindful few want to hear about it here in England. Keep in mind, the Stuarts were kings in Scotland long before England and Ireland. Their romantic legacy extends back to Robert the Bruce, Walter the Steward, and especially Mary, Queen of Scots. Poor sovereigns, constantly plagued by being isolated from their subjects by "evil advisors," or as I see it scheming nobles.

Over in Ireland and Scotland, modern nationalisms haven't been able to address old, feudal affections to princes deprived of their kingdoms (Charles Edward Stuart) or kings tormented by evil advisors (Charles I). To the modern mind, that Prince Charles Edward or James II could have been loved by common people or Highland clans, because of their personal virtues seems inconceivable, in a time where monarchs are kept in power only by their confinement in palaces. So I'll just say that the romantic legacy remains, dormant, but strong in British literature and song. One day the Scots, English, and Irish will realize we don't live in the end of history, and that without caution, our time too may be hated for delaying an inevitable future.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Stiffy Byng
I agree with your observations. The Bill of Rights 1689 remains the anchor point of the UK's Constitution.
I would also give Charles II some moderate credit for promoting science, music, and the arts in general, and for his government having the good sense to hire Samuel Pepys to build a logistics system for the Royal Navy that was still substantially in place in the age of Nelson. Charles may or may not have been a Catholic, but in public he was a Protestant, and his foolish brother James II didn't listen to Charles' advice to maintain public Protestantism.

This is my very point. We would sooner a king lie about their faith to keep power, than give it all up to believe in anything at all. James II was certainly not bigoted or stupid, and I would challenge anyone here to cite a historical work produced after 1950 that claims he is.
Original post by Stiffy Byng
I agree with your observations. The Bill of Rights 1689 remains the anchor point of the UK's Constitution.
I would also give Charles II some moderate credit for promoting science, music, and the arts in general, and for his government having the good sense to hire Samuel Pepys to build a logistics system for the Royal Navy that was still substantially in place in the age of Nelson. Charles may or may not have been a Catholic, but in public he was a Protestant, and his foolish brother James II didn't listen to Charles' advice to maintain public Protestantism.

Exactly. Charles II purged the whig party from local authority using quo warranto writs and the fears generated from the rye house plot. Charles, in his last four years, set up everything for a smooth succession to James. Even in the exclusion crisis, Charles defeated the whigs' pushes to exclude James from succeeding the throne three times. Charles recognised that, although he was a crypto-catholic, the highly calvinist political nation would never be able to trust and co-operate with "popery". James II's constant promotion of catholics like the Earl of Tycronell in the army just increased parliament's fears. The last straw for parliament was James' pushes for a Declaration of Indulgence in 1687 and 1688 which would reverse the effects of the Test Act in 1673. James knew he couldn't make Catholicism the nation's religion, but he was so naive he expected people to convert. To this day there can never be a Catholic monarch due to the Act of Settlement in 1702.
Original post by EwanStephens
Someone in this forum with a mind. I think the very impulse of looking back in hatred about very old figures tells us a lot about our understanding of history. Whig historiography followed the Dutch invasion of 1688 abided by both Whig and Tory oligarchs. It's still the main school of historiography today, I'd stake, as we seem to trace whether something ought to be hated or begrudgingly accepted based on how well it affected the shift towards democracy in the United Kingdom. In the same manner that Christian historiographers rated Roman emperors based on how well they accommodated the inevitable triumph of Christianity.
As for the Stuarts, your view on every Stuart monarch will be the same if you read history books (Marxist or Whig), that focus on social and economic factors as driving movements in all historical development. For my own part, I read biographies, and try to look at the individual virtues and vices of sovereigns and notable people, such as Pepys, John Churchill, Evelyn, or Burnet who all provide our shining characters and narration of this period.
For anyone that wants to genuinely assess the Stuarts, I would strongly recommend Meriol Trevor's biography of James II, or the Marxist assessment of James II by John Callow. Both books really delve into the actions and intentions of James, as a microcosm of the Stuart dynasty's rule in England, as one of the most complex of the Stuart sovereigns. I'm fully bought over that the attempt to bring about toleration was genuine, and further that Parliament did not "defeat" the Crown in 1688, rather that powerful Whig and Tory oligarchs (later purely Whigs under the Hanoverians) managed to isolate and depose monarchs that went against their interests. Sure, it led to democracy, but only after centuries, and certainly it not was aimed towards that on an inevitable course as Whig and Marxist theory argues.
I'd write about this topic more if I could, but I'm mindful few want to hear about it here in England. Keep in mind, the Stuarts were kings in Scotland long before England and Ireland. Their romantic legacy extends back to Robert the Bruce, Walter the Steward, and especially Mary, Queen of Scots. Poor sovereigns, constantly plagued by being isolated from their subjects by "evil advisors," or as I see it scheming nobles.
Over in Ireland and Scotland, modern nationalisms haven't been able to address old, feudal affections to princes deprived of their kingdoms (Charles Edward Stuart) or kings tormented by evil advisors (Charles I). To the modern mind, that Prince Charles Edward or James II could have been loved by common people or Highland clans, because of their personal virtues seems inconceivable, in a time where monarchs are kept in power only by their confinement in palaces. So I'll just say that the romantic legacy remains, dormant, but strong in British literature and song. One day the Scots, English, and Irish will realize we don't live in the end of history, and that without caution, our time too may be hated for delaying an inevitable future.

I don't share your apparent view of hereditary Monarchy, an institution which is and always has been absurd, and I don't think that history should be romanticised.

I was interested to discover, a few years ago, that there still exist a few remnants of Jacobitism on the internet. There is some German aristo whom modern Jacobites acclaim as the lawful King of the United Kingdom.

Given that all Monarchy originated with someone becoming top gangster in a World of gangsters, arguments about legitimacy of succession are like arguments amongst bandits over who gets the biggest share of the loot.

As Tom Paine wrote in 1776 -

"England, since the conquest, hath known some few good monarchs, but groaned beneath a much larger number of bad ones; yet no man in his senses can say that their claim under William the Conqueror is a very honorable one. A French ******* landing with an armed banditti, and establishing himself king of England against the consent of the natives, is in plain terms a very paltry rascally original.—It certainly hath no divinity in it. However, it is needless to spend much time in exposing the folly of hereditary right; if there are any so weak as to believe it, let them promiscuously worship the ass and lion, and welcome. I shall neither copy their humility, nor disturb their devotion."

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