Political Instability In Victorian England

1235 Words5 Pages
During the years 1665-88, there was a lot of political instability mainly stemming from the restoration settlement. However in this essay I shall be comparing how accurate it is to say that the Popish plot, exclusion crisis, Rye house plot and religion are in causing political instability against the named factor.

The aim of the restoration settlement was to create order and stability throughout England. From the offset of the restoration act, many feared that Charles was a catholic sympathiser, after suspending the act of uniformity to provide a measure of religious toleration. This allowed more freedom for English Catholics, however this was not politically shrewd of him, as Catholicism had long been associated with absolute monarchy,
…show more content…
Charles then appointed two catholic ministers to the Cabal, this issue was clearly one which could have been avoided had Charles been more shrewd. Charles did little to address the role of parliament and did nothing to solve the problems that had to led to war. The fears of Catholicism were reignited when James II took the throne; he was a political liability from the offset announcing he was a catholic, this lack of political awareness allowed him to be the brunt of suspicion. Consequently he was later removed from the throne as he posed a threat to the Protestant religion and the rule of law. James’ personality alienated the political nation; to such an extent that it was not divided over opinion, but completely rejected him. So his authority collapsed completely. It is clear that the restoration settlement did little to provide stability in England. However I think this would be expected in the earlier years of the restoration, as there were no rules or protocol to follow, in the event of the monarch being executed and later restored. However the latter period was much more about a fear of catholic succession of James. As we can see from the restoration, religion was a deep underlying problem and it would be inaccurate to blame all the problems…show more content…
Titus Oates claimed that the Catholic Church was conspiring with the help of some Jesuits to assassinate Charles and replace him with his catholic brother James. An economic depression had hit London and with many feeling the hard times, a plot like this gave the people a target to point there fingers at. Broadsheet publications sensationalised the plot, in cartoon format making it accessible even to those who were illiterate. Doomsayers spoke of a third civil war in which a catholic king would be proclaimed. Catholics, were an easy target, so it is no wonder the plot spread like wild fire. The implications were huge and the rumours managed to spark a full-scale political crisis. Oates was able to accuse whomever he wanted and went before the Privy Council with eighty-one names of people high up in society and government. Consequently he accused five catholic lords of conspiring against the king, which resulted in one being headed, and another dying in prison. Catholics became so persecuted that in 1687 a proclamation was made stating the all catholic had to get special permission to enter the twelve-mile radius of the city. Another huge consequence was the exclusion crisis, which prevented James from succession and catholic to be in parliament. Some even denounced Queen Catherine as wanted to instate the Catholic Church in England.
Open Document