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History of the English People, Volume VII - The Revolution, 1683-1760; Modern England, 1760-1767
In 1683 the Constitutional opposition which had held Charles so long in check lay crushed at his feet. A weaker man might easily have been led to play the mere tyrant by the mad outburst of loyalty which greeted his triumph. On the very day when the crowd around Russell's scaffold were dipping their handkerchiefs in his blood as in the blood of a martyr the University of Oxford solemnly declared that the doctrine of passive obedience even to the worst of rulers was a part of religion. But Charles saw that immense obstacles still lay in the road of a mere tyranny. Ormond and the great Tory party which had rallied to his succour against the Exclusionists were still steady for parliamentary and legal government. The Church was as powerful as ever, and the mention of a renewal of the Indulgence to Nonconformists 7-002]had to be withdrawn before the opposition of the bishops. He was careful therefore during the few years which remained to him to avoid the appearance of any open violation of public law. He suspended no statute. He imposed no tax by Royal authority. Galling to the Crown as the freedom of the press and the Habeas Corpus Act were soon found to be, Charles made no attempt to curtail the one or to infringe the other. But while cautious to avoid rousing popular resistance, he moved coolly and resolutely forward on the path of despotism. It was in vain that Halifax pressed for energetic resistance to the aggressions of France, for the recall of Monmouth, or for the calling of a fresh Parliament. Like every other English statesman he found he had been duped. Now that his work was done he was suffered to remain in office but left without any influence in the government. Hyde, who was created Earl of Rochester, still remained at the head of the Treasury; but Charles soon gave more of his confidence to the supple and acute Sunderland, who atoned for his desertion of the king's cause in the heat of the Exclusion Bill by an acknowledgement of his error and a pledge of entire accordance with the king's will. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 25261
Author: Green, John Richard
Release Date: Apr 30, 2008
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