Church & State


Politics and religion were deeply interwoven during the 17th Century. When King Charles the First came to the throne of the Three Kingdoms in 1625, he believed that his authority to rule was God-given and beyond any reproach or criticism. But Charles' belief that the hierarchy of Church and State was an earthly reflection of divine order brought him into conflict with some of his most powerful subjects. What was the motivation of the clique of puritan magnates who opposed the King's efforts to unify church administration across England, Scotland and Ireland?

This thread explores the power struggle between King Charles the First and Parliament that finally erupted in devastating civil war. Follow the steps that led from rule by an absolute monarch to the violent overthrow of the king, the declaration of a republican government across Britain and the emergence of a radical political tradition in England. Why did the republican experiment fail? We trace the progression from free republic to military dictatorship that led ultimately to the restoration of the Stuart dynasty and the foundation of Britain's modern constitutional monarchy.