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Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1


TD de civilisation britannique

Semestre 1

Groupe sur le Bureau Virtuel : CIVGBS1

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Organisation du TD
Plan du semestre
Semaine Programme du CM Programme du TD
Semaine 1 18 septembre: Medieval Britain Introduction to the course
Semaine 2 25 septembre: the English
Reformation (16th c)
Medieval Britain
Semaine 3 2 octobre: the political
consequences of the English
Reformation (16
The English Reformation
Semaine 4 9 octobre: the rise of royal
absolutism (early 17
The political consequences of the
English Reformation
Semaine 5 16 octobre: the Civil War and the
English Revolution
The rise of royal absolutism
Semaine 6 23 octobre: the Restoration & the
Glorious Revolution
Contrle de mi-semestre
Vacances de Toussaint - -
Semaine 7 6 novembre: 17
c British
political thought
The Civil War and the English
Semaine 8 13 novembre: the Whig oligarchy
and the tyranny of parliament
(first half of the 18
The Restoration & the Glorious
Semaine 9 20 novembre: the economic
transformation & the imperial
expansion of Britain in the 18
the Whig oligarchy and the
tyranny of parliament
Semaine 10 27 novembre: the impact of the
American & French Revolutions
(end of the 18
the economic transformation &
the imperial expansion of Britain
in the 18
Semaine 11 4 dcembre: the Industrial
the impact of the American &
French Revolutions
Semaine 12 11 dcembre : Pas de CM Contrle de fin de semestre

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Contrle de mi-semestre vaut 40% de la note finale
Contrle de fin de semestre vaut 60% de la note finale
Dans les deux cas, le contrle la fois sur les aspects vus en CM et en TD : lassiduit aux
CM est donc obligatoire

Prsentation du TD
Retour sur les priodes et thmes vus en CM
Approfondissement du CM par ltude de sources (textes, documents iconographiques,
documents sonores ou vido)

Objectifs du TD
Connatre les grandes orientations de lhistoire britannique du 16
la fin du 18
Comprendre un document de civilisation britannique
Rdiger en anglais
Lecture obligatoire
Antoine MIOCHE, Les grandes dates de lhistoire britannique, Hachette, 2003 ou ditions suivantes
(BU Bron, 3me tage, Histoire-Go, 941 MIO)
Autres ouvrages
Bernard Cottret, Eveline Cruickshanks, Charles Giry-Deloison, Histoire des les britanniques
du XVIe au XVIIIe sicle, Nathan, 1994 (BU Bron, 3me Histoire-Go, 942.05 COT)
Elizabeth Tuttle, Les les britanniques lge moderne, 1485-1783, Hachette, 1996 (BU Bron,
3me Histoire-Go, 941 TUT ou 942.05 TUT)
Mark Nicholls, A History of the Modern British Isles, 1529-1603, The Two Kingdoms,
Blackwell, 1999
David L.Smith, A History of the Modern British Isles, 1603-1707, The Double Crown,
Blackwell, 1998
Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837, Yale University Press, 1992 (BU
Chevreul, 4me tage, Langues, 942.07 COL)
Bernard Cottret, Michael Hearn, Michel Lemosse, Histoire du Royaume-Uni : une anthologie
du XVIe au XXe sicle, Bral, 2001, (BU Bron, 3
Histoire-Go, 941 HIS)

Sources vido et lectroniques

Search the net for Simon Schama, A History of Britain, BBC series. Also available on DVD.
Search the net for Michael Wood, Story of England, TPT2 series.
See the British Library interactive websites:
http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/takingliberties/interactive.html and
Check the British History section of the bbc.co.uk website:
For funnier & more original accounts, check the Black Adder and Horrible Histories series
on www.youtube.com

Contact: Frederic.Herrmann@univ-lyon2.fr
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Week 1: Introduction to the course: historical myths about
early Britain

Doc.1: A map of the British Isles today

Key notions:
The British Isles
The United Kingdom
Great Britain


Northern Ireland / Ulster
The Republic of Ireland /
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc.2: Boudica or Bodicea, the Queen of the British Iceni tribe who led a rebellion against the Roman
invaders in the 1
century. This statue was erected very near the Westminster UK Parliament in London.

Doc 3: Hadrians Wall. It was built by the Romans in the second century across the northern border of their
province of Britannia (along nearly the same line as the present English-Scottish border) to protect their
territory from attacks by the Scots and the Picts.

Doc 4: King Arthur, a very good example of the distortions of popular history: in folklore and myth he is a
great English hero, and he and his knights of the Round Table are regarded as the perfect example of medieval
nobility and chivalry (see illustration 1 from the Middle Ages and illustration 2, a painting by 19
c Pre-
Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse). In fact, he lived long before medieval times and was a Romanized
Celt trying to hold back the advances of the Anglo-Saxons the very people who became the English! (the
story told by the film starring Clive Owen, see illustration 3, though the film received bad reviews from critics
and historians alike)

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc 5: The Coming of the Norsemen
Even before the Romans withdrew, Jutes, Angles and Saxons from Denmark and north Germany had begun to
raid across the North Sea and then to invade as settlers keeping better land. The Celts were pushed to the western
fringes of Britain, despite resistance perhaps led, at one time, by a Romano-Celtic warlord, who became the
mythical King Arthur. Invaders took over eastern Britain, largely ignoring the already decaying Roman culture.
The Saxons soon dominated and rival kingdoms were established. But during this time missionaries from Rome
spread Christianity across southern Britain, while in the north monks from Ireland converted the land.
In the eighth and ninth centuries, Viking warriors from Denmark and Norway (the Norsemen) first plundered the
coastal lands from the sea and then they came to settle and farm, conquering most of the east of England and the
north-east of Scotland. Eventually the kingdom of Wessex, under King Alfred, a scholar, lawgiver, and warrior,
united the Saxons and defeated the Danish and Viking armies, but most of the Danes remained, having settled as
farmers, been converted to Christianity, and inter-married with the existing population. []
The great mixing of the peoples had begun. Centuries later Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe, called
us proudly the mongrel breed, mocking beliefs that the aristocracy were of pure Norman and the common
people of pure Saxon descent.

Source: Life in the United Kingdom, A Journey to Citizenship, Home Office Publication, 2004, p.19

Doc.6: A map of Britain circa 800 showing the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc.7: A map of the fictional island of Westeros in George R.R. Martins A Song of I ce
and Fire, also known as Game of Thrones

Doc.8: The prehistoric site of Stonehenge, in the south-west of England

Doc. 9: Merlin reciting his poems, in a French illustrated book of the 13
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc. 10: Power and rights in Britain in the early modern period (16
to 18
Have you ever had to stare authority in the face and declare, I know my rights? The chances are weve all said
that at some time or another []. The inhabitants of these islands have been doing that for hundreds of years. At
the time of the Peasants Revolt in 1381, the vast majority of the population had very few rights, but deep down
they believed they had some, drawing upon a vague memory of Magna Carta and Domesday Book. Over the
centuries, brave individuals, from Wat Tyler to John Wilkes to Emmeline Pankhurst, have stood up to the might 5
of authority to fight for their rights. Not all were successful, and many suffered imprisonment, transportation or
death, but most left their mark. []
On this journey we also encounter some basic paradoxes. We may say I know my rights, but do we? Where do
we turn in order to verify them? Unlike the USA, France or India, Britain does not have one unifying document
that serves as a constitution. The Human Rights Act did not exist in Britain before 1998. Our constitutional 10
system has built up over time and exists in a series of documents which include Magna Carta, the 1689 Bill of
Rights, the Treaty of Union, and a plethora of Acts of Parliament. Britain came close to creating a constitution in
1653 with the Instrument of Government, compiled during the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell. But when
the monarchy was restored in 1660, all Acts of Parliament passed during the Republic were declared illegal, and
our one written constitution was cast aside. The question is often raised: should we have a formal written 15
constitution or, does our unwritten one benefit from being flexible and organic, able to adapt by changing
demands and pressures?
This raises another paradox. In a country so closely associated with rights and liberty, the power and vigilance of
the state over the lives of individuals is arguably greater than ever. Surveillance cameras, a DNA database, stop-
and-search powers and talk of Identity Cards, are seen as threats to personal liberty, although they are presented 20
as necessary for our safety and national security. One of the basic functions of government is to protect its
subjects, but fulfilling that role may seem oppressive. [] Soon after the French Revolution, and even before the
War with France began in 1793, the British government introduced many repressive measures to curb the
possibility of revolution in Britain. That may seem to be a government protecting its own interests, but it can
equally be argued to be a government doing its duty to the majority of its subjects. So the struggle for our 25
political rights has always been one of balance between liberty and security.
The government of Great Britain and before that, of England is often seen as strong, controlling, even
aggressive. The kings of England, whilst still trying to recover their lands in France, also sought to subjugate the
remainder of the British Isles. When the once independent countries of Wales, Ireland and Scotland were
incorporated as part of Great Britain and subsequently the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern 30
Ireland, they were ruled by a strong centralist Parliament in London.
That strength enabled the growth of the British Empire, and Britains beliefs in freedom and liberty went with it
arguably another paradox. Magna Carta, in which the barons made King John recognise their rights, and which
he soon annulled, refused to die. It was resurrected and reasserted in the reigns of subsequent kings and
reinterpreted as part of English common law by Sir Edward Coke and Sir William Blackstone. Through them, its 35
principles made its way into later documents, such as the Petition of Right, and through that into the American
Bill of Rights. The concept of liberty became peculiarly British. When the American colonists declared their
independence from Britain they recognised a legacy of British liberty. The American revolutionary Patrick
Henry said in 1788: We are descended from a people whose government was founded on liberty; our glorious
forefathers of Great Britain made liberty the foundation of everything. That country is become a great, mighty 40
and splendid nation; not because their government is strong and energetic, but, sir, because liberty is its direct
end and foundation.
Yet one might ask how much we really value our rights. Do we take advantage of the freedoms past generations
have fought for? How often do we vote in general or local elections? How much do we appreciate the freedom of
the press? Or do we only demand our rights if we believe our privacy has been infringed, or complain about 45
hospital waiting lists rather than appreciate the benefits of the welfare state? []

Mike Ashley, Introduction to Taking Liberties: the struggle for Britains freedoms and rights, the British
Library, 2008, pp.8-9.

Question: what are the two opposing trends seen in this text by Mike Ashley?

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Week 2: Medieval Britain

Doc. 1: The Norman Conquest of England, as seen on the Bayeux Tapestry (ca.1070)

Using documents 2 and 3, answer the following question: what were the main consequences of the
Norman Invasion / Conquest?
Doc 2: One final cataclysm awaited the English language: the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Normans were
Vikings who had settled in northern France 200 years before. Like the Celtic Britons before them, they had given
their name to a French province, Normandy. But unlike the Celts, they had abandoned their language and much of
their culture and become French in manner and speech. So totally had they given up their language, in fact, that not a
single Norse word has survived in Normandy, apart from some place names. That is quite remarkable when you 5
consider that the Normans bequeathed 10,000 words to English. [] This [] had important consequences on the
English language of today. [] No King of England spoke English for the next 300 years. It was not until 1399, with
the accession of Henry IV, that England had a ruler whose mother tongue was English. One by one English earls and
bishops were replaced by Normans []. French-speaking craftsmen, designers, cooks, scholars and scribes were
brought to Britain. Even so, for the common people life went on. They were almost certainly not alarmed that their 10
rulers spoke a foreign tongue. It was commonplace in the past. Canute from the century before was Danish, and []
as recently as the eighteenth century, England happily installed a German king, George I, even though he spoke not a
word of English and reigned for thirteen years without mastering his subjects language. Common people did not
expect to speak like their masters any more than they expected to live like them.
Anglo-Norman society had two tiers: the French-speaking aristocracy and the English-speaking peasantry. Not 15
surprisingly, the linguistic influence of the Normans tended to focus on matters of court, government, fashion, and
high living. Meanwhile, the English peasant continued to eat, drink, work, sleep, and play in English [or Middle
English, an Anglo-Saxon Germanic language]. The breakdown can be illustrated in two ways. First, the more humble
trades tended to have Anglo-Saxon names (baker, miller, shoemaker), while the more skilled trades adopted French
names (mason, painter, tailor). At the same time, animals in the field usually were called by English names (sheep, 20
cow, ox), but once cooked and brought to the table, they were generally given French names (beef, mutton, veal,
Source: Bill Bryson, Mother Tongue, The English Language, 1990, 2004

Doc 3: Unlike the Germanic invasions, the Norman invasion was small-scale. There was no such thing as a Norman 25
village or a Norman area of settlement. Instead, the Norman soldiers who had been part of the invading army were
given the ownership of land and of the people living on it. A strict feudal system was imposed. Great nobles, or
barons, were responsible directly to the king; lesser lords, each owning a village, were directly responsible to a
baron. Under them were the peasants, tied by a strict system of mutual duties and obligations to the local lord, and
forbidden to travel without permission. The peasants were the English-speaking Saxons. The lords and the barons 30
were the French-speaking Normans. This was the beginning of the English class system. The strong system of
government which the Normans introduced meant that the Anglo-Norman was easily the most powerful political
force in the British Isles. Not surprisingly therefore, the authority of the English monarch gradually extended to other
parts of these islands in the next 250 years. By the end of the thirteenth century, a large part of eastern Ireland was
controlled by Anglo-Norman lords in the name of the English king and the whole of Wales was under his direct rule 35
(at which time the custom of naming the monarchs eldest son the Prince of Wales began). Scotland managed to
remain politically independent in the medieval period, but was obliged to fight occasional wars to do so.
Source: James ODriscoll, Britain, The Country and Its People, p.19.
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc 4: The Magna Carta (1215)
Excerpt from the text: TO ALL FREE MEN OF
OUR KINGDOM we have also granted, for us and
our heirs for ever, all the liberties written out below,
to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and
our heirs. [] No free man shall be seized or
imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or
outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any
other way, nor will we proceed with force against
him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful
judgment of his equals or by the law of the land

Questions: why was the Magna Carta signed in 1215? What is to be understood by the phrase
free men? What major political principles did this document inspire in later centuries?

The principle of habeas corpus, from the Latin "may you have the body" or produce the body spells out
that a person under arrest has to be brought before a judge or into a court and cannot be judged in his absence.
By extension, it ensures that this person cannot be detained unlawfully and has the right to seek protection from
a legal representative.

Doc 5: the Model Parliament of 1295

The English like to think that theirs is the mother
of parliaments. The English Parliament certainly
became the most developed in medieval Europe,
but it was not unique. Rather it was the survivor of
parliaments when elsewhere in Europe in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the doctrine of
sovereignty arose: that there must always be a
single and undivided source of power and law.
Monarchs came to claim absolute power:
previously they had accepted that power was
divided between king, church, and the classes of
society and represented in parliament. The English
Parliament survived because it was more broadly
based than others. There was a separate House of
Lords the aristocrats and great landowners but
also a House of Commons or knights, the small
landowners, the gentry: a distinctive class in
England. Kings found they had more power when
they could gain parliamentary consent by influence
and persuasion than when they tried to govern alone
relying on force. [] In Scotland there was a
broadly similar development except that there were
thrai estates not two: the clergy sat separately
from the Lords []. In both countries the churches
and the monasteries were the largest owners of
Source: Life in the UK, Home Office, 2004, p.21

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc 6. Domesday Book & the Peasants Revolts

William the Conqueror may have respected the law, and even granted London all its former rights and liberties,
but he expected loyalty in return. Any rebellion was dealt with savagely. The most notorious was the harrying
of the north during 1069-70, when much of the land was laid to waste. An estimated 150,000 people perished.
Elsewhere rebels held out. By 1073, Williams conquest of England was complete. He even pushed into South
Wales in the 1080s. The cost of this was severe and one reason for the great survey of 1086 was to reassess the
value and ownership of land. The survey was thorough. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that not even one
ox, nor one cow, nor one pig escaped notice. The record became known as the Domesday Book, Dome, or
doom, was the Old English word for judgement, and the survey was likened to a Day of Reckoning from which
there was no appeal.
William had parcelled most of the land out amongst his barons and others who had given help in return for
military service. These were the tenants in chief, numbering about 170. Only 8% of land remained in Saxon
hands. About 80% of the population of England were serfs or villeins. These held land from their lord in return
for service and feudal payments. Over time, some villeins were able to live to a reasonable standard, but the
lower class of serf, called bordars or cottars, were little more than slaves. []
In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries life for the peasants became increasingly difficult. In 1235 the Statute of
Merton allowed lords of the manor to enclose (set apart for their own use, rather than fence in) any land they
deemed surplus to the needs of those working the land. As a result the access to common pasturage was
A series of wet winters and summers between 1314 and 1317 led to widespread famine. Perhaps as much as 20%
of the population died from disease and malnutrition. Yet the serfs, in bond to their lords, still had to work the
land and pay their dues. In the summer of 1348, the Great Plague, or Black Death, reached Britain and over the
next fifteen months wiped out up to 40% of the population. Lesser plagues struck in 1361, 1368 and 1375. []
Another factor [for harder living conditions] was Edward IIIs ongoing conflict with France, now called the
Hundred Years War. [] To finance the war, further taxes were imposed, of which the most notorious was the
poll tax (poll for head). This was a fixed rate per person, regardless of status. It started in 1377 at fourpence
for everyone aged over fourteen but neither this, nor a second levy in 1379, raised sufficient money. In 1380, a
savage rate was set at one shilling (twelve pence) on everyone over fifteen. Since a serf seldom earned more than
twenty shillings a year, it was a significant imposition on top of other taxes. The scene was set for the rebellion
of 1381, known as the Peasants Revolt.
Tax collectors were told to take any measures necessary. During May and
June 1381 they met with violent opposition. Fighting broke out in several
eastern counties, notably Essex and Kent. The Kentish rebels, under the
leadership of Wat Tyler, gathered at Blackheath [near London] and
presented a petition to the 14-year-old Richard II. It named officials
whose corrupt policies the peasants believed were ruining the country,
including the Kings uncle (John of Gaunt), the Archbishop of Canterbury
and the Lord Treasurer. The meeting was unsuccessful. The rebels
continued to London, joining forces with those from Essex. They emptied
several prisons and burned down John of Gaunts palace. Richard II met
the rebels at Mile End to hear their demands, which included the end of
villeinage. The King agreed and asked the rebels to disperse.
Meanwhile, others attacked the Tower of London, executing the
Archbishop and Treasurer among others. The King met the rebels again.
Wat Tyler presented further demands, asking for an end to serfdom, the
breakup of church lands, and that all men should be free and serve no lord
save the King. During the confrontation there was a scuffle in which Tyler
was stabbed. The King took control and had the rebels escorted out of
Despite his promises, the King never did enact the demands. Most of the leaders of the rebellion were tracked
down and executed. Yet they did not wholly fail. [] Serfdom was in its final stages.

Source: Mike Ashley, Taking Liberties, The British Library, 2008, p.20, 21-22.

Though telling the story of a
peasant fighting King John at the
time of Magna Carta, the stories
of Robin Hood became popular at
this time. He first appears in the
poem Piers Plowman written in
the 1370s by William Langland.

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc 7. A map of the Norman Conquest 1067-1072

Doc 8. A map representing England and its dominions at the end of the 14
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Week 3 : the English
Reformation (16th c)

Doc 1. A portrait of Henry VI I I by Hans Holbein

Doc.2. A portrait of Catherine of Aragon

Doc 3. A portrait of Anne Boleyn

Question: what were Henry VIIIs personal motives for breaking away from the authority of
Rome and of the Catholic Church?

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc 4. Extracts from a recent press article about Anne Boleyn in The Guardian (11 April 2012)
by Hilary Mantel, who wrote the historical novels Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bodies
(2012), both set during the reign of Henry VIII

Anne Boleyn: witch, bitch, temptress, feminist
We argue over her, we admire and revile her we constantly reinvent her. Henry VIII's second wife is one of the most
controversial women in English history

Anne Boleyn: 'I have only a little neck'. Photograph: John McKenzie

As a small child I remember being told by a solemn nun
that Anne Boleyn had six fingers on one hand. In the nun's
eyes, it was the kind of deformity that Protestants were
prone to; it was for Anne's sake, as everyone knew, that
Henry VIII had broken away from Rome and plunged his 5
entire nation into the darkness of apostasy. If it weren't for
this depraved woman, England would be as holy as Ireland,
and we'd all eat fish on Friday and come from families of
Anne Boleyn wasn't exactly a Protestant, but she was a reformer, an evangelical; and the sixth finger, which no 10
one saw in her lifetime, was a fragment of black propaganda directed at her daughter, Elizabeth I. In Elizabeth's
reign it was the duty of beleaguered papists to demonstrate that the queen's mother had been physically and
spiritually deformed. Hence, not just the extra finger but the "wen" on her throat, which supposedly she hid with
jewellery: hence the deformed foetus to which she was said to have given birth. There is no evidence that this
monster baby ever existed, yet some modern historians and novelists insist on prolonging its poor life, attracted 15
to the most lurid version of events they can devise.
Anne Boleyn is one of the most controversial women in English history; we argue over her, we pity and admire
and revile her, we reinvent her in every generation. She takes on the colour of our fantasies and is shaped by our
preoccupations: witch, bitch, feminist, sexual temptress, cold opportunist. She is a real woman who has acquired
an archetypal status and force, and one who patrols the nightmares of good wives; she is the guilt-free predator, 20
the man-stealer, the woman who sets out her sexual wares and extorts a fantastic price. She is also the mistress
who, by marrying her lover, creates a job vacancy. Her rise is glittering, her fall sordid. God pays her out. The
dead take revenge on the living. The moral order is reasserted.
[] Within weeks of his accession to the throne in 1509, the teenage
Henry had married a pre-used bride. Katherine of Aragon (see pic on the 25
right) had originally been brought to England to marry his elder brother.
But some four months after the marriage, Arthur died. For seven years
Katherine lived neglected in London, her splendid title of Dowager
Princess of Wales disguising her frugal housekeeping arrangements and
dwindling hopes. Henry was her rescuer; he was in love with her, he told 30
everyone, this was no cold political arrangement. Katherine was the
daughter of two reigning monarchs: educated, gracious and regal, she had
been trained for queenship and saw it as her vocation. She had been a tiny auburn-haired beauty when she came
to England. Seven years older than Henry, she was shapeless and showing her age by the time Anne glided on to
the scene. Katherine had many pregnancies, but her babies died before or soon after birth. Only one child 35
survived, a daughter, Mary; but Henry needed a son. Private misfortune, by the mid-1520s, was beginning to
look like public disaster. Henry wondered if he should marry again. Cardinal Wolsey, Henry's chief minister,
began to survey the available French princesses.
It was only in theory, and for humble people, that marriage was for life. The rulers of Europe could and did
obtain annulments, for a price, from sympathetic popes. Henry failed not because of papal high principles, but 40
because a series of political and military events put Katherine's nephew, the Emperor Charles, in a position to
thwart him. While his canon lawyers and courtiers cajoled and bribed, sweating blood to make Henry a free man,
the king had already come up with an unlikely replacement for Katherine. We don't know exactly when he fell
for Anne Boleyn. Her sister Mary had already been his mistress. Perhaps Henry simply didn't have much
imagination. The court's erotic life seems knotted, intertwined, almost incestuous; the same faces, the same limbs 45
and organs in different combinations. [] No one dreamed that Henry would put aside a princess of Spain for
the daughter of a mere gentleman. []

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc 5: The English Reformation Timeline

1509 - Henry VIII becomes king (see portrait by Hans Holbein, circa 1536/7)
1517 - The Protestant Reformation begins; Martin Luther nails his "95 Theses" against the Catholic
practice of selling indulgences, on the church door at Wittenberg in Germany
1529 - Henry VIII dismisses Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey for failing to obtain the Popes consent
to his divorce from Catherine of Aragon; Sir Thomas More appointed Lord Chancellor; Henry VIII
summons the "Reformation Parliament" and begins to cut the ties with the Church of Rome
1533 - Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn and is excommunicated by Pope Clement VII
1534 - Act of Supremacy: Henry VIII declared supreme head of the Church of England
1536 - Anne Boleyn is beheaded; Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour; dissolution of monasteries in
England begins under the direction of Thomas Cromwell, completed in 1539
1547 - Edward VI, becomes King of England. Protestantism is reinforced. English translations of the
1553 - On the death of Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey is proclaimed queen of England by the Duke of
Northumberland; her reign lasts nine days; Mary Tudor, the Catholic daughter of Henry VIII and
Catherine of Aragon becomes Queen of England as Mary I
1554 Mary I marries the Catholic Philip of Spain, later King Philip II, who rules over the most
powerful kingdom in the world
1555 - England returns to Roman Catholicism under Mary: Protestants are persecuted and about 300
are burned at the stake
1558 - Death of Mary I; her sister, Elizabeth I, the Protestant daughter of Henry VIII and Anne
Boleyn, becomes Queen; Repeal of Catholic legislation in England. Constitution of the Church of
England (a via media between hardline Protestantism and Catholicism)
1559 Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity, Book of Common Prayer: Elizabeth I is recognised as
Supreme Governor of the Church of England; the liturgy of the Church of England is developed
1563 The 39 Articles of Religion are established to define the doctrine of the Church of England
1567/8 The Catholic Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, Elizabeths cousin and heir to the throne of
England is deposed by Protestants in Scotland and is held in custody in England. Her 1-year-old son,
James, becomes King James VI of Scotland and is brought up by Protestants
1570 Elizabeth I is excommunicated by the Pope and becomes the target of several assassination
1587 Mary Stuart is executed on suspicion of plotting to kill Elizabeth
1588 - The invading Spanish Armada is defeated by the English fleet under Lord Howard of
Effingham, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins but the war between Spain and England
continues until 1609
1603 Queen Elizabeth dies without any direct heir. Her Protestant cousin, King James VI of
Scotland, accedes to the English throne as King James I of England

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Henry VII (Tudor)
reigned 1485-1509
Henry VIII
reigned 1509-1547
Edward VI
Mary I
Elizabeth I

Margaret Tudor,
married James IV Stuart,
King of Scotland
James V, King of
Mary Stuart, Queen of
Scots, forced to
abdicate in 1567
James VI (Stuart) of
Scotland /
James I of England
reigned over Scotland
reigned over England
Charles I
reigned 1625-1649
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Study document 7 to 10: in what ways could early Protestant beliefs be easily considered
as scandalous by the Roman Catholic Church?

Doc.7. John Wyclif, an English forefather of Protestantism who lived in the 14
century and inspired
the English popular heretical movement known as the Lollards

Since the Paster Noster is the best prayer that is, for in it must all other prayers be enclosed if they shall
graciously be heard of God, therefore should men ken [know] this prayer and study the wit [meaning] thereof.
And since the truth of God standeth not in one language more than in another, but whoever liveth best teacheth
best, pleaseth most God, of what language ever he be, therefore his prayer declared in English may edify the
lewd [ordinary] people as it doth clerks [clerics] in Latin. And since it is the gospel of Christ, and Christ bade it
be preached to the people, for the people should learn and ken it and work thereafter, why may we not write in
English the Gospel and other things declaring the Gospel, to edification of Christian mens souls, as the preacher
telleth it truly in English to the people?

Doc.8. Jan Hus, a Czech scholar who was inspired by Wyclifs writings and was burnt at the stake in

But perhaps you say, In this world the pope is the most holy father. I answer that if you prove that he lives the
most holy life, following Christ in His poverty, humility, meekness, and work, then I shall admit he is the most
holy. But his manifest covetousness, pride, and other sins predispose men to believe that he is not the most holy
father! [] For the papal office, as well as the apostolic, consists in preaching the Word of God, in
administering the Sacraments, and in praying diligently to God on behalf of the people. To administer temporal
possessions belongs to the lower estate, the secular. Consequently, the pope should observe that Christ and Peter
did not meddle with ruling over worldly possessions.

Doc.9. Martin Luther, the German friar with whom the Reformation started in the 1517. Extract from
his On Christian Liberty (1520) in which he exposes his doctrine of the priesthood of all believers

[] there is no real difference among laymen, priests, princes, bishops, and as the phrase goes spiritual and
temporal, except on grounds of office or occupation; certainly none of estate. For they are all of the estate
spiritual are truly priests, bishops and popes but differ in their work, even as not all priests and monks do the
same work [] Therefore those now called spiritual priests or bishops or pope differ from other Christians to
no greater or more important degree than that they shall administer the Word of God and the sacraments. That is
their work and office. The temporal power holds the sword and the rod to punish the evildoers and protect the
pious. The cobbler, the smith, the ploughman have each their proper function and work, and yet are all equally
ordained to be priests and bishops []

Doc. 10. A portrait of Pope Alexander VI (Borgia), who was pope
from 1492 to his death in 1503

Alexander VI is probably the archetype (and probably most clichd
figure) of the excesses of the Papacy in the late Middle-Ages: corruption,
bribery, murder, nepotism, libertinism (he had several children),
subversion of temporal power, conquest of territories, accumulation of
wealth, imposition of unlawful taxation on papal subjects, meddling with
international politics and intrigue etc., all of them contrary to the original
teachings of the Christian Church

See the Showtime Television Series The Borgias

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Week 4: The political consequences of the English
Question on docs 1 & 2: what were the social consequences of Henry VIIIs breaking away from
the authority of Rome and of the Catholic Church?

Doc 1. The ruins of Mount Grace Priory and Biland Monastery in England today. A consequence of the
dissolution of monasteries by King Henry VIII.

Doc 2. (Adapted) extract from A Social History of England by Asa Briggs (Penguin, 1983, pp.132-33):

The biggest economic change resulting from the Reformation, directly affecting not only the state but the
balance of social forces inside it, was the dissolution of the monasteries, a two-stage operation beginning with
374 lesser houses, in 1536, and continuing in 1538-40 with the 186 great and solemn monasteries. The
object of this exercise was not to reform the Church but to enrich the crown. The monastic houses, which
collected about half of the income of the Church, were an obvious target. The first effect of the dissolution
was to augment substantially royal annual income from monastic lands. But the crown did not keep what it
had acquired: a small part of the land was given away to feudal knight service, more was exchanged, and a
large part was leased or sold at market prices. By the end of Henry VIIIs reign two-thirds of the new wealth
had been alienated in land market operations of unprecedented scale and speed. The freed lands passed for the
most part not into the hands or pockets of new men and speculators but into the hands of existing local
landowners, the peerage and gentry. In Yorkshire, over a quarter of the gentry families of 1642 owned
property which before 1540 had been held by the monasteries. A further dissolution of chantries, free chapels,
colleges, hospitals, fraternities and guilds in the reign of Edward VI completed the process of property

Doc 3. The manor in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey, built
on the fictional remnants of an old medieval Catholic abbey.

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Question on docs 4&5: how did the Reformation modify the personal power of the monarch?

Doc 4. Henry VIII and his Parliament in the 1540s. How is the
relationship between the King and his Parliament portrayed?

Doc 5. The Act of Supremacy (1534)
Albeit the king's Majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the supreme head of the Church of England, and so is
recognized by the clergy of this realm in their convocations, yet nevertheless, for corroboration and confirmation thereof,
and for increase of virtue in Christ's religion within this realm of England, and to repress and extirpate all errors,
heresies, and other enormities and abuses heretofore used in the same, be it enacted, by authority of this present
Parliament, that the king, our sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall be taken, accepted, and 5
reputed the only supreme head in earth of the Church of England, called Anglicans Ecclesia; and shall have and enjoy,
annexed and united to the imperial crown of this realm, as well the title and style thereof, as all honors, dignities,
preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities to the said dignity of the
supreme head of the same Church belonging and appertaining; and that our said sovereign lord, his heirs and successors,
kings of this realm, shall have full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, 10
restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offenses, contempts and enormities, whatsoever they be, which by
any manner of spiritual authority or jurisdiction ought or may lawfully be reformed, repressed, ordered, redressed,
corrected, restrained, or amended, most to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue in Christ's religion, and
for the conservation of the peace, unity, and tranquility of this realm; any usage, foreign land, foreign authority,
prescription, or any other thing or things to the contrary hereof notwithstanding. 15

Doc 6. Mary I as portrayed by actress Kathy Burke in the 1998 film Elizabeth by Shekhar Kapur. What
are the two main reasons why Marys accession to the throne in 1553 was extremely surprising?

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Study docs 7, 8 & 9: Why did Elizabeth I and her ministers decide to come up with a compromise between
Protestantism and Catholicism in the late 1550s?

Doc 7. The martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer, a
Protestant, during Mary Is reign, as recorded
in John Foxes Acts and Monuments (1570

Doc 8. Catholics being hunted down by
Protestants in England (ca. 1560)

Doc 9. The Catholic and Protestant Churches and the Elizabethan compromise of the Church of
England (1559)

The Catholic Church The Protestant (Calvinist) Church The Church of England
The Pope is the Supreme Head of the
The Pope and the monarch have no
The monarch is the Supreme
Governor of the Church
The Church is governed by a system
of archbishops and bishops
The Church is governed by a general
Synod or Assembly consisting of
members elected by local
The Church is governed by a system
of archbishops and bishops appointed
by the monarch but administered at
parish level by locally elected
Priests work the miracle of the Mass Ministers are preachers (they preach
sermons), not miracle-workers
Ministers do not perform miracles but
preach and perform the liturgy (rites
of worship) of the Mass
Priests may not marry Ministers may marry Ministers may marry
Christians need the intercession of the
priests to have access to God
Spiritual equality of all men,
ministers and laymen alike (the
priesthood of all believers)
Spiritual equality of all men but
guidance and supervision of ministers
is necessary
The liturgy and the Bible are in Latin The liturgy and the Bible are in the
vernacular tongue/native language=
everyone should be able to read and
understand the word of God
The liturgy and the Bible are in the
vernacular tongue/native language=
everyone should be able to read and
understand the word of God
Services are highly ceremonial and
churches lavishly decorated
Churches are extremely plain, and
services simple to focus attention on
the ministers sermon
Churches are less decorated than
Catholic churches but still contain
statues and images; ceremonial (with
music and ornate vestments) is as
important as preaching
Veneration of Saints and holy relics No veneration of saints and relics No veneration of saints and relics

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Study docs 10, 11 & 12: How did Englands relationship with Roman Catholicism evolve in the
second half of the 16

Doc 10. Pope Pius V issuing the Bull of
Excommunication against Elizabeth I in

Doc 11. A 19
c romanticized German
representation of Mary Stuarts last moments
before her execution on suspicion of plotting to kill
her cousin Elizabeth (1587)

Doc 12. A contemporary painting of the St Bartholomews Day massacre (1572) in France by the
Huguenot artist Franois Dubois (who was reputedly an eyewitness) and which was widely circulated in

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc 13. An Homilie [Sermon] against disobedience and wilfull rebellion (1571)

[] As in reading of the holy Scriptures, we shall finde in very many and almost infinite places, as well of the olde
Testament, as of the new, that Kings and Princes, as well the evill as the good, doe raigne by Gods ordinance, and that
subjects are bounden to obey them (Psalms 18.50, 20.6, 21.2, Proverbs 8.15-16): that GOD doth give Princes wisedome,
great power, and authority: that GOD defendeth them against their enemies, and destroyeth their enemies horribly: that
the anger and displeasure of the Prince, is as the roaring of a Lyon, and the very messenger of death: and that the subiect 5
that provoketh him to displeasure, sinneth against his own soule: With many other things, concerning both the authority
of Princes, and the dutie of subjects. But here let us rehearse two speciall places out of the new Testament, which may
stand in stead of all other. The first out of Saint Pauls Epistle to the Romanes and the thirteenth Chapter, where he
writeth thus unto all subjects, Let every soule be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no power but of GOD, and
the powers that be, are ordeined of GOD (Romans 13.1). Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the 10
ordinance of GOD, and they that resist, shall receive to themselves damnation. [] it is most evident that Kings,
Queenes, and other Princes (for he speaketh of authoritie and power, be it in men or women) are ordeined of GOD, are to
be obeyed and honoured of their subjects: that such subjects, as are disobedient or rebellious against their Princes,
disobey GOD, and procure their owne damnation: that the government of Princes is a great blessing of GOD, given for
the common wealth, specially of the good and godly: For the comfort and cherishing of whom GOD giveth and setteth 15
up princes: and on the contrary part, to the feare and for the punishment of the evill and wicked. []

1) Why did Elizabeths government insist on obedience to the monarch?
2) In what ways could hard-line Calvinist Protestants as well as Catholics be considered as enemies to the

Doc 14. John Foxe and the Bible

The Book of Martyrs [first printed in 1554] is the popular shorthand name of Foxes monumental work Actes and
Monuments of these latter and perilous days [] the most comprehensive and masterful circumstantial sufferings of
Marian martyrs, the great men and simple people alike, presented as just another expression, the most recent and the
most obvious, of Englands loyalty to the true religion for which it had suffered many times in the past and which it on 20
numerous occasions had been called to defend against ungodly foreign assailants. The message of the book was that
England was in covenant with God, had remained faithful to the true religion in the past, and now was leading the world
in the Reformation, because it was favored in His sight. Being English in fact implied being a true Christian; the English
people was chosen, separated from others and distinguished by God; the strength and glory of England was the interest
of His Church; and the triumph of Protestantism was a national triumph. Such identification of the Reformation with 25
Englishness led to the definition of the See of Rome as the prime national enemy, which implied the exclusion of English
Catholics from membership in the nation. [] The status of Foxes book, the influence it was allowed to exert on the
minds of sixteenth- and seventeenth- century Englishmen, was far above that of any other work of the age, and
comparable only to that of the Bible. []
[] Queen Marys reign [] offended a significant part of the population in its national consciousness, the 30
consciousness that elevated masses of Englishmen to the position of an elite and gave to each one among them that sweet
feeling of dignity []. The reaction to this offense was [] the accentuation of the anti-monarchical implications of the
national idea and the reinterpretation of the nation as the only source of authority. []
The English Bible and the unprecedented stimulation of literacy were functionally equivalent, for a great mass of
common Englishmen, to the effects of [] social elevation []. This mass of readers was elevated and acquired a 35
totally new dignity, the sense of which was reinforced by national identity and led them to embrace it. [] The end of
[Marys] reign [] brought about the close association of the Protestant and national causes. This association provided
the growing national consciousness with Divine sanction, represented the national sentiment as religious []. It seemed
as if all the important factors in English history of the time conspired to favor this growth []. Thus English nationalism
had the time to gestate; it was allowed and helped to permeate every sphere of political and cultural life and spread 40
into every sector of society except the lowest []

Source: Liah Greenfeld, Nationalism, Five Roads to Modernity, Chapter 1: Gods Firstborn: England, Cambrige:
Harvard University Press, 1992, pp. 60-1, 71, 87.

1) In what ways were Protestantism and national identity linked to one another in the second half of the 16

c in England?
2) To what extent can this burgeoning national identity be seen to have both reinforced and undermined the
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc 15. Queen Elizabeths Reply to a Petition from the House of Commons on Marriage (1559)
Concerning Marriage, which ye so earnestly move me to, I have been long since perswaded, that I was sent into this
world by God to think and doe those things chiefly which may tend to his Glory. Hereupon have I chosen that kind of
life which is most free from the troublesome Cares of this world, that I might attend the Service of God alone. From
which if either the tendred Marriages of most Potent Princes, or the danger of Death intended against me, could have 5
removed me, I had long agone enjoyed the honour of an Husband. And these things have I thought upon when I was a
private person. But now that the publick Care of governing the Kingdom is laid upon me, to draw upon me also the Cares
of Marriage may seem a point of inconsiderate Folly. Yea, to satisfie you, I have already joyned my self in Marriage to
an Husband, namely, the Kingdom of England. And behold (said she which I marvell ye have forgotten,) the Pledge of
this my Wedlock and Marriage with my Kingdom. (And therewith she drew the Ring from her Finger, and shewed it, 10
wherewith at her Coronation she had in a set form of words solemnly given her self in Marriage to her Kingdom.) Here
having made a pause, And do not (saith she) upbraid me with miserable lack of Children: for every one of you, and as
many as are Englishmen, are Children and Kinsmen to me; of whom if God deprive me not, (which God forbid) I cannot
without injury be accounted Barren. But I commend you that ye have not appointed me an Husband, for that were most
unworthy the Majesty of an absolute Princess, and unbeseeming your Wisedom, which are Subjects born. Nevertheless if 15
it please God that I enter into another course of life, I promise you I will doe nothing which may be prejudicial to the
Commonwealth, but will take such a Husband, as near as may be, as will have as great a Care of the Commonwealth as
my self. But if I continue in this kind of life I have begun, I doubt not but God will so direct mine own and your
Counsels, that ye shall not need to doubt of a Successour which may be more beneficial to the Commonwealth than he
which may be born of me, considering that the Issue of the best Princes many times degenerateth. And to me it shall be a 20
full satisfaction, both for the memorial of my Name, and for my Glory also, if when I shall let my last breath, it be
ingraven upon my Marble Tomb, Here lieth Elizabeth, which Reigned a Virgin, and died a Virgin.

1) What arguments did Elizabeth use to justify her not marrying a foreign prince?
2) How might Elizabeths conception of marriage have impacted on her own status as Queen of England?

Doc 16: Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I as the Virgin Queen, or the Armada Portrait by George Gower

1) What historical event is depicted in the background?
2) What role is the Queen meant to fulfil in this portrait? Concentrate on the main symbols of royal power
3) Focus on the Queens appearance (clothes, jewelry, etc.). How can you relate this to the myth of the Virgin Queen?
4) How can you link this myth to the historical event depicted here?
5) How did this historical event affect Englands relationship with the rest of Europe?
6) In what ways did it modify the way that the English saw themselves from a religious as well as from a political point
of view?
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Week 5: The rise of royal absolutism (early 17
Compare the contrasting visions of kingship in documents 1 and 2

Doc 1. Frontispiece to Eikon Basilike (The Image of the
King), the book supposedly written by King Charles
just before his execution in January 1649.

Doc 2. Charles I opening Parliament, 1625

Compare the contrasting visions of the respective roles of King and Parliament in docs 3 & 4:

Doc.3. From Sir Thomas Smith, De Republica Anglorum, 1583.
The most high and absolute power of the realm of England is in the Parliament. For as in war where the king himself in
person, the nobility, the rest of the gentility, and the yeomanry is, there is the force and power of England: so in peace
and consultation where the Prince is to give life, and the last and highest commandment, the Barony for the nobility and
lords, the knights, esquires, gentlemen and commons for the lower part of the commonwealth, the bishops for the clergy
be present to advertise, consult and show what is good and necessary for the commonwealth, and to consult together, and 5
upon mature deliberation every bill or law being thrice read and disputed upon in either house, the other two parts first
each apart [= the two houses first debate separately before they gather together when the Prince comes into Parliament],
and after the Prince himself in presence of both the parties doth consent unto and alloweth. That is the Prince's and whole
realm's deed: whereupon justly no man can complain, but must accommodate himself to find it good and obey it. That
which is done by this consent is called firm, and stable, and sanctum, and is taken for law. The Parliament abrogateth old 10
laws, maketh new, giveth orders for things past, and for things hereafter to be followed, changeth rights, and possessions
of private men, legitimateth bastards, establisheth forms of religion, altereth weights and measures, giveth forms of
succession to the crown, defineth of doubtful rights, whereof is no law already made, appointeth subsidies, tails, taxes,
and impositions, giveth most free pardons and absolutions, restoreth in blood and name as the highest court, condemneth
or absolveth them whom the Prince will put to that trial: And to be short, ... the parliament of England ... representeth 15
and hath the power of the whole realm both the head and the body. For every Englishman is intended to be there present,
either in person or by procuration and attorneys, of what preeminence, state, dignity, or quality soever he be, from the
Prince (be he King or Queen) to the lowest person of England. And the consent of Parliament is taken to be every man's
Sir Thomas Smith then describes how the two houses of Parliament debate and vote on bills, which are then presented 20
to the Sovereign at the end of the parliamentary session : Thus no bill is an act of Parliament, ordinance, edict or law,
until both the houses severally [=separately] have agreed unto it ... But the last day of that Parliament or session the
Prince cometh in person ... the chancellor in the Princes name giveth thanks to the Lords and Commons for their pains
and travails taken, which he saith the Prince ... hath well viewed and weighed what hath been moved and presented and
debated among the Lords and them [the Commons] and thereupon will show his mind that the doings might have perfect 25
life and accomplishment by his princely authority, and so have the whole consent of the Realm. Then one reads the title
of every act which hath passed at that session, but only in this fashion : An act concerning such a thing, etc. It is marked
there what the Prince doth allow, and to such he saith : Le roy or la royne le veult. And those be taken now as perfect
laws and ordinances of the Realm of England and none other ... To those which the Prince liketh not, he answereth, Le
roy or la royne sadvise and those be accounted utterly dashed and of none effect. 30
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc. 4: James Is address to Parliament (21 March 1610)

The estate of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth, and sit
upon God's throne, but even by God himself they are called gods. There be three principal similitudes that illustrate the
state of monarchy: one taken out of the word of God; and the two other out of the grounds of policy and philosophy. In
the Scriptures kings are called the gods, and so their power after a certain relation compared to the divine power. Kings 5
are also compared to fathers of families; for a king is truly parens patriae, the politic father of his people. And lastly,
kings are compared to the head of this microcosm of the body of man.
Kings are justly calls gods, for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of divine power upon earth; for if you will
consider the attributes to God, you shall see how they agree in the person of a king. God hath power to create or destroy,
make war or unmake at his pleasure, to give life or send death, to judge all and to be judged nor accountable to none, to 10
raise low things and to make high things low at his pleasure, and to God are both soul and body due. And the like power
have kings: they make and unmake their subjects, they have power of raising and casting down, of life and of death,
judges over all their subjects and in all causes and yet accountable to none but God only. They have power to exalt low
things and abase high things, and make of their subjects, like men at the chess, -- a pawn to take a bishop or a knight --
and to cry up or down any of their subjects, as they do their money. And to the King is due both the affection of the soul 15
and the service of the body of his subjects. . . .
I would wish you [] do not meddle with the main points of government; that is my craft: tractent fabrilia fabri, -- to
meddle with that were to lessen me. [] I must not be taught my office.

Docs 5 & 6 illustrate how Parliament clashed with King Charles I. How does Parliament justify these
acts of resistance?

Doc.5. The Petition of Right, 1628

The Petition exhibited to his Majesty by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament
assembled, concerning divers Rights and Liberties of the Subject.

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty

I. Humbly show unto our Sovereign Lord the King, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament
assembles, that whereas it is declared and enacted by a statute made in the time of the reign of King Edward I
, 20
commonly called Stratutum de Tellagio non Concedendo, that no tallage
or aid shall be laid or levied by the king or his
heirs in this realm, without the good will and assent of the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, knights, burgesses, and
other the freemen of the commonalty of this realm; and by authority of parliament holden in the five-and-twentieth year
of the reign of King Edward III, it is declared and enacted, that from thenceforth no person should be compelled to make
any loans to the king against his will, because such loans were against reason and the franchise [=freedom] of the land; 25
and by other laws of this realm it is provided, that none should be charged by any charge or imposition called a
benevolence, nor by such like charge; by which statutes before mentioned, and other the good laws and statutes of this
realm, your subjects have inherited this freedom, that they should not be compelled to contribute to any tax, tallage, aid,
or other like charge not set by common consent, in parliament.
II. Yet nevertheless of late divers commissions directed to sundry [=several] commissioners in several counties, with 30
instructions, have issued; by means whereof your people have been in divers places assembled, and required to lend
certain sums of money unto your Majesty, and many of them, upon their refusal so to do, have had an oath administered
unto them not warrantable [=foreseen, planned ahead] by the laws or statutes of this realm, and have been constrained to
become bound and make appearance and give utterance before your Privy Council
and in other places, and others of
them have been therefore imprisoned, confined, and sundry other ways molested and disquieted; and divers other charges 35
have been laid and levied upon your people in several counties by lord lieutenants, deputy lieutenants, commissioners for
musters, justices of peace and others, by command or direction from your Majesty, or your Privy Council, against the
laws and free custom of the realm.
III. And whereas also by the statute called 'The Great Charter of the Liberties of England,' [=Magna Carta, 1215] it is
declared and enacted, that no freeman may be taken or imprisoned or be disseized [=dispossessed] of his freehold 40
[=freehold] or liberties, or his free customs, or be outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, but by the lawful
judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.

Edward I (reigned 1272-1307) had to fight the rebellion of his own barons several times and ended up setting the Model Parliament of 1295,
which for the first time in the history of English Parliaments gave full authority to the representatives of the counties and boroughs (the
A tax levied by medieval kings.
Advisory council to the King. The most powerful legislative body at the time.
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

IV. And in the eight-and-twentieth year of the reign of King Edward III, it was declared and enacted by authority of
parliament, that no man, of what estate or condition that he be, should be put out of his land or tenement [=residence],
nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disinherited nor put to death without being brought to answer by due process of law.
V. Nevertheless, against the tenor [=contents] of the said statutes, and other the good laws and statutes of your realm to
that end provided, divers of your subjects have of late been imprisoned without any cause showed; and when for their 5
deliverance they were brought before your justices by your Majesty's writs of habeas corpus
, there to undergo and
receive as the court should order, and their keepers commanded to certify the causes of their detainer
, no cause was
certified, but that they were detained by your Majesty's special command, signified by the lords of your Privy Council,
and yet were returned back to several prisons, without being charged with anything to which they might make answer
according to the law. [] 10
X. They do therefore humbly pray your most excellent Majesty, that no man hereafter be compelled to make or yield any
gift, loan, benevolence, tax, or such like charge, without common consent by Act of Parliament; and that none be called
to make answer, or take such oath, or to give attendance, or be confined, or otherwise molested or disquieted concerning
the same or for refusal thereof; and that no freeman, in any such manner as is before mentioned, be imprisoned or
detained; []. 15
Doc. 6: Extract from The Nineteen Propositions sent by the two Houses of Parliament to Charles I, 1 June

Your Majesty's most humble and faithful subjects, the Lords and Commons in Parliament, having nothing in their
thoughts and desires more precious and of higher esteem (next to the honour and immediate service of God) than the just
and faithful performance of their duty to your Majesty and this kingdom [] do in all humility and sincerity present to
your Majesty their most dutiful petition and advice, that out of your princely wisdom for the establishing your own 20
honour and safety, and gracious tenderness of the welfare and security of your subjects and dominions, you will be
pleased to grant and accept these their humble desires and propositions, as the most necessary effectual means, through
God's blessing, of removing those jealousies and differences which have unhappily fallen betwixt you and your people
Proposition 1. That the Lords and others of your Majesty's Privy Council, and such great officers and Ministers of State, 25
either at home or beyond the seas, may be put from your Privy Council, and from those offices and employments,
excepting such as shall be approved of by both Houses of Parliament; and that the persons put into the places and
employments of those that are removed may be approved of by both Houses of Parliament; and that the Privy
Councillors shall take an oath for the due execution of their places, in such form as shall be agreed upon by both Houses
of Parliament. 30
Proposition 2. That the great affairs of the kingdom may not be concluded or transacted by the advice of private men, or
by any unknown or unsworn councillors, but that such matters as concern the public, and are proper for the High Court
of Parliament, which is your Majesty's great and supreme council, may be debated, resolved and transacted only in
Parliament, and not elsewhere: and such as shall presume to do anything to the contrary shall be reserved to the censure
and judgment of Parliament: and such other matters of state as are proper for your Majesty's Privy Council shall be 35
debated and concluded by such of the nobility and others as shall from time to time be chosen for that place, by
approbation of both Houses of Parliament []

Doc 7. portrait of Charles I by Anton Van Dyck

The right for a prisoner to ask for his release if detained unlawfully.
= of their being detained.
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc 8. The Gentry, as defined in Expansion of the Anglo-American World 1688-1900, Ellipses, 1995, p.293:
A term used to cover the category of gentlemen landowners who did not hold aristocratic estates or titles
(Earl, Marquis, Viscount etc.) but were recognized as social superiors by their local community. They
sometimes rightfully held the heraldic title of knight (Sir) but, more usually, that of esquire. If many were
the lesser relatives of great aristocratic clans, other families had acquired wealth from urban trade or
manufacturing and had bought an estate in the country. By this procedure they could integrate the gentry in
one or two generations.

Docs 9 to 12: why was religion so important in the political events that led to the Civil War in the first
half of the 17

Doc.9. The Gunpowder Plot (1605)

Doc.10. The Puritans
A Protestant minority was dissatisfied with the half-reformed Church of England, and sought to persuade or pressurise Queen
Elizabeth I into further change (pressing for the removal of bishops & archbishops, ceremonial and liturgy). Their desire for further
purification of the Church led them to be nicknamed Puritans. In the 1570s attempts were made to introduce reform through
Parliament, prompting the angry Queen to forbid such discussions. Having lost the battle, Puritan preachers attempted to change the
Church from within.
By the 1620s two groups within the Anglican Church were locked in a fierce power struggle. Both the Arminians (who wanted to
reinforce the Catholic aspects of the Church of England) and the Puritans claimed to represent the original intentions of the
Elizabethan settlement of 1559. During James Is reign, both Arminian and Puritan clergy had been frustrated by the Kings refusal to
promote their members. The succession of Charles I upset the delicate balance maintained by his father, as the new King made clear
his preference for the Arminian Party.
Adapted from Angela Anderson, Stuart Britain, 1999, pp.11-12 & Dale Scarboro, England 1625-1660, 2005, p.29.

Doc.11. William Laud, born 1573, became Archbishop of Canterbury (the second highest
office in the Church of England just under the monarch) in 1633. He was the leader of the
Arminian party in the Church of England. His church reforms including a reinforcement of
liturgy & ceremonial and a strengthening of church discipline through the ecclesiastical courts
confirmed the Puritan suspicions that the Church of England was reverting back to
Catholicism, that the Puritans would be persecuted under these new reforms, and that the
King, being now given even more symbolical power through the new ceremonials and even
more personal control over his subjects through the church courts, tried to impose an absolute
monarchy. He was executed in 1645 by the Puritan Parliament that deemed him to be one of
Charless evil counsellors.

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc.12. A 20
century representation of English Puritans landing at Plymouth, New England, after crossing the
Atlantic on the Mayflower (1623)

Docs 13 & 14: to what extent can we say that the origins of the English Civil War were situated outside

Doc.13. The signing of the national Covenant under
Edinburgh Castle, 1638 (19
c illustration)

Doc.14. The Ulster Plantation (1606-9)

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Week 7: The Civil War & the English Revolution

Doc.1. The Battle of Edgehill in 1642, the first major
battle of the Civil War

Doc.2. Portrait of Oliver Cromwell, one of the leaders
of the parliamentary army in the 1640s

Doc 3. A chronology of the events

1625 Charles I becomes King.
1628 Petition of Right presented by Parliament to Charles after he imposed a Forced Loan on the population,
reminding him of the prerogatives and liberties of the English people.
1629-1640 King Charless 11 years of personal rule or 11 years tyranny. Charles pushing reforms of the church
and imposing arbitrary taxes (such as Ship Money) on the population without the consent of Parliament, which is not
called even once during the period.
1638 Bishops war between Charles and Scotland because Charles tries to impose the Anglican prayer book in
1640 Charles I is forced to call Parliament to mount a punitive expedition in Scotland -> beginning of the Long
Parliament (only dissolved in April 1653).
1640-41 Charles Is evil counsellors (the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Strafford, Archbishop Laud) are arrested
and later executed.
1641 Irish rebellion against English rule.
1641 Parliament imposes the Triennal Act: Parliament is to meet at least once every three years.
1642 After Charles I opposed Parliaments reforms, beginning of the 1
Civil War: Parliament vs. King, Roundheads
vs. Cavaliers. The war initially to the advantage of the Kings army.
1643 the collapse of the Episcopal Church of England leads hundreds of radical Protestant groups (or sects) and
individuals to speak and behave freely.
the English Parliament strikes an alliance with Scotland against Charles: the Solemn League and Covenant.
1645 Reorganisation of the parliamentary army under the leadership of Fairfax and Cromwell: the New Model Army.
1646 Charles I is defeated by Parliaments New Model Army. Charles is made prisoner.
1647 In search of a peace settlement with the King, inner divisions on the parliamentarian side between the social
conservatives who want the restoration of a limited monarchy and the more radical elements (especially within the
Army) who want a more radical redefinition of the constitution, with extended powers to the Parliament, universal
suffrage, liberty of conscience (religious freedom). Emergence of the Levellers movement.
- the King escapes from custody.
1648 the King launches a 2
Civil War on Parliament this time with the help of Scotland but is defeated.
- Same divisions within Parliament about the future: the Army kicks out of the House of Commons its most conservative
members in December.

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

1649 January: trial and execution of the King, the man of blood.
- Abolition of the monarchy and of the House of Lords, England is declared a Commonwealth: a republican
regime based on the remaining of the House of Commons (the Rump Parliament, those of the Long Parliament that
were not purged in December 1648) and a Council of State.
- The most radical elements within the Army and outside (the Levellers) are arrested by the new regime.
1649-1653 the Commonwealth or Republic: very slow-moving administrative & legal reforms, unclear religious
settlement: regime is tolerant of most shades of Protestantism but seeks to eradicate those Dissenters with the most
radical social outlook or political demands, such as the Diggers or the first Quakers.
1649-50 Cromwell crushes the Irish rebellion.
1651 Failure of Charles, the son to King Charles I, to recapture the throne: his armies are crushed at Worcester by
Cromwell. Scotland, who had supported Charles, is forced to submit to the rule of the Commonwealth.
1653 April: Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament (end of the Long Parliament). A Nominated Assembly, or
Parliament of Saints (also called Barebones Parliament) replaces it (members nominated by the leading Protestant
groups in the country, such as the Fifth Monarchists).
- December: Cromwell dissolves the Nominated Assembly and is made Lord Protector after the Instrument of
Government (Englands sole written constitution in its entire history) is adopted: a powerful executive limited by regular
parliaments (a draft model for a constitutional monarchy).
1653-59 - The Protectorate: Cromwell enforces the union of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland under the authority
of one single (English) state (1654); he turns down the title of King (1657); dies in 1658 and is succeeded by his son,
Richard, who abdicates in 1659.
1659 Return of the members of the Rump Parliament to power. Political confusion, successive failures of the
1660 - Members of Parliament invite Charles II to power, aided by generals of the parliamentary army, resulting in an
unconditional restoration of the monarchy. Charles IIs first parliament annuls every single piece of legislation passed
between 1640 and 1660.

Study docs 4 and 5 (a Dutch engraving on the left, and a French painting on the right, both
representing the execution of King Charles I on January 30, 1649). In what ways do these two pictures
contrast with one another and what do they tell us about the way that regicide was perceived in Europe
at the time?

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Study docs 6 to 8: in what ways can we say that the
Levellers and Diggers ideas were untypical of the 17

Doc.6. Digger pamphlet frontispiece (ca.1650)

Doc.8. Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector

In 1653, Oliver Cromwell, a member of the Gentry and
one of the leaders of Parliaments Army, was instaured
as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth/Republic in
order to safeguard England against the return of the
monarchy as well as the radical tendencies of radical
political groups such as the Levellers.

Doc.7. The Agreement of the People

The Agreement of the People was the principal
constitutional manifesto issued by the Levellers, a
radical political group that emerged during the period of
the Civil War. It was intended to be signed by all those
who wished to enjoy rights of citizenship. The
Agreement developed over several versions between
October 1647 and May 1649. Fundamental to the
Agreement was what the Levellers called native or
natural rights:
- freedom of worship
- freedom from compulsory conscription
- all men should be treated as equal under the law
- all laws should be good and not detrimental to the
well-being of individuals
In addition, they advocated the following political
- suffrage for all men aged 21 and over, except for
servants, beggars and Royalists
- annual Parliamentary elections, and Members serve
only one term
- no one to be punished for refusing to testify against
themselves (i.e. the right to remain silent)
- all those on trial have the right to call witnesses in
their defence
- trials to be in front of twelve sworn men of the
neighbourhood, freely chosen
- no hindrance to free trade
- no one to be imprisoned for debt
- death penalty abolished except for murder
After the execution of Charles I, the English Parliament
considered adopting the Agreement as Englands new
constitution, but its proposals were thought to be radical
so the draft manifesto was cast aside and the main
Leveller leaders arrested when they protested.
Adapted from: Mike Ashley, Taking Liberties, p.40.

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc. 9. The Civil War: the world turned upside down

Popular revolt was for many centuries an essential feature of the English tradition, and the middle decades of
the seventeenth century saw the greatest upheaval that yet occurred in Britain. [] The revolt within the
Revolution which is my subject took many forms, some better known than others. Groups like Levellers,
Diggers and Fifth Monarchists offered new political solutions (and in the case of the Diggers, new economic
solutions too). The various sects Baptists, Quakers, Muggletonians offered new religious solutions. Other 5
groups asked sceptical questions about all the institutions and beliefs of their society Seekers, Ranters, the
Diggers too. []
There were, we may oversimplify, two revolutions in mid-seventeenth century England. The one which
succeeded established the sacred rights of property (abolition of feudal tenures, no arbitrary taxation), gave
political power to the propertied (sovereignty of Parliament and the common law, abolition of prerogative 10
courts), and removed all impediments to the triumph of the ideology of the men of property the protestant
ethic. There was, however, another revolution which never happened, though from time to time, it threatened.
This might have established communal property, a far wider democracy in political and legal institutions,
might have disestablished the state church and rejected the protestant ethic. [] What was new in the
seventeenth century was the idea that the world might be 15
permanently turned upside down: that the dream world of the Land
of Cokayne or the kingdom of heaven might be attained on earth
now. []
I have tried elsewhere to suggest that there was a greater
background of class hostility in England before 1640 than 20
historians have normally recognized. A Scottish observer indeed
commented in 1614 on the bitter and distrustful attitude of
English common people towards the gentry and nobility. [] Not
far below the surface of Stuart society, then, discontent was rife.
This class antagonism was exacerbated by the financial hardships 25
of the years from 1620 to 1650, described as economically among
the most terrible in English history. [] Yet when the Long
Parliament found itself faced by a king who refused to surrender to
their demands, they were forced to look for support outside the
charmed circle of the ruling class. In London crowds of 30
demonstrators used to flock unto Westminster in moments of
crisis. They were most of them, men of mean or a middle quality
themselves, having no aldermen, merchants or Common-Council
among them They were modest in their apparel but not in their
language [] Before civil war started Charles I had warned the supporters of Parliament of the danger that 35
at last the common people may set up for themselves, call parity and independence liberty, destroy all
rights and properties, all distinctions of families and merit. The Scottish poet Drummond had the same
nightmare, asking whether [] peasants, clowns, farmers, base people all in arms, may not swallow the
nobles and gentry, invest their possessions, adhere together by a new Covenant, and follow our example.
And follow our example: the gentry by encouraging revolt in Scotland and England had broken the chain of 40
degree, disrupted the long accepted hierarchy of subordination; they had only themselves to blame for what
followed. Many observers feared that the common people, those below the ranks of a yeoman, would set up
for themselves as a third party. []

Source: Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down, Radical Ideas During the English Revolution,
Penguin, 1972, pp.13-33.

1) What does Christopher Hill mean when he speaks of two revolutions (from line 8 to 17)?
2) Why did modest men (l.34) get involved in the conflict and how did this impact the structure of
traditional English society?

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc.10. Thomas Hobbes Leviathan (1651), Chapter XIII, Of the Natural Condition of Mankind as
Concerning Their Felicity, and Misery

So that in the nature of man we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly,
The first maketh man invade for gain; the second, for safety; and the third, for reputation. The first use violence, to make
themselves masters of other mens persons, wives, children, and cattle; the second, to defend them; the third, for trifles,
as a word, a smile, a different opinion, and any other sign of undervalue, either direct in their persons or by reflection in 5
their kindred, their friends, their nation, their profession, or their name.
Hereby it is manifest that, during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that
condition which is called war, and such a war as is of every man against every man. []
Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time or war where every man is enemy to every man, the same is consequent to
the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them 10
withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture
of the earth, no navigation nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no
instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth; no
account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and, which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and
the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. 15

Questions: how is mans state of nature characterised by Hobbes? In what ways is this vision a reflection of
contemporary events? What should man do to leave the state of nature behind?

Doc.11. The frontispiece to Leviathan (1651)

1) How does the image of the King reflect
Hobbess view of a social contract?
2) Suggest possible explanations for the pictures
that are shown on either side of the title (a castle, a
crown, a cannon, etc.)
3) A leviathan is a monstrous whale. In the Bible,
Chapter 41 in the Book of Job is sub-titled Of
Gods great power in the leviathan. Why do you
think Hobbes called his treatise Leviathan? How
important is God in Hobbess account of the
origins of government?

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc. 12. Leviathan, Chapter XVII: Of the Causes, Generation, and Definition of a Common-Wealth
The only way to erect such a common power, as may be able to defend them from the invasion of foreigners, and the injuries of one
another, and thereby to secure them in such sort as that by their own industry and by the fruits of the earth they may nourish
themselves and live contentedly, is to confer all their power and strength upon one man, or upon one assembly of men, that may
reduce all their wills, by plurality of voices, unto one will: which is as much as to say, to appoint one man, or assembly of men, to bear
their person; and every one to own and acknowledge himself to be author of whatsoever he that so beareth their person shall act, or 5
cause to be acted, in those things which concern the common peace and safety; and therein to submit their wills, every one to his will,
and their judgements to his judgement. This is more than consent, or concord; it is a real unity of them all in one and the same person,
made by covenant of every man with every man, in such manner as if every man should say to every man: I authorise and give up my
right of governing myself to this man, or to this assembly of men, on this condition; that thou give up, thy right to him, and authorise
all his actions in like manner. This done, the multitude so united in one person is called a COMMONWEALTH; in Latin, CIVITAS. 10
This is the generation of that great LEVIATHAN, or rather, to speak more reverently, of that mortal god to which we owe, under the
immortal God, our peace and defence. For by this authority, given him by every particular man in the Commonwealth, he hath the use
of so much power and strength conferred on him that, by terror thereof, he is enabled to form the wills of them all, to peace at home,
and mutual aid against their enemies abroad. And in him consisteth the essence of the Commonwealth; which, to define it, is: one
person, of whose acts a great multitude, by mutual covenants one with another, have made themselves every one the author, to the end 15
he may use the strength and means of them all as he shall think expedient for their peace and common defence.
And he that carryeth this person is called sovereign, and said to have sovereign power; and every one besides, his subject.

Question: what is the basis of Leviathans authority? What part does Leviathan play in the contract that is
described here?

Doc.13. Charles IIs triumphant entry into London in 1660. In what ways was the restoration
of the monarchy truly unconditional?

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Week 8: The Restoration and the Glorious Revolution

Study Docs 1 to 4 and answer the following question: why were a lot of Parliamentarians in the late
1670s and in the 1680s opposed to James, the Catholic Duke of York, succeeding his brother
Charles II as King? What can explain the enduring anti-Catholic sentiment in Britain at the time?

Doc 1. King James II, formerly Duke of York

Doc 2. King Louis XIV of France, cousin to James

Doc 3. The Queen, Mary of Modena, James IIs 2

wife & a Catholic, and their son Prince James in 1688

Doc 4. The Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in1690,
opposing the Catholic armies of James II and the
Protestant parliamentary armies of William of Orange

Study docs 5 & 6. Why was the revolution of 1688-9 said to be glorious?

Doc 5. A lost cause. 19
c painting representing the
flight of James II after his defeat.

Doc.6. The celebration of the coronation of William
of Orange (William III) and Mary II

Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

James I (Stuart) of
England / James VI of
reigned over Scotland
reigned over England
married to Frederick
V, King of Bohemia
Charles I
reigned 1625-1649
Charles II
reigned 1660-1685
Mary (1631-1660)
married the Dutch
prince William of
James II
reigned 1685-1689
forced to abdicate
two wives
William III (of Orange)
reigned 1689-1702
Mary II
George I
reigned 1714-1727
The Old Pretender
Charles Edward,
Bonnie Prince
(died in 1788)
George II
reigned 1727-1760
George III
reigned 1760-1820
Sophia, married to
Ernst, the
(German) Elector
of Hanover

The Republic & the
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Doc 8. Extract from The Bill of Rights, 1689, issued by Parliament after William and Mary were
given the Crown

Whereas the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons assembled at Westminster, lawfully, fully and freely
representing all the estates of the people of this realm, did upon the thirteenth day of February in the year of our Lord
one thousand six hundred eighty-eight present unto their Majesties, then called and known by the names and style of
William and Mary, prince and princess of Orange, being present in their proper persons, a certain declaration in
writing made by the said Lords and Commons [] And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and 5
Commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled in a full and free representative of
this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first
place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and
liberties declare
That the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without consent of 10
Parliament is illegal;
That the pretended power of dispensing with laws or the execution of laws by regal authority, as it hath been
assumed and exercised of late, is illegal;
That the commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes, and all other
commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious; 15
That levying money for or to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer
time, or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal;
That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are
That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of 20
Parliament, is against law;
That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed
by law;
That election of members of Parliament ought to be free;
That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any 25
court or place out of Parliament;
That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments
That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought
to be freeholders; 30
That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;
And that for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening and preserving of the laws, Parliaments
ought to be held frequently.

1) why is the Bill of Rights often considered as one of the defining legal documents of the British
constitutional or parliamentary monarchy?
2) can we say that the Bill of Rights guarantees the protection of every Englishman and Englishwomans
liberties? Was this Bill the expression of a contract between king and people?

Doc.9. The Act of Settlement (1701) as presented by the official website of the British monarchy:

The Act of Settlement of 1701 was designed to secure the Protestant succession to the throne, and to strengthen the
guarantees for ensuring parliamentary system of government. The Act also strengthened the Bill of Rights (1689), 35
which had previously established the order of succession for Mary IIs heirs.
Marys father, James II, had fled England in 1688 during events described as the Glorious Revolution. Jamess
Roman Catholic sympathies and belief in the divine right of the Crown, resulted in disgruntled parliamentarians
offering the throne to his eldest Protestant daughter, Mary. She accepted it on condition that she could reign jointly
with her Dutch husband, William of Orange, who became William III. 40
From this time onwards the Bill of Rights proved to be of fundamental importance for the evolution of constitutional
monarchy. The Act of Settlement reinforced the Bill of Rights, in that it strengthened the principle that government
was undertaken by the Sovereign and his or her constitutional advisers (i.e. his or her Ministers), not by the
Sovereign and any personal advisers whom he or she happened to choose.
Although the Bill of Rights had established the order of succession with the heirs of Mary II, Anne and William III, 45
neither of James IIs daughters had surviving heirs casting uncertainty on the future of succession. Mary had died of
smallpox in 1694, aged 32, and by 1700 William was dying. Anne's only surviving child (out of 17 children), the
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

Duke of Gloucester, had died that same year at the age of 11. Without a confirmed heir the decision was made by
parliament to ensure that succession of future sovereigns remained within the Protestant faith.
According to the 1701 Act, succession to the throne went to Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover (James I's
granddaughter) and her Protestant heirs. However, Sophia died before Queen Anne, therefore the succession passed
to her son, George, Elector of Hanover, who in 1714 became King George I. The act was later extended to Scotland 5
as a result of the Treaty of Union enacted in the Acts of Union of 1707.
The Act also laid down the conditions under which alone the Crown could be held. No Roman Catholic, nor anyone
married to a Roman Catholic, could hold the English Crown. The Sovereign now had to swear to maintain the
Church of England (and after 1707, the Church of Scotland).

Why did the English Parliament want to forbid at all costs a Catholic prince from inheriting the throne in

Doc. 10. The Act of Union (1707)

For war and succession had made Scotlands allegiance a critical issue for the English government. In 1702 William 10
III had died []. His sister-in-law, Anne [] came to the throne after five infant deaths, at least thirteen
miscarriages and two episodes of pseudocyesis. The chances of her producing a surviving heir were assessed
pessimistically. Her last surviving son, Prince William Henry of Gloucester, had died in 1700 at the age of eleven.
Threatened with the undoing of 1688 and the jeopardizing of a Protestant succession, with the Act of Settlement of
1701 the Whig defenders of the Revolution had gone as far afield as Sophia, Electress of Hanover, daughter of 15
Charles Is sister, to pre-empt the much more obvious Catholic James Edward Stuart []. So with England at war
with Jamess patron and protector, Louis XIV, it now became even more imperative for the security of the realm that
Scotland be made to sign on to the Hanoverian succession. Chivvied along, the Scottish parliament at first demurred,
insisting on making its own separate arrangements for the throne of Scotland. An ugly economic war looked likely,
perhaps a prelude to the real thing. In 1705, an Alien Act was passed in Westminster, shutting down most of the 20
cross-border trade and deeming any Scots in England to be foreign subjects.
The blackmail worked. In 1706 commissioners from the two parliaments, not just the English but [] also the Scots
chosen by Queen Annes government met in separate rooms to consider a union of realms. The two sides never
confronted each other face to face, communicating only through messengers. In the streets of Edinburgh and
Glasgow there were riots. Daniel Defoe, ex-bankrupt, [] a propagandist for union, became alarmed in Edinburgh in 25
October 1706. I had not been Long There, he wrote [] but I heard a Great Noise and looking Out Saw a Terrible
Multitude Come up the High Street with a Drum at the head of them shouting and swearing and Cryeing Out all
Scotland would stand together. No Union. No Union. English Dogs and the like. I Can not say to you I had no
apprehensions. [] Defoe may have been a paid secret agent of the English government, but there is no doubt that
he was sincerely committed to his mission of persuasion. His Six Essays at Removing National Prejudices Against a 30
Union with Scotland, published in 1706-7, scornfully satirized those in both countries who liked to boast of the purity
of their race, when in fact, Defoe argued, the history of Britain was a history of happy mongrelism and had been all
the better for it. Paterson, the Scots founder of the Bank of England [], was one of his close friends, and Defoes
vision of a British future was of a free and natural movement of men, goods and ideas across the borders of the old
enemy kingdoms. The new Great Britain was supposed to end, once and for all, the endless history of sorrow and 35
bloodshed that had come between England and Scotland.
These kinds of sentiments, however well meaning, probably converted very few. Palms needed to be greased before
the deed could be done, though on what scale remains difficult to determine. Sums of money were certainly
distributed to secure the necessary votes for passage of the Union Bill through the Scottish Parliament, and promises
of landed estates were certainly dangled before obliging Scottish peers. But in the currency of early 18
century 40
politics, no decisions got taken without these kinds of lures, and some of the cash clearly went to Scotsmen who
continued to vote against the union. [] In the winter of 1706 it needed just six weeks for the Act of Union to go
through Westminster, ten for Holyrood. There were still hold-outs against it, unable to bear the loss of Scottish
independence, however grim the alternatives and however improved the economic outlook. Andrew Fletcher of
Saltoun, for one, bitterly opposed the union as a conspiracy to defraud Scotland of its liberty; and before the 45
juggernaut rolled over him, John Hamilton, second Baron Belhaven, delivered in parliament on 2 November 1706 a
Shakespearean lament for his country: Like Caesar sitting in the midst of our Senate attending the final blow
looking about her covering herself with her royal garment and breathing her last. Like other pro-unionists, Defoe
mocked the melodrama uttered by the rough, fat, black, noisy man more like a butcher than a lord. []
Brutal and peremptory though the process may have been, the union was not a crude annexation. The Scottish Kirk 50
retained its own identity and governance, the two systems of law were largely kept separate, and no change were
made to Scotlands universities, burghs and hereditary criminal jurisdictions. The parliament at Holyrood was to be
done away with, by voting for its own abolition, but Scotland was to have 45 members in the Commons, and 16
Civilisation britannique 2014-15 Semestre 1

elected, so-called representative peers at Westminster. The first set of MPs was elected by the Scottish Parliament in
1707, but from 1708 general elections were held in the Scottish constituencies. To the dismay of some, the number of
MPs had dropped dramatically from 157 to 45, but this might seem less of an outrage against a representative system
when one considers that for much of the 18
c the entire Scottish electorate numbered only some 2600 in a
population of one and a quarter of a million. What Scotland lost in 1707 was certainly not a democracy. But still it 5
had been a true political nation, a place in the world. And now as the Chancellor of Scotland, James Ogilvy, Earl of
Seafield, said as he signed the Act of Union, theres ane end of ane auld sang.

From Simon Schama, A History of Britain, 2001, pp.338-40.

1) How can you connect the Act of Union between England and Scotland with the events following the
Glorious Revolution?
2) Was this Union the result of an alliance between the two countries or the subjugation of Scotland to
England? And what is Simon Schamas personal answer to that question?

Doc 11: A short history of the British Union

1536- Wales assimilated into England: Wales loses its political independence as well as its institutions and is forced
to adopt English ones (ex: the entry for Wales in the 1888 Encyclopaedia Britannica: For Wales, see England)
1603 Union of the Crowns: England (& Wales) and Scotland share the same king when James VI of Scotland
becomes James I of England as well. However, England and Scotland remain two separate countries with two
distinct states and two distinct parliaments.
1707 Act or Treaty of Union: Union of the states between England (&Wales) and Scotland Scotland loses its
independence and its parliament but retains its own separate legal, religious and educational systems and sends its
representatives to the united British parliament in London one can speak of a united Great Britain
1606/9 Ulster Plantation: more and more people from England and Scotland form settlements in Ireland, in what
has often been described as a process of near-colonisation of Ireland. Violent clashes between the Irish natives and
the English & Scottish settlers.
1800 Act of Union uniting Great Britain and Ireland creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
1921 After a civil war of independence, partition of Ireland: Northern Ireland remains part of the UK (thus giving
the country its current name, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) whilst the south becomes
independent: the Irish Free State then the Republic of Ireland or Eire (1937)
1997 Devolution: Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland are given some degree of political autonomy with the
creation of legislative assemblies in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh although Westminster retains absolute
sovereignty and control over reserved matters such as foreign policy, defence and economic policy.

The English flag: St Georges Flag The Welsh flag
The Scottish flag: St Andrews flag The original Irish flag: St Patricks flag

The Union Jack (the UKs flag)

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Doc 12. (Adapted) extracts from entry John Locke in the
Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy:

John Locke (1632-1704), one of the most influential philosophers in the
history of modern thought. His main philosophical works are An Essay
Concerning Human Understanding (1690) which is mainly concerned with
the theory of knowledge and philosophy of science, and the Two Treatises of
Government (1689) which contains his political theory. [] Locke studied
metaphysics and logic at Oxford, but took a keen interest in contemporary
French philosophers like Descartes and Gassendi. He was interested, too, in
the developing experimental sciences. Lockes conservative political views
changed during his association with the first earl of Shaftesbury, who led the
opposition against Charles II in the early 1680s and founded the Whig party.
After the Glorious Revolution, Locke returned from Holland where he had
lived since 1683 for political reasons. [he had been suspected of being
involved in an attempt to assassinate Charles II]. []
In 1680-82 [] Locke composed, but did not publish his Two Treatises of Government. He wrote this book
against the background of the attempt (in the event unsuccessful) of Shaftesbury and the Whigs to exclude
James, Charles IIs Catholic brother, from succeeding to the throne. However, the importance of the Two
Treatises goes beyond this historical context. [] The fundamental questions that Locke addresses in the book
are these: what legitimizes political authority? And what function does political authority have to fulfill? In the
Second Treatise, he first explains what rights and duties human beings naturally have, independently and prior
to all positive law [law created by men]. About this law of nature he says: reason, which is that law, teaches
all mankind that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or
possessions. In other words, each individual has a right to life, liberty, and property, and it is the job of the
political authority to protect these rights of the individual: it is what legitimizes political authority.
Lockes argument that the people have a right of resistance against unjust authority is crucial to this theory. He
defines the relationship between the people and political authority in terms of the notion of trust. Whenever the
political authority breaks that trust and tries to reduce (the people) to slavery under arbitrary power, it
forfeits the power the people had put in its hands, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their
original liberty, and, by the establishment of a new legislative provide for their own safety and security, which
is the end for which they are in society. The people have a right to resistance and even revolution when the
political authority no longer fulfils its proper function, that is, protecting the rights of individual citizens to life,
liberty and property.
The impact of Lockes thought on subsequent philosophy has been immense. In the 18
century, Lockes
thought was at the centre of philosophical discussions. By emphasizing the primacy of critical reason in all areas,
Locke became one of the first and leading figures of the Enlightenment. Further, Lockes philosophy had a
strong effect on academic thought as well as on the educated public. Even today, Lockes views and arguments
are often the starting point of debates concerning a number of central philosophical issues.

Doc 13. From history-world.org/locke.htm: The Two Treatises of Government (1690) were written to justify the
Glorious Revolution of 1688-89. [] It was the threat of attack on the laws, property, and the Protestant religion that had
roused resistance to James II. Locke is expressing the concerns and interests of the landed and moneyed men by whose
consent James's successor, William III, came to the throne, and his commonwealth is strictly conservative, limiting the
franchise and the preponderant power to the propertied classes. Locke was thus no democrat in the modern sense and
was much concerned to make the poor work harder. Like Hooker [a 16
c political thinker], he assumes a conservative
social hierarchy with a relatively weak executive power and defends the propertied classes both against a ruler by divine
right and against radicals. [] Within the possibilities of the time, Locke thus advocated a constitutional mixed
government, limited by parliamentary control of the armed forces and of supply. Designed mainly to protect the rights of
property, it was deprived of the right of arbitrary taxation or imprisonment without trial and was in theory responsible to
all the people through the politically conscious minority who were thought to represent them.
Though he was socially conservative, Locke's writings are very important in the rise of liberal political philosophy. He
vindicates the responsibility of government to the governed, the rule of law through impartial judges, and the toleration
of religious and speculative opinion. He is an enemy of the totalitarian state, drawing on medieval arguments and
deploying them in practical, modern terms. His writings were most influential at the time of the American Revolution.

Question: in what ways was Lockes political philosophy representative of the Glorious Revolution?

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Week 9: The Whig oligarchy and the tyranny of Parliament

Doc 1. Queen Anne Stuart, reigned 1702-1714

Question: why did the German Elector of
Hanover, succeed to the British throne upon the
death of his cousin, Queen Anne, in 1714?

Doc 2. George, Elector of Hanover in Germany, who
became King of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714

Study docs 3 & 4. What is the conception (or misconception?) of the early 18
c Whigs and the Tories as
presented in the following documents?

Doc 3. Jonathan Swifts press article in the paper The Examiner (1710) about what he called the civil
schism between Whigs and Tories. Swift was not only a novelist known for Gullivers Travels but also a
Tory journalist and clergyman.

I am not sensible of any material difference there is between those who call themselves the Old Whigs, and a great
majority of the present Tories; at least by all I could ever find, from examining several persons of each denomination.
But it must be confessed that the present body of Whigs, as they now constitute that party, is a very odd mixture of
mankind, being forced to enlarge their bottom by taking in every heterodox professor either in religion or government,
whose opinions they were obliged to encourage for fear of lessening their number; while the bulk of the landed men and 5
people were entirely of the old sentiments. However, they still pretended a due regard to the monarchy and the Church,
even at the time when they were making the largest steps towards the ruin of both: but not being able to wipe off the
many accusations laid to their charge, they endeavoured, by throwing of scandal, to make the Tories appear blacker than
themselves, that so the people might join with them, as the smaller evil of the two.
But among all the reproaches which the Whigs have flung upon their adversaries, there is none hath done them more 10
service than that of passive obedience, as they represent it, with the consequences of non-resistance, arbitrary power,
indefeasible right, tyranny, popery, and what not? There is no accusation which has passed with more plausibility than
this, nor any that is supported with less justice. [] A Whig asks whether you hold passive obedience? you affirm it: he
then immediately cries out, "You are a Jacobite, a friend of France and the Pretender;" []
Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Passive Obedience as charged by the Whigs. 15
The doctrine of passive obedience is to believe that a king, even in a limited monarchy, holding his power only from
God, is only answerable to Him. That such a king is above all law, that the cruellest tyrant must be submitted to in all
things; and if his commands be ever so unlawful, you must neither fly nor resist, nor use any other weapons than prayers
and tears. Though he should force your wife or daughter, murder your children before your face, or cut off five hundred
heads in a morning for his diversion, you are still to wish him a long prosperous reign, and to be patient under all his 20
cruelties, with the same resignation as under a plague or a famine; because to resist him would be to resist God in the
person of His vicegerent. []
This and a great deal more hath, in a thousand papers and pamphlets, been laid to that doctrine of passive obedience,
which the Whigs are pleased to charge upon us. This is what they perpetually are instilling into the people to believe, as
the undoubted principles by which the present ministry, and a great majority in Parliament, do at this time proceed. [] 25
Let us therefore see what this doctrine is, when stripped of such misrepresentations, by describing it as really taught and
practised by the Tories, and then it will appear what grounds our adversaries have to accuse us upon this article.
Passive Obedience, as professed and practised by the Tories.
They think that in every government, whether monarchy or republic, there is placed a supreme, absolute, unlimited
power, to which passive obedience is due. That wherever is entrusted the power of making laws, that power is without all 30
bounds, can repeal or enact at pleasure whatever laws it thinks fit, and justly demands universal obedience and non-
resistance. That among us, as every body knows, this power is lodged in the king or queen, together with the lords and
commons of the kingdom; and therefore all decrees whatsoever, made by that power, are to be actively or passively
obeyed. That the administration or executive part of this power is in England solely entrusted with the prince, who in
administering those laws, ought to be no more resisted than the legislative power itself. But they do not conceive the 35
same absolute passive obedience to be due to a limited prince's commands, when they are directly contrary to the laws he
has consented to, and sworn to maintain. The crown may be sued as well as a private person; and if an arbitrary king of
England should send his officers to seize my lands or goods against law, I can lawfully resist them. []
But although the Tories allow all this, and did justify it by the share they had in the Revolution, yet they see no reason
for entering upon so ungrateful a subject, or raising controversies upon it, as if we were in daily apprehensions of 40
tyranny, under the reign of so excellent a princess, and while we have so many laws of late years made to limit the
prerogative; when according to the judgment of those who know our constitution best, things rather seem to lean to the
other extreme, which is equally to be avoided. []

Doc.4. John Tolands The State Anatomy of Great Britain (1717). Toland was a committed Whig
freethinker and rationalist philosopher.

BUT you tell me (My Lord) that besides the Jacobites, or adherents of the Pretender, you are informed there is a strong
party of Republicans or Commonwealths-men in England; which makes you in pain for the repose, if rot for the safety of 45
the King: and 1 answer that there is no such parry at all, nor, as I verily believe, one single Commonwealths-man in the
sense you understand them, that is, men who are either for an Aristocracy or a Democracy, or, if you'll have it worded
otherwise, for the sovereignty of a Parliament and Privy-Council, exclusive of all Regal Government whether limited or
unlimited, conditional or absolute. Kingship, on the contrary, is essential to our Constitution, and is the very first of our
three Estates []. Such a Constitution as this of ours, is reckoned the best of all others by the most judicious of the 50
ancients, as Aristotle, Polybius and Cicero. [] As for the word Commonwealth (which is the common-weal or good)
wherever we use it about our own government, we take it only in this sense: just as the word Respublica in Latin, is a
general word for all free Governments, of which we believe ours to be the best. []
OUR Lordship may now comprehend with the greatest ease, what you say has puzzled you too long, viz. the distinction
of Whig and Tory: for the Whigs declare for settled Laws, against arbitrary Will, maintained by the Tories, and the 55
limited, conditional, legally-hereditary Monarchy, I have been now describing, against a Monarchy indefeasibly-
hereditary, unlimited, and absolute, claimed by the fame Tories. Or, to be shorter, the Whigs are asserters of Liberty, and
the Tories abettors of Tyranny. The words themselves are but late nicknames, given by each party to the other in King
Charles IIs, reign; Tories in Ireland, and Whigs in Scotland, being what we in England call highwaymen, or you public
robbers: the Whigs thus insinuating that the Tories were for Popery and Despotic Power,- and the Tories, that the Whigs 60
were for Presbytery and a Commonwealth. You perceive therefore, that the Whigs are no Democratic Commonwealths-
men, but zealous supporters of the ancient Constitution under King, Lords, and Commons; and though they are avowedly
for resisting of Tyrants by arms on behalf of the laws, they are also as ready to expose their lives and fortunes in defence
of the honour and persons of good Princes, no less than for the preservation of the Monarchy itself. []

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Doc 5. A portrait of Sir Robert Walpole by Jean-Baptiste Van Loo,
1740. Walpole is commonly known (although the phrase was not used at the
time) as the first British Prime Minister in history.

1) What can explain Sir Robert Walpoles rise to prominence in the 1720s?
2) What legal, political or constitutional limitations were imposed on Walpoles
3) What legal, political or constitutional limitations were imposed on Prime
Ministers that took office after Walpole?
4) What criticisms were levelled at Walpole and the type of governance that he

Study docs 6 to 8. What do we learn about the electoral system and the parliamentary rgime of the 18

century in Britain?

Doc 6. Extract from The Diary of the late George Bubb Doddington, Baron of Melcombe Regis: from
March 8, 1748-9, to February 6, 1761
George Bubb Doddington was a prominent Whig MP, who tried to control the parliamentary elections in Dorsetshire for
many years. Just before this extract from his diary, he had just had an interview with the Duke of Newcastle, a key figure
among the Whigs, and one of Walpoles colleagues.

AUG 18 1753: We returned home to Eastbury. The excessive badness of the roads and weather, with the nature of the business, made
it much the most disagreeable journey, and the most fatiguing week I ever past. All this trouble, vexation, and expense, as well as that
to come, flows from a set of low, worthless fellows who finding they shall not be bribed without an opposition, have prevailed on
Lord Egmont to lend his name, to whom they will give one vote, that they may be able to sell the other. [= Lord Egmont was
convinced by some men to stand as candidate for election in Bridgewater and has now therefore become an opponent to Bubb
Doddington who is also standing for election there]

DEC 11 1753: I saw the Duke of Newcastle, and [] told him that, in these matters, those who would take money, I would pay, and
not bring him a bill: those, that would not take money, he must pay []

APR 11 1754: Dr Sharp and I set out from Eastbury, at four o'clock in the morning, for Bridgewater, where, as I expected, I found
things very disagreeably framed.

12: Lord Egmont came with trumpets, noise, &c...

14,15, 16: Spent in the infamous and disagreeable compliance with the low habits of venal wretches. [= Bubb Doddington had to buy
the local voters wine and dinner at a great expense]

17: Came on the election, which I lost by the injustice of the returning officer [= the person who counted the vote]. The numbers were
for lord Egmont 119, for Mr Balch 114, for me 105. Of my good votes, 15 were rejected; 8 bad votes for lord Egmont were received.

18: Left Bridgwater for ever.

APR 26: I went to the Duke of Newcastles. Received with much seeming affection: thanks for Weymouth, where I had succeeded:
sorrow for Bridgewater, where I had not I began by telling him that I had done all that was in the power of money and labour, and
showed him two bills for money remitted thither thither [=there], before I went down, one of 1000, one of 500, besides all the
money then in my stewards hands, so that the election would cost me about 2,500 That, in spite of all, I had a fair majority of
legal votes, for that the mayor had admitted eight bad votes for Lord Egmont and refused fifteen good ones for me; so that it was
entirely in their own hands [= the Duke of Newcastles and his friends] to retrieve the borough [= electoral district] and get rid of a
troublesome opponent, if they pleased: that if [] the borough [was to be] put into Whig hands [] but that I, on my own account,
would have nothing more to do with it.

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Doc 7. Painting by William Hogarth in a series
of four dating 1755-58 describing the
parliamentary elections. Painting nbr 1:
Canvassing for Votes

Doc 8. Painting by William Hogarth in a
series of four dating 1755-58 describing
the parliamentary elections. Painting nbr 4:
Chairing the Members

William Hogarth will be remembered as the father of satirical caricatures and moral paintings, a genre which would later develop into
cartoons. His determination and stout middle-class values made him one of the most innovative artists of his generation and he
brought art to the common man for the first time in history. The artist was heavily influenced by 18th century life, culture and his
middle-class upbringing. He believed that art should have moral as well as aesthetic qualities and tried to bring this into all the work
he produced. Having lived in debtors' lodging for five years as a very young boy, Hogarth had seen the harder side of life and brought
a sense of gritty realism to all his paintings. What he believed to be the deterioration of British morals particularly concerned him and
his satirical engravings illustrate his concerns for his fellow countrymen. His series of moral paintings, such as A Harlot's
Progress and A Rake's Progress took a satirical look at the government and social scene of the day, and highlighted the best and
worst parts of English culture.
from http://www.artble.com/artists/william_hogarth

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Doc 9. Speech by Samuel Sandys in the House of Commons on the motion for the removal of Sir Robert
Walpole, 13 February 1741. Sandys was a landowner and MP who would be later be Minister at the Board of Trade
from 1761 to 1763.
I believe, there is not a gentleman of this house, who is not sensible, that both the foreign and the domestic measures of
our government, for several years past, have been dissatisfactory to a great majority of the nation. I believe, there is not a
gentleman in this house, if he will freely declare his sentiments, who is not sensible, that one single person in the
administration has not only been thought to be, but has actually been the chief, if not the sole adviser and promoter of all
those measures. The discontents, the reproaches, and even the curses of the people, are all directed against that single 5
person. [...] According to our constitution, we can have no sole and prime minister. We ought always to have several
prime ministers or officers of state. Every such officer has his own department; and no officer ought to meddle in the
affairs belonging to the department of another. But it is publicly known, that this minister having obtained a sole
influence over all our public councils, has not only assumed the sole direction of all public affairs, but has got every
officer of state removed that would not follow his direction, even in the affairs belonging to his own proper department. 10
By this means he has monopolised all the favours of the crown, and engrossed the sole disposal of all places, pensions,
titles, and ribbons, as well as preferments, civil, military, or ecclesiastical.
This, Sir, in itself a most heinous offence against our constitution: but he has greatly aggravated the heinousness of this
crime; for having thus monopolised all the favours of the crown, he has made blind direction to him at elections and in
parliament, the only ground to hope for any honours or preferments, and the only tenure by which any gentleman could 15
preserve what he had.
Can any gentleman who heard this declaration desire a proof of the ministers misconduct, or of his crimes? Was not this
openly avowing one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed by a minister in this kingdom? Was it not
avowing that he had made use of the favours of the crown for obtaining a corrupt majority in both houses of parliament,
and keeping that majority in a slavish dependence upon himself alone? And shall we allow a minister not only to do, but 20
openly to avow, what he ought to be hanged for, should he advise his sovereign to do? It is by means of this crime, sir,
that the minister I am speaking of has obtained the authority or approbation of parliament in every step of his conduct.

What is Sandys main argument in his attempt to expel Robert Walpole from the House of Commons?

Doc 10. Historian Christopher Hills article in The Guardian on the 15
of July 1989.

Mrs Thatchers attack on the French revolution is remarkable for several reasons. First, it seems extremely insensitive,
not to say ill-mannered, to launch such an attack on the event which she has been invited to France to celebrate. [...] Mrs 25
Thatcher is no doubt right to think that the hype about 1789 is overdone, and is made to serve current political purposes.
But so was the hype in England last year over the tercentenary of 1688, a much less significant event. Mrs Thatcher
claimed the Glorious Revolution of 1688 as a great victory for democracy, with which in fact it had nothing to do.
1688 established the sovereignty of a Parliament which represented perhaps 10 percent of the male population, and
secured in power the Whig oligarchy which ruled Great Britain until nineteenth-century democratic movements, not 30
uninfluenced by the French Revolution, began significantly to modify it.
In my view Mrs Thatcher criticises the French celebrations for the wrong reason. She would have been on safer ground if
she had pointed out that the French, after all, got the idea of revolution, of regicide, of a republic from the example of
seventeenth-century England. There is plenty of contemporary evidence for the careful study of the seventeenth-century
English revolution by French revolutionary leaders. Both Mirabeau and Brissot were much influenced by Catherine 35
Macaulays History of England, from 1603 to 1714, of which the first five volumes appeared between 1763 and 1771,
the last three a decade later. It was translated into French under the sponsorship of Mirabeau.
Mrs Thatcher claims that England managed things much more quietly than the French revolutionaries. Well, yes; but
King Charles I, the Earl of Strafford and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who were all decapitated in the 1640s, did not
see it quite that way. Our calm revolution of 1688 would have been impossible without the earlier turmoil of civil war 40
and military dictatorship. James II ran away prematurely in 1688 because he had learnt that kings have a joint in their
necks. Long before the rise of Napoleon the radicals of the French revolution were nervously anticipating the
appearance of a French Cromwell.
Mrs Thatcher is also quite wrong in her suggestion that Magna Carta had any connection with the rights of man. The
bold bad barons who forced it on King John would have been horrified at the thought, if indeed they had comprehended 45
it. It is as absurd as Mrs Thatchers suggestion that the revolution of 1688 was about democracy. The notion of the
rights of man go back to the slave society of the ancient Greeks and even further, as she rather vaguely claims. But the
demand for the rights of man was put forward as a political programme for the first time in the English revolution of the
1640s by the Levellers, a radically democratic party who [...] were swiftly suppressed, and the rights of man have never
been proclaimed by the government of this country. The Bill of Rights of 1689, of which Mrs Thatcher may have been 50
Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

vaguely thinking, was not ... a serious limitation on the power by the Crown, says Sir David Lindsay Keir, author of
the standard constitutional history of England; it made no claims to universal human rights. [...] The first government to
proclaim the rights of man was that of the American colonists in their revolt against British tyranny. France followed

If we are to follow Christopher Hills line of argument here, how revolutionary was the Glorious Revolution?

Doc 11. The battle of Culloden in 1745, the culminating point of the Jacobite Rising

1) What does the adjective Jacobite refer to?
2) Why did the Jacobite rebellion take place in 1745?
3) What was the outcome of this rebellion?

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Week 10: The economic transformation and the imperial
expansion of Britain in the 18

A/ Why did Britain become economically powerful in the 18

Doc 1. The Enclosures.

Adapted definition from the Oxford Dictionary of Economics: the process whereby open land or common land was
parcelled up into privately owned blocks or fields. In Britain this started in the 16th century, gathering pace during the
17th and 18th centuries, and is known as the Enclosure Movement. This mainly meant re-allocating the public rights
that people had to cultivation plots and common grazing to private landowners so that compact farms were created.
From the early 18th century this required a private Act of Parliament. Poor peasants and labourers were forbidden from
using the newly enclosed lands. This process resulted in the intensification of agricultural and pre-industrial (especially
wool) production in early modern Britain.

Early criticisms of the Enclosures:
John Spenser [a rich landowner] converted lands into pasture for sheep and other animals. Four persons who
had been living on those common grounds and working there were made unemployed by this. They were driven
into vagrancy (an extract from a government report, 1517)
your sheep that were wont to be so meek and tame, and so small eaters, now, as I heard say, be become so
great devourers and so wild, that they eat up, and swallow down the very men themselves. [] Noblemen and
gentlemen and certain abbots leave no ground for crops, they enclose all into pastures. The labourer must be
thrown out and soon what remains for them but to steal and be hung, or to wander about and beg? (Thomas
More, Utopia, 1516)

Doc 2. Joint-stock companies, adapted from Angela Anderson, Stuart England 1603-1714, Hodder &
Stoughton, 1999, p.230: Groups of merchants who joined together to set up a company in which the stock was shared
and jointly owned, in order to share the risks involved. They were particularly suitable for long-distance trading, where
both the risks and profits were high. In 1555 a group of London merchants were granted a royal charter to form the
Muscovy Company, to trade with Russia and the Baltic, while merchants from Bristol, Newcastle and Hull had begun to
trade in West Africa and Scandinavia. The most famous one would be the East India Company, founded in 1600, and
which dominated British trade with the Indian subcontinent until the 19

Doc 3. Mercantilism, adapted from Angela Anderson, Stuart England 1603-1714, Hodder & Stoughton, 1999,
p.231: Mercantilism: basically an economic theory whose central goal was the accumulation of national treasure, to be
achieved by exporting as much as possible and importing as little as possible. It led to a protectionist economic policy,
encouraging high duties and regulation to protect domestic industry, combined with aggressive expansion of foreign
markets by denying access to competitors. [] The value of colonies to a domestic economy lies in the provision of new
markets and new sources of raw materials, but neither will have effect if the colonists are free to sell their products to the
highest bidder, as they were under until 1650. By closing the colonial markets to foreign competition and forcing the
British colonies to trade exclusively with the Mother Country, the Navigation Acts of the 1650s and 1660s brought the
full benefit to England. The northern settlements in America provided an expanding market for English goods, while
those in the south and the East Indies were a source of raw materials like tobacco and sugar. Their demand for slave
labour allowed English merchants to break into the lucrative slave trade with Western Africa, while a very strict system
of control of the carrying trade tied with mercantilist policy increased both the numbers and profitability of English
ships. The Empire was closed to foreign shipping and this system thereby established a monopoly area of privilege for
British merchants.

Doc 4. The Bank of England, founded in London in
1694, which allowed for the constitution of a
national debt.

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Doc 5. The 18
c Stock Market: the South Sea Bubble. An extract from The London J ournal, 1-8
October 1720.

To the Author of the London Journal
Among the several surprising things which daily happen to us, in the present circumstances of our public credit, I think
nothing is more remarkable than the sudden and universal fright people have been in about their South-Sea stock [...]. I
can liken it to nothing so well, as to the panic that struck the whole kingdom at the Revolution, about the Irish coming to 5
cut our throats and burn our houses; which rose up to such a height, that it set all the people a running from one place to
another, as if they had been actually pursued, and as if the Irish had been just at their heels following of them sword in
hand, and really killing the hindmost that could not run so fast as their neighbours. It is like that alarm too, in this
particular more especially, that it possessed all the people at the same time. [] What cause can any man of the deepest
penetration give for the extravagant fight the people have been in about the South-Sea stock for some days past, and how 10
has the thing alone been a cause to itself? Apprehension and doubt, though of we know not what, were the first things that
brought stock to market. Stock coming to market increased those apprehensions, and that increase of apprehensions
brought still more stock to market, till the consequence grew up to frights and amazements: men sinking their own
estates by a kind of voluntary consent, and that voluntary consent rising up to a mere frenzy; fear depriving men of the
proper assistance of their reason; and so indeed men run down the price from one step to another, till in a word, it may be 15
said, they brought their stock to nothing, for fear of bringing it to nothing. Such, Sir, is the only original I can give of this
matter, and [it] amounts to no more than this, that indeed there has been no rational foundation for the whole; and the
only wonder to me in it all is that it should run so far and that the current should be so strong that nothing could stop it,
not the resolves of two general courts [...], no not a coalition with the Bank in point of credit. Nothing would check the
folly of our fears, but a panic prevailed, till men, as it were, run themselves out of breath, with throwing away their 20
estates, and sat still looking like men amazed. [...] But at the rate of a 100, to 130, or thereabouts, it stood at an
immovable bulwark which stopped the madness of the people, the Companys first establishment. This put them in mind
that there was an actual parliamentary security for the first subscription of the South-Sea stock, and to go below that was
against the nature of things; and an attempt to do so would have set all the nation a buying again. In short, here the
current stopped. And what has been the consequence? The very first occasion that offered, gave these poor frighted-out- 25
of-their-wit people time but to draw their breath, and they revived, their fears abated, the current recoils, and by the force
of its motion runs up again. And what is the consequence of all this, but that as fools always buy the little wits they get,
so we see those very men who sold their stock for a trifle in their fright, buying it in again dear as their senses return to
them, and thus the world runs round, Mr Journal; and pray take notice that this new circle will be completely finished,
when the rate of things being fixed at a just mediocrity may sell in proportion to their real worth, and men may know 30
what the real worth is. This, I take, is near at hand 40 and we have good reason to wish for it, that the frauds and craft of
jobbing may end, and our estates be no more subject to the follies of exalting hopes or amazing fears, and the value of
them rise and fall equally against nature and common sense.

Doc 6. The European Triangular Trade in the 18

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Doc 7. Britain and its main competitors in the 18

Doc 8. A map showing European colonies in the Americas before
the Treaty of Paris (1763). Britain controlled the colonies on most of the
North Atlantic coast, territories north of what is Canada today, as well as
Jamaica, Barbados and smaller islands in the West Indies

Doc 9. A map showing the increase of British power after the
Treaty of Paris (1763) in North America. The word claims is used
because even though European powers carved out amongst themselves
those territories, very few of them were actually settled by white

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

B/ What were the social and political effects of those economic changes?

Doc 10. Extract from Linda Colley, Britons, Forging the Nation, 1707-1837, Yale University Press, 1992,
p.367, 371: what, according to Linda Colley, led to the emergence of a British Nation in the 18

As this book has endeavoured to show, this was true but it was not the whole truth. War played a vital part in the
invention of a British nation after 1707, but it could never have been so influential without other factors, and in particular
without the impact of religion. It was their common investment in Protestantism that first allowed the English, the Welsh
and the Scots to become fused together, and to remain so, despite their many cultural divergences. And it was
Protestantism that helped to make Britains successive wars against France after 1689 so significant in terms of national
formation. A powerful and persistently threatening France became the haunting embodiment of the Catholic Other which
Britons had been taught to fear since the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Confronting it encouraged them to bury
their internal differences in the struggle for survival, victory and booty. [...] Impressive numbers of Britons did make a
step from a passive awareness of nation to an energetic participation on its behalf. But they did so in the main not just
because patriotism was recommended from above, but also because they expected to profit from it in some way. Men
and women became British patriots in order to advertise their prominence in the community, or out of ambition for state
or imperial employment, or because they believed that a wider British Empire would benefit them commercially, or out
of fear that a French victory would damage their security and livelihoods, or from a desire for excitement and an escape
from the humdrum, or because they felt that their religious identity was at stake [...] The rate of political change in
Britain in the two decades after Waterloo suggests that there is a relationship albeit a complex one between mass
involvement in a war effort and the widening of political rights and participation.

Doc 11. Broad Quay in Bristol, by Philip
Vandyke, 1780. In the 17
and 18
c, Bristol grew to
become the second largest English city after London. Its
prosperity was the result of trade with the American
colonies, the West Indies and Africa conducted from its

Doc 13. A painting of a coffee house in late 17

c London. The first coffee house opened in London in
1652 and symbolised a new era of leisure that the
upper and middle classes could afford on the strength of
the growing British Empire

Doc 12. London and the Thames by Canaletto,
1747. Over the course of the 18
c, English exports and
re-exports increased twelve-fold & London became
Europes most successful entrept for colonial produce.

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Doc 14. The Able
Doctor or America
Swallowing the Bitter
Draught, copper
engraving published in
the London Magazine,
April 1774, illustrating
the state of tension
growing between Britain
and the British North
American colonies. It
shows one distinct point
of view on Britains
policy and refers directly
to the dispute triggered
by the Tea Act of 1773
and to the ordering of the
closing of Boston
Harbour to all trade. These Westminster measures were labelled by the North American colonists as the Coercive
or Intolerable Acts.

Why did the Thirteen Colonies in North America rebel against the Mother Country (Britain)?

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Week 11: the impact of the American and French

Doc 1. Edmund Burke (1729-1797), born in Dublin and educated at a Quaker school
then at Trinity College. He embarked on a political career both in Dublin and London, and
became a prominent Whig MP. He is known for his Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of
our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757), a classic in the history of modern
aesthetics. In his political writings, Burke denounced the corruption, abuse and extravagance
of parliamentary politics and defended sound constitutional statesmanship against prevailing
misgovernment. He sympathised with the American colonies in their conflict against the
Crown, but later he condemned the French Revolution in his Reflections on the Revolution in
France (1790), which was read all over Europe and which strongly encouraged its rulers to
resist the French tidal wave. Although himself a Whig, his book has become a classic of
conservative political thought. The underlying principle is one of respect for inherited rights
and for established customs, and opposition to the attempts (respectively by James II, George
III and the French revolutionaries) to abolish them. If an established social fabric is torn apart,
the future prospects for society are unpromising.

Doc 2. Thomas Paine (1737-1809), born in Norfolk, the son of a Quaker smallholder and
corset-maker. He worked as a corset-maker from the age of 13, then became a sailor and a
schoolmaster. In 1771 he became an exciseman, but was dismissed as an agitator after fighting
for an increase in excisemens pay. In London he met Benjamin Franklin, who in 1774 helped
him to emigrate to America, where he settled as a radical journalist. After the outbreak of the
American Revolutionary War (1775-83), he published a pamphlet, Common Sense (January
1776) that urged an immediate declaration of independence (which would only become a reality
six months later). [] He became secretary to the congress committee on foreign affairs (1777-
79). He went on a mission to France in 1781, returned to England in 1787, where he published
The Rights of Man (1791-92), a reply to Edmund Burkes Reflections on the Revolution in
France; in it he supported the French Revolution, appealed for an overthrow of the British
monarchy and advocated a remarkably modern welfare-state programme, whose primary aim
was the abolition of poverty. He was indicted for treason in England, but slipped away to Paris,
where he was made a citizen of France and became a Member of the National Convention as dput for Pas-de-Calais
(1792-3). He opposed Louis XVIs execution and was thus imprisoned by Robespierre. On his release he wrote an attack
against religion, The Age of Reason (1794-6), which alienated most of his old friends, and on his return to America in
1802, he was ostracized as an atheist and a free-thinker and died alone and in poverty.

Doc 3. Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776.
[] As much hath been said of the advantages of reconciliation, which, like an agreeable dream, hath passed away and
left us as we were, it is but right, that we should examine the contrary side of the argument, and inquire into some of the
many material injuries which these colonies sustain, and always will sustain, by being connected with, and dependant on
Great Britain. To examine that connection and dependance, on the principles of nature and common sense, to see what
we have to trust to, if separated, and what we are to expect, if dependant. 5
I have heard it asserted by some, that as America hath flourished under her former connection with Great Britain, that the
same connection is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same effect. Nothing can be more
fallacious than this kind of argument. We may as well assert, that because a child has thrived upon milk, that it is never
to have meat; or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty. But even this is
admitting more than is true, for I answer roundly, that America would have flourished as much, and probably much 10
more, had no European power had any thing to do with her. The commerce by which she hath enriched herself are the
necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe.
But she has protected us, say some. That she hath engrossed us is true, and defended the continent at our expense as well
as her own is admitted, and she would have defended Turkey from the same motive, viz., the sake of trade and dominion.
Alas! we have been long led away by ancient prejudices and made large sacrifices to superstition. We have boasted the 15
protection of Great Britain, without considering, that her motive was interest not attachment; that she did not protect us
from our enemies on our account, but from her enemies on her own account, from those who had no quarrel with us on
Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

any other account, and who will always be our enemies on the same account. Let Britain wave her pretensions to the
continent, or the continent throw off the dependance, and we should be at peace with France and Spain were they at war
with Britain. []
It hath lately been asserted in parliament, that the colonies have no relation to each other but through the parent country,
i.e., that Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, and so on for the rest, are sister colonies by the way of England; this is certainly a 5
very roundabout way of proving relationship, but it is the nearest and only true way of proving enemyship, if I may so
call it. France and Spain never were, nor perhaps ever will be our enemies as Americans, but as our being the subjects of
Great Britain.
But Britain is the parent country, say some. Then the more shame upon her conduct. Even brutes do not devour their
young; nor savages make war upon their families; wherefore the assertion, if true, turns to her reproach; but it happens 10
not to be true, or only partly so, and the phrase parent or mother country hath been jesuitically adopted by the king and
his parasites, with a low papistical design of gaining an unfair bias on the credulous weakness of our minds. Europe, and
not England, is the parent country of America. This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers off civil
and religious liberty from every Part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but
from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants 15
from home pursues their descendants still. []

Doc 4. Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790
When they say the king owes his crown to the choice of his people and is therefore the only lawful sovereign in the
world, they will perhaps tell us they mean to say no more than that some of the king's predecessors have been called to
the throne by some sort of choice, and therefore he owes his crown to the choice of his people. [] For if you admit this
interpretation, how does their idea of election [=choice] differ from our idea of inheritance? And how does the settlement 20
of the crown in the Brunswick line [=from Hanover] derived from James the First come to legalize our monarchy rather
than that of any of the neighbouring countries? At some time or other, to be sure, all the beginners of dynasties were
chosen by those who called them to govern. There is ground enough for the opinion that all the kingdoms of Europe
were, at a remote period, elective, with more or fewer limitations in the objects of choice. But whatever kings might have
been here or elsewhere a thousand years ago, or in whatever manner the ruling dynasties of England or France may have 25
begun, the king of Great Britain is, at this day, king by a fixed rule of succession according to the laws of his country;
and whilst the legal conditions of the compact [=pact, contract] of sovereignty are performed by him (as they are
performed), he holdshis crown in contempt of the choice of the Revolution Society, who have not a single vote for a king
amongst them, either individually or collectively []
Whatever may be the success of evasion in explaining away the gross error of fact, which supposes that his Majesty [] 30
owes his crown to the choice of his people, yet nothing can evade their full explicit declaration concerning the principle
of a right in the people to choose; which right is directly maintained and tenaciously adhered to. All the oblique
insinuations concerning election bottom in this proposition and are referable to it. Lest the foundation of the king's
exclusive legal title should pass for a mere rant of adulatory freedom, the political divine proceeds dogmatically to assert

that, bythe principles of the Revolution, the people of England have acquired three fundamental rights, all which, with 35
him, compose one system and lie together in one short sentence, namely, that we have acquired a right:
(1) to choose our own governors.
(2) to cashier [=revoke] them for misconduct.
(3) to frame [=constitute] a government for ourselves.
This new and hitherto unheard-of bill of rights, though made in the name of the whole people, belongs to those 40
gentlemen and their faction only. The body of the people of England have no share in it. They utterly disclaim it. They
will resist the practical assertion of it with their lives and fortunes. They are bound to do so by the laws of their country
made at the time of that very Revolution which is appealed to in favor of the fictitious rights claimed bythe Society
which abuses its name.
THESE GENTLEMEN [] in all their reasonings on the Revolution of 1688, have a revolution which happened in 45
England about forty years before and the late French revolution, so much before their eyes and in their hearts that they
are constantly confounding all the three together. It is necessary that we should separate what they confound. We must
recall their erring fancies to the acts of the Revolution which we revere, for the discovery of its true principles. If the
principles of the Revolution of 1688 are anywhere to be found, it is in the statute called the Declaration of Right. In that
most wise, sober, and considerate declaration, drawn up by great lawyers and great statesmen, and not by warm and 50
inexperienced enthusiasts, not one word is said, nor one suggestionmade, of a general right "to choose our own
governors, to cashier them for misconduct, and to form a government for ourselves".
This Declaration of Right (the act of the 1st of William and Mary, sess. 2,ch. 2) is the cornerstone of our constitution as
reinforced, explained, improved, and in its fundamental principles for ever settled. It is called, "An Act for declaring the
rights and liberties of the subject, and for settling the succession of the crown". You will observe that these rights and 55
this succession are declared in one body and bound indissolubly together.
A few years after this period, a second opportunity offered for asserting aright of election to the crown. On the prospect
of a total failure of issue from King William, and from the Princess, afterwards Queen Anne, the consideration of the
settlement of the crown and of a further security for the liberties of the people again came before the legislature. Did they
Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

this second time make any provision for legalizing the crown on the spurious revolution principles []? No. They
followed the principles which prevailed in the Declaration of Right, indicating with more precision the persons who were
to inherit in the Protestant line. This act also incorporated, by the same policy, our liberties and an hereditary succession
in the same act. Instead of a right to choose our own governors, they declared that the succession in that line (the
Protestant line drawn from James the First), was absolutely necessary "for the peace, quiet, and security of the realm", 5
and that it was equally urgent on them "to maintain a certainty in the succession thereof,to which the subjects may safely
have recourse for their protection". Both these acts, in which are heard the unerring, unambiguous oracles of revolution
policy, instead of countenancing the delusive, gipsy predictions of a "right to choose our governors", prove to a
demonstration how totally adverse the wisdom of the nation was from turning a case of necessity into a rule of law.

Doc 5. Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

We have now to review the governments which arise out of society, in contradistinction to those which arose out of 10
superstition and conquest.
It has been thought a considerable advance towards establishing the principles of Freedom to say that Government is a
compact [=pact, contract] between those who govern and those who are governed; but this cannot be true, because it is
putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a
time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact 15
with. The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered
into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to
arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.
To possess ourselves of [= to have] a clear idea of what government is, or ought to be, we must trace it to its origin. In
doing this we shall easily discover that governments must have arisen either out of the people or over the people. Mr. 20
Burke has made no distinction. He investigates nothing to its source, and therefore he confounds everything; but he has
signified his intention of undertaking, at some future opportunity, a comparison between the constitution of England and
France. As he thus renders it a subject of controversy by throwing the gauntlet [=by challenging me/us], I take him upon
his own ground. [] And I accept it with the more readiness because it affords me, at the same time, an opportunity of
pursuing the subject with respect to governments arising out of society. 25
But it will be first necessary to define what is meant by a Constitution. It is not sufficient that we adopt the word; we
must fix also a standard signification to it.
A constitution is not a thing in name only, but in fact. It has not an ideal, but a real existence; and wherever it cannot be
produced in a visible form, there is none. A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only
the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting 30
its government. It is the body of elements, to which you can refer, and quote article by article; and which contains the
principles on which the government shall be established, the manner in which it shall be organised, the powers it shall
have, the mode of elections, the duration of Parliaments, or by what other name such bodies may be called; the powers
which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organisation of
a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act, and by which it shall be bound. A constitution, therefore, is 35
to a government what the laws made afterwards by that government are to a court of judicature [=justice]. The court of
judicature does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the
government is in like manner governed by the constitution.
Can, then, Mr. Burke produce [=show] the English Constitution? If he cannot, we may fairly conclude that though it has
been so much talked about, no such thing as a constitution exists, or ever did exist, and consequently that the people have 40
yet a constitution to form.
Mr. Burke will not, I presume, deny the position I have already advanced namely, that governments arise either out of
the people or over the people. The English Government is one of those which arose out of a conquest, and not out of
society, and consequently it arose over the people; and though it has been much modified from the opportunity of
circumstances since the time of William the Conqueror, the country has never yet regenerated itself, and is therefore 45
without a constitution.

Doc 6. This 1791 caricature by James Gilray shows Paine measuring the crown in
order to make a new pair of breeches. This is a reference to Paine having apprenticed as a corset-
maker which was often made in satirical prints and cartoons at the time, with the implicit idea that
Paines revolutionary ideals were in fact nothing but private ambition.

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Doc 7. Richard Price (1723-1791). A Welsh moral philosopher and nonconformist
preacher (a Protestant who refused to conform to the Church of England doctrine). He was
also a pamphleteer who was active in radical, republican and liberal causes such as the
American and the French Revolutions. He spent most of his life as a church minister in
Newington Green in London.

Doc 8. Richard Price on the English and French Revolutions, from A Discourse on the Love of our
Country, delivered on Nov. 4, 1789 to the Society for Commemorating the Revolution in Great Britain

I would farther direct you to remember, that though the Revolution [of 1688] was a great work, it was by no means a
perfect work; and that all was not then gained which was necessary to put the kingdom in the secure and complete
possession of the blessings of liberty. [] Yhe most important instance of the imperfect state in which the Revolution
left our constitution, is the inequality of our representation. I think, indeed, this defect in our constitution so gross and so
palpable, as to make it excellent chiefly in form and theory. You should remember that a representation in the legislature 5
of a kingdom is the basis of constitutional liberty in it, and of all legitimate government; and that without it a government
is nothing but an usurpation. When the representation is fair and equal, and at the same time vested with such powers as
our House of Commons possesses, a kingdom may be said to govern itself, and consequently to possess true liberty.
When the representation is partial, a kingdom possesses liberty only partially; and if extremely partial, it only gives a
semblance of liberty; but if not only extremely partial, but corruptly chosen, and under corrupt influence after being 10
chosen, it becomes a nuisance, and produces the worst of all forms of governmenta government by corruptiona
government carried on and supported by spreading venality and profligacy through a kingdom. May heaven preserve this
kingdom from a calamity so dreadful! It is the point of depravity to which abuses under such a government as ours
naturally tend, and the last stage of national unhappiness. We are, at present, I hope, at a great distance from it. But it
cannot be pretended that there are no advances towards it, or that there is no reason for apprehension and alarm. The 15
inadequateness of our representation has been long a subject of complaint. This is, in truth, our fundamental grievance;
and I do not think that any thing is much more our duty, as men who love their country, and are grateful for the
Revolution, than to unite our zeal in endeavouring to get it redressed. At the time of the American war, associations were
formed for this purpose in London, and other parts of the kingdom [...]. But all attention to it seems now lost, and the
probability is, that this inattention will continue, and that nothing will be done towards gaining for us this essential 20
blessing, till some great calamity again alarms our fears, or till some great abuse of power again provokes our
resentment; or, perhaps, till the acquisition of a pure and equal representation by other countries (while we are mocked
with the shadow) kindles our shame. [...]
What an eventful period is this! [...] I have lived to see a diffusion of knowledge, which has undermined superstition and
errorI have lived to see the rights of men better understood than ever; and nations panting for liberty, which seemed to 25
have lost the idea of it.I have lived to see Thirty Millions of people, indignant and resolute, spurning at slavery, and
demanding liberty with an irresistible voice; their king led in triumph, and an arbitrary monarch surrendering himself to
his subjects**.After sharing in the benefits of one Revolution, I have been spared to be a witness to two other
Revolutions, both glorious.And now, methinks, I see the ardour for liberty catching and spreading; a general
amendment beginning in human affairs; the dominion of kings changed for the dominion of laws, and the dominion of 30
priests giving way to the dominion of reason and conscience. Be encouraged, all ye friends of freedom, and writers in its
defence! The times are auspicious. Your labours have not been in vain. Behold kingdoms, admonished by you, starting
from sleep, breaking their fetters, and claiming justice from their oppressors! Behold, the light you have struck out, after
setting AMERICA free, reflected to FRANCE, and there kindled into a blaze that lays despotism in ashes, and warms
and illuminates Europe! 35

**In a later edition of his sermon, Price explained that the events to which I referred in these words were those only of
the 14th of July and the subsequent days, when, after the conquest of the Bastille, the King of France sought the
protection of the National Assembly and, by his own desire, was conducted amidst acclamations never before heard in
France to Paris, there to show himself to his people as the restorer of their liberty. 40

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2

Doc 9. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

She was the daughter of a handkerchief weaver and was born in London. In 1784 she
opened a school in Newington Green, in London, with her sister Eliza, where she
attended Richard Prices church services. She then became the governess in a rich
family in Ireland. Upon her dismissal in 1787, she settled back in London, and became
translator and literary advisor to Joseph Johnson, the publisher of radical texts. In this
capacity she became acquainted with and accepted among the most advanced circles of
London intellectual and radical thought that included thinkers and writers such
as Thomas Paine, William Godwin and William Blake. In 1790 she produced
her Vindication of the Rights of Man, the first response to Edmund Burke's Reflections
on the Revolution in France. She was furious that the man who had once defended the
American colonies so eloquently should now assault a revolution she approved of. In
1792, she published her Vindication on the Rights of Woman, an important work
which, advocating equality of the sexes, and the main doctrines of the later women's and feminist movements, made her
both famous and infamous in her own time. In the book she attacked the educational restrictions that kept women in a
state of "ignorance and slavish dependence." She was especially critical of a society that encouraged women to be
"docile and attentive to their looks to the exclusion of all else." She described marriage as "legal prostitution" and added
that women "may be convenient slaves, but slavery will have its constant effect, degrading the master and the abject
dependent." A confined existence also produced the sheer frustration that transformed these angels of the household
into tyrants over child and servant. Education held the key to achieving a sense of self-respect and a new self-image that
would enable women to put their capacities to good use. Though not devoid of class prejudice, Wollstonecrafts thought
was truly modern in many ways: when male radicals of her time were against female suffrage, she argued that the rights
of man and the rights of women were one and the same thing. In 1792 she also set out for Paris and witnessed
Robespierre's Terror, of which she was sharply critical. She married William Godwin in 1797 but died just after giving
birth to their child.

Doc 10. Adam Smiths economic ideas, from Crossing boundaries, Vanessa
Alayrac-Fielding, Fabien Grenche & Sandrine Parageau, Presses
Universitaires de Rennes, 2012, pp.74-5:

Protectionist policies governed Britains economy until the repeal of the Corn Laws
and the embrace of free trade in 1846. Commercial measures to limit imports from
abroad were implemented, seen as a way to protect the nations economy in a time of
growing competition in international trade, especially trade conducted overseas and in
the colonies. However, criticisms were levelled against state intervention, advocating
instead a free market seen as a self-adjusting mechanism. Scottish philosopher Adam
Smith, often seen as the father of economic liberalism, set out the principles of his
economic theory in his most famous work Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the
Wealth of Nations (1776). Supporting a laissez-faire economic model, he showed how
economic activity depended on individual self-interest, and on the right to own the
product of ones labour. According to Smith, an individuals selfish pursuit of his or
her own interest was beneficial to society as a whole. Refuting Bernard Mandevilles
claim that private vices may be turned into public benefits, Smith showed, on the contrary, that private passions,
notably the pursuit of individual profit, were virtuous and worked as an invisible hand for the good of society. Seeking
private gain resulted in the invisisible hand indirectly enriching and improving society: it is not from the benevolence
of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from the regard to their own self-interest. We
address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their
advantages. One of the tenets of Smiths theory was free trade, especially the free circulation of goods. The state was to
have a limited role, as natural regulation of economic transactions would ensue from natural healthy competition. He
argued that a free market offered variety of goods and services and encouraged competition which would naturally
translate to a tendency to keep prices low. He also advocated the division of labour in order to increase productivity. His
famous description of the division of labour as applied in a pin factory served as a model of new patterns of working
practices. It emphasised how specialisation and the rational organisation of work led to efficiency but also improved
workers conditions, allowing them to earn more by producing more.

Civilisation britannique Semestre 2


1066 Norman Conquest of England. Transfer of power from Anglo-Saxon chiefs to French-speaking
Norman Barons. Implementation of the feudal system.
1215 Magna Carta: King John is forced to share his power with his Barons and the church.
1295 Model Parliament: a national parliament comprising the monarch & two houses (later called House
of Lords and House of Commons). Less than 10% of the adult males have the right to vote and to elect
members of the House of Commons. Power resides in the clergy and the aristocracy.
and 14
c Feudal unrest characterised by several peasants revolts and armed conflicts between rival
aristocratic dynasties (see the War of the Roses).
1485-1603 the Tudor era: consolidation of royal power through royal prerogative courts and councils,
parliament often kept at distance from decision-making.
1534 - the monarch becomes the head of the Episcopal national Church of England; union of church & state
under Henry VIII.
1536-42 Wales is assimilated into England and loses its political independence.
1558-1603 reign of Elizabeth I. Consolidation (and isolation) of Englands position in Europe. See episode
of the Spanish Armada (1588). The Church of England is settled in a compromise between Catholicism and
1603 King James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England. Union of the crowns between England and
Scotland, though the two states remain distinct.
1603-1640 the early Stuart era: James I and Charles I are firm believers in the divine right of kings. Charles
I turns this theory into practice when he rules without Parliament for 11 years (1629-40).
1600s the Ulster Plantation: English & Scottish settlers in the north of Ireland.
1640-49 the Long Parliament, the Civil War and the English Revolution. Charles I is executed and the
monarchy & House of Lords are abolished in 1649.
1649-60 the Republic (or Commonwealth) and the Protectorate (Oliver Cromwell).
1660 Restoration of the monarchy under Charles II.
1678-1685 Exclusion Crisis: attempts by parliamentarians to exclude James, Charles IIs brother, from the
succession to the throne because of his conversion to Roman Catholicism (deemed to be synonymous with
absolutist rule and with foreign intervention in Englands national affairs) and his belief in the divine right of
1688-89 Glorious Revolution: James II is forced to flee England and abdicate the throne after the invasion
(supported by parliament) of William of Orange. William III and Mary II as joint-monarchs. Bill of Rights
(1689) imposing the supremacy of Parliament over the monarch: rise of the parliamentary/constitutional
1690 - James IIs army is crushed by William III at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. Firmer grip of England
over Ireland.
1701 Act of Settlement stipulating that only a Protestant can inherit the throne, thus barring James IIs
Catholic descendants from acceding to the throne.
1707 Act of Union between England and Scotland marking the institutional birth of Great Britain. A
union of the states as well as of the crowns. Scotland loses its independence but is given the right to
participate in English economic and imperial affairs.
1708 the royal veto is used for the very last time by Queen Anne.
1714 Hanoverian succession: George, the Protestant German Elector of Hanover, becomes King George I.
1720s-40s Whig ascendancy in Parliament. Sir Robert Walpole as the very first Prime Minister in British
1763 Treaty of Paris putting an end to the Seven Years War against France. Britains imperial dominions
are vastly expanded and the balance of power in Europe is tilting in favour of Britain.
1776-83 War of American Independence followed by the loss of the 13 North American colonies.
1793-1815 War against revolutionary then Napoleonic France. Repression of radical, democratic
movements in Britain.
1800 Act of Union between Britain and Ireland leading to the birth of the United Kingdom.
1810s-20s agitation for constitutional reform and the extension of the franchise (example of the Luddites).
1832 Great Reform Act, extending the right to vote to the middle-class males. The first step towards the
adoption of full democracy in the UK (the process is finally complete in 1928).