Re: A Canadian King, please
- From: Tripitaka <dsalo@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 01:53:17 -0700 (PDT)
On Aug 11, 3:31 am, Nick B II <Nicholas...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"Because in 1707 several Kings had caused civil wars by marrying
Catholics, and raising their kids as Catholics. One of the kids would
become King on Dad's death, and try to impose Catholicism on strongly
The above summary is wrong in almost every respect.
1) Of England's many civil wars, most occurred prior to the
Reformation and took place between parties who were Catholic on both
sides. The Civil Wars of 1642-1651 involved, for the most part, four
Protestant sects: the English royalists, who were for the most part
episcopalian Anglicans; the Scots, who were old-fashioned Kirk
Presbyterians; the English parliamentarians, who generally advocated a
Presbyterian Church of England; and the English Army, which was a
heterogeneous mix in which "Independents" of a Congregationalist bent
2) There were only four Catholics married to English monarchs after
the Reformation: James I's wife Anne of Denmark (a belated convert),
Charles I's wife Henriette Marie of France (born Catholic), Charles
II's wife Catherine of Braganza (a Portuguese princess, born
Catholic), and James II's wife Mary of Modena (born Catholic). In
addition, James II's first marriage had been to Anne Hyde, a covert
convert to Catholicism, despite being raised Protestant.
Now, of these four:
*Anne of Denmark's three children who survived to an age of reason
were all staunch Protestants.
*Henriette's six children who reached an age to make up their own
minds about religion were all _raised_ Protestant, but on coming of
age turned out a mixed bag:
**Mary, Elizabeth, and Henry were all Protestants;
**Henrietta became Catholic in order to marry the Duke of Orléans;
**James II became Catholic for personal reasons, at a fairly advanced
age (about 40)
**Charles II flirted with Catholicism for reasons of state (it helped
him get along with Louis XIV) and eventually converted on his
deathbed, most likely to please his brother.
*Catherine of Braganza had no children at all.
*Anne Hyde's two surviving daughters were both strong Protestants
(enough to abandon their father on the issue).
*Mary of Modena's two surviving children were both raised Catholic,
but this was after their father had ceased to be _de facto_ monarch.
There is thus a very poor correlation between having a Catholic mother
and being of Catholic religion or opinion. The prevailing influences
were education and adult friendships and liaisons, or (for women)
3) Of the five monarchs who were the children of post-Reformation
a) Charles I was Protestant all his life.
b) Charles II was Protestant almost his entire life, ruled as a
Protestant, and signed into law quite a few pieces of very harsh anti-
c) James II was Protestant for most of his younger life. He converted
to Catholicism several years after the Restoration, and not due to his
mother's influence. The influence of his first wife may have been
more relevant; but on the whole James's conversion seems to have been
based mostly on his own ratiocinations on the subject of religion than
d) Mary I was Protestant all her life.
e) Anne was Protestant all her life.
There was thus only one monarch, James II, who could possible fit
Nick's description -- and one does not equal "several kings". But
even with regard to James II, Nick's characterization breaks down.
James II did not "try to impose Catholicism on strongly Protestant
Parliaments" (however much contemporary Protestant opinion was pleased
to see it that way); rather, he attempted to enforce a régime of
religious _tolerance_, in which English Catholics would have the same
opportunities for advancement as Protestants (or, rather, Anglicans --
dissenting Protestants, not part of the state Church, were also
penalized by the laws of Charles II). In this he proceeded with
characteristic bluntness and by means of questionable legality,
prompting a rebellion against him.
However, this rebellion did *not* lead to civil war -- because James
II was abandoned by many of his own supporters, officers and
officials, and because he came to the very belated realization that
his army would not fight for him. The "Glorious Revolution" was not
completely bloodless, but the total number of casualties on both sides
was considerably less than 100. In the only major battle of the
Revolution, neither of the uniformed forces on either side was
English; the soldiers supporting William were Dutch, and those
supporting James were Irish.
There was thus not one single case in which a reigning monarch
"caused" a civil war "by marrying Catholics, and raising their kids as
Catholics". In fact, the children of the English royal family during
the Stuart period were raised Protestant, even when they had a
Catholic parent. Only the children of James II and Mary of Modena
were raised Catholic -- but that was after the Revolution, when they
were living in Catholic France. And while James II's religion and
religious policies had a good deal to do with his ouster, his religion
had little or nothing to do with his parentage, and it did not lead to
a civil war.
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