viernes, 30 de enero de 2015

January 30: Charles I, King of England, is publicly beheaded in 1649.

Portrait from the studio of Anthony van Dyck, 1636. 

Charles I came to the throne in 1625 after the death of his father, James I. Like his father, he believed in the Divine Right of Kings.

Even though, only the parliament could pass laws and authorize money for conflicts such as wars, because they refused to do as he wished, Charles chose to rule without them.

Charles depicted by Wenceslaus Hollar on horseback in front of his troops, 1644

King Charles made mistakes over and over again throughout his reign. He led his country England into Civil War and ultimately led to his death. He was executed in the public square on January 30th 1649, horrifying Europe.

       King Charles I of England taking leave of his children before his execution.

Charles I ruled over three kingdoms: England, Scotland, and Ireland from March 27th, 1625 until he was beheaded in January 30th, 1649.

An Eyewitness Representation of the Execution of King Charles I (1600-49) of England, 1649

During the seventeenth century there was a civil war in England known as the English Revolution, which took place in two stages: first, between 1643 and 1648, produced by the confrontation between advocates of an absolutist monarchical power and middle class with economic power, supporters of Parliament and led by MP and General Oliver Cromwell.

There was, then, a Republican interregnum between 1649 and 1660, during which Cromwell was proclaimed Lord Protector by a law called the Instrument of Government.

Also during this period, Cromwell established the Commonwealth by the military use against Ireland and Scotland, achieving a territorial rearrangement with massive expropriation of lands of Catholics.

Execution of Charles I. Illustration from History of England by Henry Tyrrell, 1860.

The second stage of the conflict occurred between 1688 and 1689, without military confrontation inside the Parliament which decided the establishment of a political system based on a parliamentary monarchy, which exists in current European monarchies. It eliminated absolutism by limiting the powers of the monarch and Parliament's involvement.

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European international relations were characterized by constant confrontation between the powers in pursuit of territorial expansion, economic and political power.