On this day in 1629, King Charles I threw one of his many hissy fits and dissolved Parliament. This was the beginning of the “Personal Rule” but what is probably better described as “Eleven Years’ Tyranny.” But the whole of Chuck’s rule should be seen as a tyranny. He was a man who absolutely believed that God himself had determined that he should be absolute ruler. And that would have worked great in earlier times. But Chuck lived in different times. Parliament had gained a lot of power. In fact, it would only be a few decades before England officially had a constitutional monarchy.
But Chuck didn’t like the way that Parliament criticized him. So he dissolved Parliament. But this wasn’t the first time he had done it. He had done it three times during the first couple of years of his reign. And then, at the end of his eleven years of absolute monarchy, he called the “Short Parliament.” But he didn’t like it, so he dissolved it. Then he called the “Long Parliament.” He figured he could get his people in the Parliament, but he failed miserably. And the Long Parliament really didn’t like him, causing Chuck to leave London and put together an army and start the English Civil War.
This all ended badly for King Chuck. Seven years later, he would be tried for treason and beheaded. Sadly, this is not a happy ending. England wasn’t really prepared for not having a monarchy. And let’s face it: the English Civil War was an intra-class conflict — it didn’t have much to do with the working man. So just eleven years after lopping off Chuck’s head, they tracked down Chuck Junior and put him on the throne. And they executed a whole bunch of people who were involved in the civil war. But shortly after Chuck Junior’s death, major changes took place in England. Maybe we’ll talk about them later.
King Chuck is a great favorite of the Tories. They like him because he represents someone who was willing to tell the inferior people that they didn’t matter. Here in America, we have traditionally had a name for this: tyrant. But today, on the right, they have a new name for it: patriot. They don’t like the title “king,” however; they prefer “führer.”
Death to tyrants!