17th Century English Writers

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17th Century English Writers

By | March 2002
Page 1 of 7
Matt Mclellan
February 4, 2002
6pm class Monday

The Pen Is Mightier Than The King

The 17th century saw a king's head roll and an English Caesar sit the throne, in the midst of all of this a new class was rising. England in the 17th century was rife with change, there was much work to be done before the industrial revolution could fully grip the nation. For hundreds of years the monarch had dominated the political landscape, now that was changing radically. Although their remained a Monarch in power for most of this period they had seen their powers limited to the point of reducing them to the status of figurehead. As farming techniques and technology had improved, the population in England had increased steadily and the use of this new technology created a new class in society.(1) This merchant class was on the rise due in large part to the captured markets in North America and the West Indies which had made many a merchant richer than their aristocratic brethren. The British Parliament had seen its power expand over the last hundred years and would continue that trend in the 17th century finding itself with the power to behead even the king.(1) As Parliament flexed their new found muscle the king was forced to find the funding for his political intrigues among the new merchant class. In addition to this new found monetary prowess the middle classes had been exposed to a rich variety of philosophers who espoused the right of the people to rule themselves.(1) Revolution in the New World and in parts of Europe increasingly made the lower classes aware of their right to self-governance. The parliament a representative of the people showed its power in the 17th century by enacting the "Glorious Revolution" and crippling the English monarchy for the rest of time.(1) Indeed in the next century the French Revolution would show that not only a government body had the power to remove royalty, the common people could also spill royal blood. As a result of this...