Did Charles I Succeed in Implementing Royal Absolutism During the Period of Personal Rule?

Topics: Charles I of England, Monarchy, English Civil War Pages: 4 (1478 words) Published: May 4, 2012
Did Charles I succeed in implementing royal absolutism during the period of Personal Rule? Royal absolutism is a state of government whereby the monarch rules supreme, with virtually no legislative power placed in other organisations such as Parliament. For the people of England in the 1630s, it was a very real threat. After the dissolving of Parliament in 1629, Charles I embarked on his Personal Rule. Without analysing whose fault the breakdown in relations was, it was probably the only thing Charles could do in the circumstances. Certainly, no dialogue with Parliament was possible. After 1629, the country became particularly distrustful of the King. Charles' problem was he was an inept ruler whose belief in such ideas as the Divine Right of Kings and Royal Prerogative meant that he did not moderate his beliefs publicly. England needed stability, the Continent was a very real threat at the time, and England needed a monarch to represent England and its people's principles. Unfortunately, Charles was not the right person. There is much debate over the legitimacy of the image Charles attempted to portray during Personal Rule. Evidence suggests Charles was simply a ‘collector of fine arts’, and simply wished to add lustre to his monarchy. The counter-argument is that paintings of Charles, the most famous of which were created by European artist Van Dyke, were presenting Charles as a ‘divine king’, implementing absolutism with images of the King atop large horses, looking out over his kingdom. Did Charles use these artworks to transform his public images, lend majesty to his physical attributes and glorify Monarchy? His clothes were often flamboyant, portraying wealth and royalty. His face, calm and relaxed, implying that the King is laid back and in control. This lack of emotion can also portray Charles a s a cool, calm and collected person, who has no trouble maintaining his vast Kingdom. The Court was the central point for Charles’ rule, a model for a reformed...
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