To What Extent Can The Years 1661-1667 Be Seen As Successful For Charles II?
The end of the interregnum government heralded Charles II's return to the throne. The period known as the restoration can be argued to have been 'successful' for Charles. However, a successful reign can be distinguished in many ways. At the time one of the most important issues for Charles was trying to create a stable financial and stable settlement after the long period without a Monarch, and to an extent, 'success', can be defined to whether a stable settlement was established. Charles' triumphant, Anglican, State Church was arguably successful as it formed a stable religious settlement, yet on the other hand, it was not what Charles initially wanted. In this way it could be argued that 'success' can be measured to what extent Charles got what he wanted, and how much control he had over his Parliament. A successful reign can also be measured by assessing how well liked Charles was by his people at the time of financial difficulty following the grievances of the Civil War.
In terms of finance, it can be argued that the situation was not successful. The Government managing it could not provide a stable financial settlement. Largely the King did not have much in the way of money, and Charles' excessive spending on pleasurable activities, at the beginning of his reign only exacerbated the disastrous financial situation. Initially, although Charles agreed to give up feudal dues that were revived by his father, he was granted an annual income of £1.2 million by Parliament. However, this arrangement had two drawbacks. Firstly, the financial settlement that Charles was given, was simply not adequate to his needs. Secondly, the hearth tax that was imposed to raise the money was highly unpopular to the people. It is hard to say a reign is 'successful' if the Monarch is unpopular, especially as the country at that time, was still suffering from the financial situation left behind by the...
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