Validation: The Exclusion Crisis Improved Rather Than Weakened Charles' Position

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The exclusion crisis stemmed from the fact that James, the Duke of York was a catholic and the only legitimate heir to the throne in a country which greatly feared Catholic absolutism and the universal monarchy of Louis XIV. Furthermore, James marriage to Catholic Mary of Moderna who was also a client of Louis XIV was a pivotal factor in creating the crisis as it resulted in fears of a Catholic succession line. Historians debate how far the exclusion crisis strengthened or undermined his position, some suggest that it increased his power by allowing a working relationship with the Tory Anglicans where he successfully implemented his prerogative powers and made the Whigs seem radical, whilst other argues that it showed how Charles could not work with a parliament where hutton argues that there was still unresolved tensions between crown and parliament and heightened fears of a popish plot. The exclusions crisis improved Charles position as he was able to preserve the succession of the monarchy and increase his own power. Charles was able to exile Monmoth to the Netherlands in September 1679, use his prerogative powers to dissolve the exclusion parliaments 3 times and prorogue parliament 7 times and attend sessions in the house of Lords to secure support as well as allowing James back into the Privvy council in 1684. It also created greater stability for the elite with respect to property right. The fact he was able to defeat exclusion would have proven that Charles II was a strong monarch and able to stand up to parliament. Furthermore his success would have given Charles and much of the country including Torys confidence in the security of the monarchy which explains why 1681 was a turning point and seen by historians as a royalist recovery. The period between 1681-1685 is seen as a period of growing absolutism where Charles successfully got rid of his opposnents such as Shaftesbury and Monmoth during the Rye house plot and manipulate local government using...
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