Our Elective Monarchy

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Posted: Sep 15, 2021 12:01 AM

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In 1629, frustrated by the unwillingness of Parliament to grant him taxation power, King Charles I of England dissolved the body and had nine members arrested. He did not recall Parliament for over a decade. The intervening period, known as Personal Rule, saw Charles I govern as a de facto dictator, with only a body of councilors to advise him. In 1640, forced by military necessity from Scotland, Charles I recalled Parliament in order to raise money to pay the military; shortly thereafter, stymied by Parliament, he dissolved the body again. But necessity encroached once again, and Charles I finally recalled Parliament. This would be the beginning of the end of his monarchy: the Long Parliament, as it would later be called, directly opposed many of Charles I’s initiatives, and that opposition would devolve into the English Civil War — a war that ended with Charles I’s execution.

All of this should serve as a brief reminder that when a chief executive

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