Why Didn't England Revolt (Like France?)

Why didn’t the Enlgish revolt against their King (or Queen) like the French? And, how/when did British Royalty come into being figureheads? Last, does the Royal Family live off the little people’s taxes even today?

So what’s Oliver Cromwell, chopped liver?

You could also argue that in 1776, the American colonies were, in fact, inhabited primarily by Englishmen; only after their revolution was locally but not transatlantically successful did they become Not English.

So yes, the English revolted before it was Mainstream. :cool:

Some factions revolted in the Civil War, and created a republic. After the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 due to the failure of the dictatorship the royal line was restored with lesser powers.

In 1688 the legitimate line was overthrown and the King’s daughter and son-in-law were given the positions with ultimate power residing in parliament, but mostly in the hands of the aristocracy, capitalists and gentry. Later, on the failure of any descendants of the King’s other usurping daughter after the deaths of William&Mary, the crown was given to some relatives, bypassing around 60 nearer people who either refused to usurp or were catholic like the last King. Since then the crown has only had very restricted powers and all power resides in parliament and the civil service ( the ‘establishment’ ), with the so-called monarch as a figurehead or puppet.
No, the present people are given a civil list, like a salary, in return for giving control of all the crown property to the state. This is no different, and probably cheaper, from the costs of running a presidency, either an active one or a figurehead presidency.

Also quite early King John was forced to give up some power. The details evade me. 1066?


Magna Carta. But closer to 1066 than today is.

1215, in fact, so it isn’t that much closer.

The English also had limitations on royal power prior to that, such as the Charter of Liberties, and expanded those limits over time through later documents, such as the English Bill of Rights.

:slight_smile: I guess, in the grand scheme of things, but it’s the 21st century here

I suppose the answer to the OP’s most interesting question is that it was almost always easier to push reforms through Parliament or do it in some other nonviolent fashion than to have an actual revolution. This is also why America has gone so long without a major revolt, but Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Bahrain all popped wide open in quick succession: Middle Eastern and North African countries aren’t known for making it possible to change the system by using the system.

Maybe the British were just not as revolting as the French.

The British limited the power of their monarchs fairly early on, so there wasn’t as much to revolt against. Even so, you had Cromwell in the 1600’s, who really did get rid of the monarchy for a while. In the 1840’s, you had Chartists in England and monarchies falling all over Europe, so monarchists were in fact quite nervous then (Chartism was a working-class movement that agitated for reform).
But the British spent the 20th century getting the monarch to gradually move into a ceremonial role, and seem to have decided that a monarchy with Parliament is a stable system that they like.

I believe the royals now live off of the ample revenues of their properties. They pay taxes, and their romantic cachet brings tourist dollars to the UK, so they’re actually quite a profitable thing.

There were two major Royal Navy mutinies in 1797 which, it was feared, might morph into more intense revolutionary activity ashore, but that didn’t happen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spithead_and_Nore_mutinies

As bad as the UK’s social problems were around the time of the French Revolution and its aftermath, the British political and social system was able to deal with them well enough to avert an actual French-style revolution.

We did.

I totally need to save this answer somewhere, since I seem to post it every week (search is your friend!).

Short answer: no, they don’t.

Yes, most sites have the same old questions come up time after time. I have a massive hoard of dog info ready to paste into dog forums. With my Linux, I click on the Klipper icon, click on the index phrase, click on the reply box and middle click to pase in the same old answer to the same old question. For some of my longer answers, I save a link to a previous question.

Others berate people for not using the search feature.

The is completely unfair. Most of the areas you speak of do have constiutions - they just had the same damned dictator (/s) forever. Egypt had a constiution, but it was too easy to change it and now the

aaaaaaaaaaaah. You meant to say Middle Eastern and North African governments aren’t known for making it possible to change the system by using the system. Oh, silly me. I need to not be online at 6:30am. ahem. as you were.

As I recall, there was also the factor that the English quite deliberately developed the system of officers in the army having to pay for their commissions. This seems absurd now, and a catastrophe in the making (as it proved to be in Crimea), but the idea was that the army was led by sons of the wealthy, ie, people utterly committed to the establishment. This way, it was hoped, the army would not be disloyal - army loyalty (or the reverse) was a pretty big factor in revolutions. And so it proved.

How very community-minded of you. Well done, you saintly inspiration to us all, you!

What you need to know: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ1yPz14LrU

As Exapno said, you have to look one century before the French Revolution to find the English one. The reason you didn’t recognise it as a revolution is that the English revolution doesn’t look French, it looks English.

Imagine you’re king of England around 1688. Parlimentarians come to see you asking for more devolution of power from you. Now, you might feel intransigent at first, but if you remember that about 40 years prior, a very similar situation occurred and that the intransigent guy who was in your post got killed after a civil war, you might feel more amenable to compromise. Even before 1688/1689, the English king’s power was limited. The revolution went through gradual changes of which the Glorious Revolution was one of the major steps.
There is also a question of national temperament. Reading Hume and Descartes, it isn’t surprising that one country went through gradual changes over time whereas the other had a “throw everything down and let’s start from scratch” attitude.

Look at an English garden and a French garden. The French garden’s details are determined from the very beginning according to a comprehensive plan. The plan itself is finalised and will be expected to be executed in all its details before the first seed is planted. The English garden has more of a “as long as it isn’t causing any major problems, we’ll let them grow on their own” process.