Alfred the Great

muhammad_isa

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King Alfred is the best Christian king that Britain has ever had, imo.

Alfred had a reputation as a learned and merciful man of a gracious and level-headed nature who encouraged education, proposing that primary education be conducted in Old English rather than Latin and improving the legal system and military structure and his people's quality of life. He was given the epithet "the Great" during and after the Reformation in the 16th century, and together with Danish Cnut the Great, is the only king of England to be given such a name.

What a blessing!
Unfortunately, by the time we get to Henry VIII, things started to go downhill.
If it wasn't for Oliver Cromwell, God KNOWS where we would be now. :)
 

RJM

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it wasn't for Oliver Cromwell, God KNOWS where we would be now
Ah. The awesome killer of thousands of Irish Catholics because of their belief? What's not to love?
 
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muhammad_isa

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Ah. The awesome killer of thousands of Irish Catholics because of their belief? What's not to love?

Cromwell is one of the most controversial figures in British and Irish history, considered a regicidal dictator by historians such as David Sharp, a military dictator by Winston Churchill, a class revolutionary by Leon Trotsky, and a hero of liberty by John Milton, Thomas Carlyle, and Samuel Rawson Gardiner. His tolerance of Protestant sects did not extend to Catholics, and the measures taken by him against Catholics, particularly in Ireland, have been characterised by some as genocidal or near-genocidal, and his record is strongly criticised in Ireland. He was selected as one of the ten greatest Britons of all time in a 2002 BBC poll.

Indeed, he is a very controversial figure.
The English civil war is a complex topic.

Although the monarchy was restored, it was still only with the consent of Parliament. So the civil wars effectively set England and Scotland on course towards a parliamentary monarchy form of government. The outcome of this system was that the future Kingdom of Great Britain, formed in 1707 under the Acts of Union, managed to forestall the kind of revolution typical of European republican movements which generally resulted in total abolition of monarchy. Thus the United Kingdom was spared the wave of revolutions that occurred in Europe in the 1840s. Specifically, future monarchs became wary of pushing Parliament too hard, and Parliament effectively chose the line of royal succession in 1688 with the Glorious Revolution and in the 1701 Act of Settlement

I'm really referring to the CONSEQUENCE of the civil war.
i.e. it strengthened democracy, without destroying the monarchy
 

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cromwellian_conquest_of_Ireland#:~:text=The Cromwellian Settlement,-Main articles: Act&text=Cromwell imposed an extremely harsh,of Protest

The impact of the war on the Irish population was unquestionably severe, although there is no consensus as to the magnitude of the loss of life. The war resulted in famine, which was worsened by an outbreak of bubonic plague. Estimates of the drop in the Irish population resulting from the Parliamentarian campaign range from 15 to 83 percent.

The Parliamentarians also transported about 50,000 people as indentured labourers. Some estimates cover population losses over the course of the Conquest Period (1649–52) only, while others cover the period of the Conquest to 1653 and the period of the Cromwellian Settlement from August 1652 to 1659 together.
 

muhammad_isa

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The English Reformation, by which Henry VIII broke with Papal authority in 1536, was to change Ireland totally. While Henry VIII broke English Catholicism from Rome, his son Edward VI of England moved further, breaking with Papal doctrine completely. While the English, the Welsh and, later, the Scots accepted Protestantism, the Irish remained Catholic. Queen Mary I then reverted the state to Catholicism in 1553–58, and Queen Elizabeth I broke again with Rome after 1570.
These confusing changes determined their relationship with the British state for the next four hundred years, as the Reformation coincided with a determined effort on behalf of the English state to re-conquer and colonise Ireland thereafter. The religious schism meant that the native Irish and the (Roman Catholic) Old English were to be excluded from power in the new settlement unless they converted to Protestantism.
- wikipedia -

..so as I said in the OP, things went downhill with Henry VIII.
The division that was caused by the Protestant Reformation goes on until this day.

Papal supremacy is the doctrine of the Catholic Church ... that, in brief, "the Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls."
The doctrine had the most significance in the relationship between the church and the temporal state, in matters such as ecclesiastic privileges, the actions of monarchs and even successions.
- wikipedia -

It seems to me that "doctrine" is the main source of division that caused the reformation.

Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent...
- Second Vatican Council -
- wikipedia -

I'm fed up with bishops :D
 
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RJM

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seems to me that "doctrine" is the main source of division that caused the reformation.
In fact Henry VIII wanted a son to succeed him and his wife Catherine of Aragon had only given him a daughter, Mary.

The Pope wouldn't let him divorce, so Henry decided to split and start his own church with himself at the head. Then he realised it would be opportune to dissolve all the monasteries and take their lands and wealth.

He went on with several more wives as you are aware, and finally was able to conceive a son, a sickly boy Edward III who sat on the throne for a year or two, under the regency of Thomas Cramner, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was later burned at the stake by Mary, when she succeeded Edward.

That's from memory, so forgive me if wiki corrects me on some of the finer details ...
 
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Thomas

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..so as I said in the OP, things went downhill with Henry VIII.
The division that was caused by the Protestant Reformation goes on until this day.
Yes, religions have their ups and downs. The same, I suppose, with the early Caliphates, and the resulting Shia/Sunni splits and schisms.

I'm fed up with bishops :D
Same with ayatollahs and imams ;)
 

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The Pope wouldn't let him divorce, so Henry decided to split and start his own church with himself at the head.
As I understand it, High Anglicanism is a very close parallel with Roman Catholicism/Eastern Orthodoxy. Henry VIII never abrogated Catholic doctrine beyond denying the authority of the pope.

Then he realised it would be quite a nice idea to dissolve all the monasteries and take their wealth.
That was the plan, sold to him by the aristocracy (who had their eyes on the monastic estates). The income would pay for Henry's war with France, but in the end, he saw relatively little of the wealth, it went into the pockets of the noble houses.

went on with several more wives as you are aware, and finally was able to conceive a son, a sickly boy Edward III ... That's from memory, so forgive me if wiki corrects me on some of the finer details ...
LOL, it was Edward VI. He never ruled, the country being governed by Regents, first Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset who started well but ended badly – beheaded. He was succeeded by John Dudley, Duke of Norfolk, who governed well, but was caught up in a plot to have Jane Grey, cousin to Edward and Northumberland's daughter-in-law, inherit the Crown. Mary and Elizabeth were both declared illegitimate and thus unable to succeed.

Edward may well have been the proposer of the plan, seen as the Dudley's attempt to keep the reins of power. Either way, the Privy Council proclaimed Mary as queen. Northumberland was convicted of high treason and he, too, was beheaded. He returned to Catholicism before his execution.

(according to wiki)
 
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RJM

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LOL, it was Edward VI. He never ruled, the country being governed by Regents, first Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset who started well but ended badly – beheaded. He was succeeded by John Dudley, Duke of Norfolk, who governed well, but was caught up in a plot to have Jane Grey, cousin to Edward and Northumberland's daughter-in-law, inherit the Crown. Mary and Elizabeth were both declared illegitimate and thus unable to succeed.

Edward may well have been the proposer of the plan, seen as the Dudley's attempt to keep the reins of power. Either way, the Privy Council proclaimed Mary as queen. Northumberland was convicted of high treason and he, too, was beheaded. He returned to Catholicism before his execution.
Duh. Thanks ...
(See how much we learn here ;))
 
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SufiPhilosophy

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I have to agree with the others @muhammad_isa on this point at least: Cromwell shaped modern tolerant secular Britain, true. But he was a horrible guy, especially to the Irish. He enslaved them. I think they were some of the first slaves in the Caribbean?
 

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..perhaps you would have preferred Napoleon Bonaparte? :eek:
They say Napoleon and his general Jacques Menou converted to Islam hehe. I'm not sure if it was a genuine conversion or just self-promotion by him.


Agree about King Alfred though. Best ever.
 

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If it wasn't for Oliver Cromwell, God KNOWS where we would be now. :)
Cromwell? How is it that such righteousness ends with such rotten corruption?
Charles 1st's axman was wise to wear a mask, I reckon. :)
 

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All I meant was, that after Cromwell the power of the monarchy was checked by the house of commons.
Yes. Absolutely.
Mind you, if Cromwell could have seen ahead to some of the PMs that have sat on that front bench he'd not be pleased!! :D
 
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