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View Diary: Richard III’s Body Found? (310 comments)

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  •  Bad, but not "worst" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl, LSophia, tardis10

    "Worst" is going some great distance, and we get a lot of competition. Do we get Stephen/Matilda? How about the Rufus who died in a "hunting accident?"

    Charles I was probably bad, but better than his father, James I, who, like Edward II, doted upon his lover and gave unprecedented powers to him (and titles and corruption).

    Worst depends upon who you are. If you're an heir, then Richard III is the worst. If you're a peasant or middling sort, then James I. If you're a peasant, whoever was running things in The Anarchy. If you're a noble, Edward II. If you're a pretty young man with ambition, Elizabeth (bad idea to be one of her suitors).

    Everyone is innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 05:03:43 PM PST

    •  Charles was a nice guy, but in over his head (5+ / 0-)

      He had terrible political judgement, thought it was his way or the highway (he, like his dad, was a total believer in the Divine Right of Kings, which by that time was already getting questioned) and thought he could bully Parliment to do whatever he said. He clearly had no idea what to expect when Cromwell arrived on the scene.

      I don't care for James I either, because he was the guy who drove the Puritans to leave England and settle in the New World. And thanks to that, we still have to deal with the influence of those killjoys ever since.

      •  That "divine right of Kings" thing (0+ / 0-)

        also rather deeply connected to the Catholic monarchs, and some folks have argued that part of Charles I's downfall was his marriage to and more than slight flirtation with Roman Catholicism in a very Protestant England of the day and age

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:14:12 PM PST

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        •  No, that certainly didn't help his case (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nellgwen

          Especially since Cromwell was a fanatical Protestant who, after he became Lord Protector, engaged in horrible atrocities against Irish Catholics.

          At least Charles wasn't as stupid as his son James II, who apparently learned nothing from his dad's fate and acted exactly like him, only worse (going full Catholic at a time when England was firmly Protestant). He was lucky to escape with his life when his own daughters and son-in-law threw him out.

      •  Charles I always seems the dupe (0+ / 0-)

        The problem is that he's guilty enough to not elicit that much pity. He picks up Buckingham right after James, for example. Now, that could be just the same way that Geo. II picks up Walpole -- sophisticated political advisors make sure that the new guy needs them.

        However, during the interregnum, he started seeming less and less divine right-y and more and more reasonable. All during the time, his efforts at reconciliation loomed large, while Parliament's TEA Party-like ultimatums started to seem less and less reasonable. That really helped the martyr talk.

        Charles II had enough sense, though, to play that just the right amount.

        Everyone is innocent of some crime.

        by The Geogre on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:20:43 AM PST

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      •  Charles was a Romney, in a way (0+ / 0-)

        Charles was a man of personal family virtue, but also held the belief that his lies to the world didn't count.  So he'd tell his new allies a few lies so they would help him, or his captors a few lies to make them think he was going along with them, because in his enclosed, royalist God-annointed king world  anything he did was "right".  While this worked with the Scots and the Irish, it came to an end when he tried it on the New Model Army and Cromwell.

        I don't think James really believed in divine right (he had a horrible, powerless childhood - anything but divine) because he knew not to push his luck with Parliament or war, while Charles was reclusive and pampered enough to believe whole heartedly in his father's propaganda.

    •  Were any of these people actually good? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl

      By today's standards we'd consider basically all of these royals to be brutal dictators.  How popular is Bashar al-Assad?  

      •  Actually... (4+ / 0-)

        Edward III was probably a pretty good ruler, as long as you weren't Jewish.  And Elizabeth I ruled with an eye toward what was good for "her" people, at least some of the time.  And Charles II -- even as he struggled with Parliament over some of the same issues that his father did -- he reigned through and supported some really important scientific and artistic breakthroughs.

        But the royal probably most responsible for a reasoned and non-authoritarian monarchy was  the Prince Consort Prince Albert.  He may have been the best monarch the British didn't have, who did more to maintain the institution of monarchy and help Britain move into modern notions about the treatment of its people.  

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 06:22:59 PM PST

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        •  I really like Charles II, to be honest (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nellgwen, tardis10, vcmvo2

          He seems like quite the likable guy, easy-going and able to poke fun at himself. And he was certainly entertaining, given how much he loved the ladies.

          He was also rather politically adept and very skilled at his duty - wholy unlike either his dad or his dimwit of a brother.

        •  Elizabeth I: low taxes, avoid wars (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Geogre, a gilas girl

          Add in as much religious tolerance as you could find in Europe in those days, and you have her formula for being a good queen to her people.

        •  Chuck 2! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a gilas girl

          Charles II was insolvent, but he could party, in the political and festive sense of the word.

          The man knew how to run several girlfriends at the same time, and had he kept his "maker" more under control some of the plots would have similarly been under control. Without the torture scheme that his predecessors ran, he kept things rolling, and he increased trade immensely.

          He set an enigmatically libertine example that fostered not merely science, but also a thumb-in-the-eye investigation into philosophy (Locke did get banned, but was also celebrated). Compared to William or the German Georges, he was wonderful (and Anne was rough, due to Sarah Churchill). George III was really quite good . . . until he went bats.

          Everyone is innocent of some crime.

          by The Geogre on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 03:27:51 AM PST

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          •  Chuck II in the service of Louis XIV? (0+ / 0-)

            Apply some standards of statecraft, and he's a total louse.  Taking payment from a foreign warmongering absolutist/ Catholic fanatic is not good.

            •  In service eh? What did Louis get? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a gilas girl

              Charles renegged like mad. He was the king of the kited check, and that includes Louis. His "service" to Louis amounted to "not war." That's it.

              Meanwhile, he promised everything, delivered nothing, and got gold. This was a pattern he repeated with his courtiers, the Spanish, the Dutch, and everyone else. For a restored crown, it was masterful.

              I actually think you're missing the real statecraft here.

              Everyone is innocent of some crime.

              by The Geogre on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 10:40:26 AM PST

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        •  Prince Albert was a gem. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a gilas girl

          One of the last political acts he participated in was the furor over the "Trent Affair" during the US Civil War.  Albert personally redrafted the British Government's demands to the US, softening them to the point of providing a diplomatic out to both countries and thus avoiding war.  He was already feverish with the diphtheria which a week or so later killed him.

          His death was a great misfortune, because afterwards his wife the Queen fell into the clutches of the arch-imperialist Disraeli.

          I'm not sixty-two—I'm fifty-twelve!

          by Pragmatus on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 01:05:39 PM PST

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