The Popish Plot and the Exclusion Crisis in England, 1678-1681
The short period of English domestic affairs from 1678 to 1681 is of special significance to scholars dealing with the history of ideas and parties. Nevertheless, few people really know what exactly happened in England during these years and even fewer understand the long-term consequences of these events. The study explores in detail the fictitious Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Charles II and overthrow the Protestant Establishment, as well as the campaign that was launched by the Parliamentary opposition (the emerging Whig party) in the wake of the plot to exclude the Catholic James, Duke of York from the throne.
Paranoiac fear of Catholicism and French-style Catholic absolutism served as a background to the Exclusion Campaign. Between March 1679 and March 1681, no fewer than three general elections were held. The central issue of the crisis was whether the Duke of York could be allowed to succeed to the throne after the death of his brother. Was he a threat to English liberties and the Protestant religion? How serious was this danger, and what should have been done to counter it? Opinion on these questions was deeply divided, both within and outside Parliament. This is what fueled the pamphlet war of these years and strengthened the Court and Country parties, which now changed their names to Tory and Whig. The Exclusion controversy echoed many of the debates of the Civil War, but at the same time it anticipated many of the arguments which were to support the Glorious Revolution of 1688-1689 later on.
Had the Whig Exclusionists had succeeded, it is certain that a more radical revolution would have been carried out than in 1688-1689. The Whig decision to leave the constitutional arena and to appeal directly to the people, however, proved to be counterproductive. The large-scale demonstrations and „Pope-burning. processions frightened the majority of Londoners. By 1681 public opinion had become anti-Whig and pro-Tory. It was this change in public mood that enabled James II to come to the throne without difficulty in February 1685.
What Happened at the Alamo? Arguments, Counterarguments and Facts about the Debate Surrounding David Crockett's Death
David Crockett is a widely known national hero in the United States, an iconic figure in his native state, Tennessee. His remarkable achievements as frontiersman won him a seat in Congress for three terms (1827–1829, 1829–1831 and 1833–1835). In 1836, after failing to win for the fourth time, he decided to explore Texas and soon found himself in the middle of the Texas revolution defending the fort of Alamo. Crockett and his fellow defenders were outnumbered by the Mexican army led by Santa Anna and died a heroic death. Immediately, various accounts started to spread of the final moments of the brave men, most notably Crockett. Some reports claimed he had been taken captive and executed by the Mexicans, others rumoured he had fought until his last breath. At the time the latter version gained huge popularity that lasted well into the mid-twentieth century when numerous movies and a TV series depicted the battle scene with a bravely perishing Davy Crockett. Shortly after the media-generated interest in the iconic frontiersman and hero, evidence appeared that contradicted common beliefs about his death. These stated that he had been executed after the battle, an outrageous claim to many fans, which, however, inspired scholars to revise some aspects of the battle of the Alamo. The paper intends to introduce these new findings as well as the heated professional and public debate they created. It also aims to investigate the reasons for such negative reception on the execution theory, and to show how the recently emerging data further complicate, yet do not compromise the image of the historical David Crockett.
Palmerston and the Crimean War
The study focuses on one of the major challenges of Palmerston's career. Sources mostly unknown in Hungary have been analyzed to show the role of Great Britain in the Crimean War through Palmerston.s politics and diplomatic maneuvers. Palmerston's letters, his speeches in parliament as well as English newspapers of the era (The Times, Morning Advertiser, Morning Herald) are used to present the arguments between Palmerston and the British political elite from 1853 concerning a war against Russia. Palmerston.s peace plan, his territorial claims from Russia and his opinion about the 1856 Paris peace treaty are also discussed.
Palmerston.s political skill during the war became one of the major factors pushing him to the top-position of his career: in 1855, he was appointed Prime Minister of the British Empire.
"Royal Democracy". Civil Liberties in the Reform Plans of the Hungarian Liberals after 1867
The paper makes an attempt to give a survey of the how the cause of the codification of civil liberties appeared in the reform plans of the Hungarian liberal elite, which rose to power after the Austrian-Hungarian Compromise of 1867.
First, it gives an overview of how the state of civil liberties improved as a result of the 1848 Revolution then tries to answer why, despite these antecedents and the promises politicians made in 1867, civil liberties were codified belatedly and in a rather limited form.
First and foremost, the author collected archival documents about the penal code, the abolition of corporal punishment, the laws governing the police as well as the rights of association and assembly, and tried to reconstruct how the government had planned to secure civil liberties and what the proposed legal solutions had been.
The paper claims that the process of building a constitutional state decelerated due to the following reasons. (1) The legitimacy of the new political system was uncertain: the anti-Compromise radical opposition organized social protests, while the unpopularity of the new elite manifested itself in the peasant movements demanding land reform and ethnic protests etc. (2) The inner problems of government: the inefficient operation of the new administration as well as the fact the the governing party was divided on important reform issues. (3) Finally, the transformation of Hungarian liberal thinking, a long process with many phases, is discussed. The doctrinaire liberalism of the past was gradually revised and reinterpreted. The liberalism of Jńzsef Eötvös and Ferenc Deák was pushed into the background and was replaced by a more pragmatic state-centered concept.
However, this elitist ("aristocratic") model of state led to the conservation, occasionally even widening, of class differences rather than to the reduction of them.
The author believes that, as a result of their fears, the liberals in power saw their opportunities for carrying out a constitutional reform much more limited than they actually were.
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