The monarchy was left in a pretty good state by Charles II in 1685, but the trickiest part of his reign had been to prevent Parliament excluding his Catholic brother, James, from the throne, so how would Parliament react to its first Catholic ruler since Mary I? James's life and reign proved to be somewhat turbulent and to a large degree the difficulties were of his own making. Would he be able to persuade his anti-Catholic Parliament to grant religious toleration to Catholics? Would he be want to emulate the absolutist monarchy of Louis XIV? And what is his son-in-law, William of Orange, doing with all those troops in the Netherlands?
February 10, 2012