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Posted February 27, 2009
Historical Inaccuracies in Harper's The Complete Idiot's Guide to the U.S. Constitution
Having read the book a number of times, I've come across a few historical distortions on the part of Mr. Harper. On page 5, he writes: "Public dissatisfaction with crown and cronies [referring to King John's actions before Magna Carta was forced upon him], particularly in the way courts came to be controlled by politicians, helped inspire the English Civil War- also called the Glorious Revolution- in 1688." Students of English history will acknowledge almost immediately that the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 are two separate conflicts. The former took place between the years of 1642 (when Charles the 1st raised his standard at Oxford) and 1660 (when the monarchy was restored under charles the 2nd after Cromwell's reign as Lord Protector). The Civil War was fought between the parliamentary forces of Cromwell's New Model Army, who viewed King Charles as a tyrant and resented his power over the Anglican Church, and royalists loyal to the crown.
The latter, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 was a bloodless coup in which James the 2nd, a Catholic, was deposed and William the 3rd and Mary the 2nd were brought in from the Netherlands, as England began their experiment with constitutional monarchy (this was the end of absolutism in England).
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