Front Page Titles (by Subject) 96.: English Royalty and Its Task - Judgments on History and Historians
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96.: English Royalty and Its Task - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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English Royalty and Its Task
Under the first Stuart ruler the parliamentary system again raises its head and seeks to set up its boundary posts as far inside the region of royal power as possible. But it is able to do this only because it has allied itself, in large measure even become identical, with a religious-moral view of life which long ago had become powerful and at the same time has increasingly turned into a sect; this is Puritanism. But the crown had to represent the entire people and afford equal protection to all, including the Catholics, who were no longer a menace in England and existed as an excessive majority only in Ireland; but it was in England that the Puritan screams about idolatry were the loudest. Moreover, the crown had to protect the remnants of popular enjoyment and fun still left from Elizabeth and her Poor Laws (the legislation relating to paupers and mendicants), as well as the drama (Shakespeare, died 1616; period of Massinger, Beaumont, Ben Jonson), and, in general, all of higher secular culture, including the world of Francis Bacon’s thought (ousted 1621, died 1626).
For Puritanism, at bottom, wanted to tolerate only itself and what issued from it. Everything else was “idolatry.” But the crown did not derive from it, and Puritanism more or less consciously sought its downfall through litigation.
Subsequent English historical thought, to be sure, is not interested merely in rights, but asks: “Can you govern England?” The answer is: “Yes, indeed, and Scotland and Ireland, too.” And they tried it with the full arrogance of the elect and the awakened, until about 1644 they became aware that the helm had actually been seized by a most violent faction within them and by a powerful individual within this faction.
The decisive moment came in 1625 when parliament denied the new, as yet completely inactive, king tonnage and poundage, i.e., the resources for any kind of government.
It became the doctrine of the parliamentary party that everything that any parliament had ever wrung from the crown must become the permanent law of the state.