Seventeenth-century England endured a pair of tense struggles for political power that had a profound impact on the philosophers of the English Enlightenment . The first power struggle came in 1649, when the English Civil War resulted in the execution of King Charles I and the establishment of a commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell . Although this republic endured for a decade, it also essentially devolved into dictatorship, and England ended up reverting to monarchy with the restoration of Charles II to the throne. The reestablished monarchy had clear limits placed on its absolute power, however, as was made clear in the bloodless Glorious Revolution of 1688, in which the English people overthrew a king they deemed unacceptable and basically chose their next rulers. The revolution occurred because Charles II’s son, James II , was an overt
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English Civil War, bloodless Glorious Revolution, predominantly Protestant public.