In an engaging essay that has hitherto often been overlooked, Collinson reinvestigates what he calls the ‘Elizabethan exclusion crisis’. Here, he argues that the sustained attempt of much of the political nation to prevent the ascension of Mary Queen of Scots to the English throne bears a striking resemblance to the better known Restoration events of the same name. Highlighting the 1584 Bond of Association and an association discovered in the Earl of Shaftesbury’s possessions in 1681, he claims that the two exclusion crises had five common characteristics. These were a popular fear of Catholicism, the attempt to exclude a Catholic successor from the throne, the fear of arbitrary government, the divergence of the interests of the political nation from those of the monarch, and the presence of a Sidney (Sir Philip Sydney in the 16th century, and in the following century, his grand-nephew, Algernon Sidney). Moreover, Collinson notes that those living through the crisis of the 1680s themselves looked back on Elizabethan politics to explain and justify their own situation. The republication of this piece urges scholars, once again, to reconsider the nature and longstanding importance of the debates surrounding Mary Queen of Scots and her captivity. This is a worthy endeavour, but many will agree that historians should proceed with caution on this difficult terrain. There is a danger in attempting to draw too close parallels because of that major historical schism that stands between the two crises: the civil wars and interregnum. By the 1680s, two decades disruption had taught people to fear Protestant dissenters as much as they feared Catholics. Equally important, although Collinson convincingly argues for independent capacity among the political nation during the 16th century, one cannot deny that after the Restoration, the size of that political nation and the way in which political action was organized had changed dramatically.
And so they deliberately wentabout creating literature, essays, novels, philosophy, poetry, and other writingthat were clearly different from anything from England, France, Germany, or anyother European nation.
916 Words Essay on my First Trip to England
It is also worth noting that This England is less about post-Reformation religious culture – the work Collinson is most famous for – and more about his recent interest in early modern English politics and self-fashioning. Collectively, the essays therefore present a history of England, not the British Isles as a whole. Collinson himself admits this, very pointedly stating that despite the utility of what is generally referred to as the ’New British History’ for answering certain questions, his questions are about the nation, and ‘there has never been a British nation’ (p. 3). Although scholars like Linda Colley might take issue with such a statement, it is nonetheless refreshing to see an author stake his claim, for better or for worse. Moreover, Collinson does not deny England’s place within a larger system. He merely seeks to investigate, more specifically, how England viewed itself as a participant in that system and in the world at large.