First Advisor

Ann Weikel

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1660-1688



Physical Description

1 online resource (118 p.)


By examining the attack waged against the royal prerogative during the Exclusion Crisis of 1678-1681, this thesis asserts that the crisis was primarily constitutional in nature, rather than religious. This Parliamentary attempt to remove the Catholic heir presumptive from the succession endangered the monarchy by creating a Parliamentary title to the throne. Insofar as the exclusionists challenged the king's right to retain ministers at will, to grant pardons, and to determine the calling and dissolution of Parliamentary sessions, the crisis also constituted a direct assault upon the prerogatives of the present king. The implementation of Parliament's proposal to guarantee a Protestant succession by arrogating to a Protestant Association many rights of the monarch would have tipped permanently the scales of power in favor of Parliament. The Exclusion Crisis can thus be viewed as an important, albeit abortive, attempt to better define the unresolved roles of the king and Parliament in the governing of England.


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