What was the Eleven Years of Tyranny during the reign of Charles I?  What happened during these years?

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England's Charles I (r.1625-1649) is in many ways an infamous ruler in English history.  In a manner similar to Louis XIV in France (r.1642-1715), Charles I embodied the idea of an absolute monarch.  The years 1629-1640, the so-called "Eleven Years of Tyranny," mark the decline of Charles I's rule, as well as the origins of the English Civil War that would culminate in his beheading.

During Charles I's reign, the monarchy dueled with Parliament for control over the development and enforcement of national policy.  This duel originated in the late Middle Ages, specifically with the Parliament of 1388.  By the early seventeenth century, English rulers could not simply overlook the influence of Parliament.  Unfortunately for Charles, this is what he attempted to do during these eleven years.  Claiming a king's divine right to rule, Charles I not only ignored Parliament, he dissolved the legislative body. 

Without Parliament as a legislative influence, there was little that could stop Charles I from enforcing whatever policies he saw fit to set into motion.  Parliament was only restored in 1640 so that Charles could try to push through policies he wanted to create.  The most important aspect of this period of time is that it left the king and Parliament on bad terms, fueling a distrust between them that would give rise to the English Civil War two years later in 1642.

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