The Political and Religious Battles of the English Restoration

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Bradley Grieser


The Restoration of Charles II to the English throne appeared to be an occasion for joyous celebration, ending a prolonged period of political and religious upheaval. As historian N.H. Keeble writes, “It was, then, in an already-established spirit of festival and triumph that Charles landed at Dover. There was no less a carnival air among those who greeted him.” This atmosphere of celebration continued all the way to London, where Charles had been proclaimed king on May 8, 1660. Even then it did not end: Keeble continues that a “massive cedar maypole…was not only the centre for morris dancing and festivity but, in its very nature, declared that this was no longer a Puritan age.”  It seemed that with the return of the king, England could finally rest at ease after decades of civil war and religious strife.

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