Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Was it because the government just wanted to take a break in recess? Or was it because of conflicts?

Wikipedia mentions that in October 1641, the Irish rebellion occurred, but it doesn’t mention that (or why) the British parliament recessed in October.

share|improve this question
4  
This question would be vastly improved by some preliminary research. If you enter "Autumn Recess 1641" into google, it gives you the first clue - the Long Parliament. add that to the google search and you're on the path to an answer –  Mark C. Wallace Nov 3 '13 at 19:10
1  
Most likely because they wanted a break. I can't find anything mentioning that this particular recess was prompted by anything special. It was just a recess. –  Lennart Regebro Nov 3 '13 at 21:18
    
I think the important distinction is between a recess and a dissolution. A recess simply allows the legislators to return home for a holiday, and to meet with, and deal with, constituents; it does not involve an election. –  Pieter Geerkens Jan 1 at 21:12
add comment

1 Answer 1

This question is deceptively complex unless you understand the backdrop of the English Civil War. There is a timeline of events which is a useful overview, but unless you understand why the events are important, it is merely a list of dates. The best resource for understanding that is the Revolutions Podcast which approaches a complex set of subjects with an appropriate irreverance.

To make a very long story brief, when Charles I of England was crowned, Parliament denied him the traditional sources of funds, so he was forced to explore some very dodgy sources to acquire the funds needed to run his government. (Remember under the English system, taxes are the free gift of the people to their Monarch.) Charles summoned a number of Parliaments and asked/demanded that they fund his administration (and his wars). The Parliaments refused, and Charles dismissed the Parliaments. After a fascinating bit of political brinksmanship Parliament is convened on November 3 1640. From that point they refuse to recess - this is the Long Parliament because they refuse to leave.

That is why the recess in 1641 is important. The Long Parliament finally took a break. By this point it was obvious that both Parliament and the Crown had violated Wheaton's Law repeatedly and thoroughly and there wasn't going to be a peaceful resolution. In fact in 1642, the King raises his standard at Nottingham beginning the English Civil War.

share|improve this answer
1  
Lol. I'm not sure Wheaton's Law can properly be applied to 17th Century British Politics, but it is a nice way of saying a not nice thing. –  T.E.D. Nov 5 '13 at 1:30
2  
But there is a difference between dissolution of the parliament and a recess. It's not called the long parliament because they refused to take a break, but because they refused to be dissolved. In fact, it wasn't dissolved until 1660. –  Lennart Regebro Nov 5 '13 at 7:53
    
Excellent point @LennartRegebro, but I don't know how often prior parliaments recessed, or how long they normally met. That would require more research than I have time to do right now. –  Mark C. Wallace Nov 5 '13 at 11:45
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.