Parliamentary Generation

Last Updated: Mar. 12, 2008

The Parliamentary Generation (Artist, born 1566–1587) passed through childhood in an era of foreign threats and war. Coming of age with the dawn of imperial peace and prosperity, they built impeccable credentials in law, scholarship, religion, and arts and crafts guilds. In country houses, they swelled the influence of the newly literate gentry. At Court, they became apologists for the byzantine policies of James I. In Parliament, they promoted politeness and insisted on precedent, due process, and full disclosure. In midlife, their incrementalist ethos was shaken by younger calls for radical reform. Their Arminians argued yet resisted; their Parliamentarians applauded yet hedged. Eloquently indecisive in speech and sermon, they watched England veer toward a spiral of hysteria and violence they felt powerless to stop. (ENGLISH: King James I, John Donne, William Laud, Inigo Jones, George Villiers, John Selden; FOREIGN: Claudio Monteverdi, Peter Paul Rubens)

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