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Nineteen Propositions

Nineteen Propositions. In the summer of 1642, Charles I withdrew from London and prepared for war. On 1 June, Parliament sent to him at York nineteen propositions, which were more of a manifesto than a negotiating draft. They demanded complete political and military control. The king's answer, drafted by Colepeper and Falkland, was a skilful exposition of the case for a balanced constitution. The propositions would ‘destroy all rights and properties, all distinctions of families and merit, and by this means this splendid and excellently distinguished form of government [would] end in a dark, equal chaos of confusion’. Though mainly a tactical manœuvre for the middle ground, the answer was not forgotten and was much discussed as the basis for some form of limited or constitutional monarchy.

J. A. Cannon

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