I love history. There are some specific places and periods that have my particular devotion: Rome during the Principate, Scotland during the Wars of Independence, Korea during Koryo, and the Tudor-Stuart stretch of English/British history. It’s this last that I was reading about when I learned two very interesting things:
Queen Anne was by no means as attractive as Queen Elizabeth upon her ascension, but Britain truly became great during her reign. I need to read more about her. Most of what I have seen so far seems quite superficial, considering what happened in her time.
The wealthy elite made up 2% of the population during the Stuarts. That’s actually a better percentage than exists in the US these days. That’s scary. Further scary thing to consider is that the English Civil Wars was really about the entrenched elite using the common people to remove a monarch who didn’t play the game the way they wanted. Parliament in those days was controlled by the wealthy elite through patronage and the lack of actual elections (referred to as ‘parliamentary selection’ rather than election). That’s not entirely unlike the modern situation in many ‘democratic’ countries in which vast numbers of common people vote against their own best interests.