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Discussion Week 5

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1. How did the three orders of medieval society reflect the dominant cultural ideals of the period, and what was its relationship to social reality?
[The three orders of medieval society were:
(i) those who prayed - the clergy and the monastic orders (oratores);
(ii) those who fought, the feudal lords, barons, knights and warriors (bellatores);
(iii) those who did manual labor - serfs, merchants, craftsmen( laboratores).
They were despised and exploited by the other orders. On top of these sat the monarch and upper nobility. The monarch was in his/her own special estate.]

2. "The possibility of a Catholic heir combined with parliamentary opposition to James II's policies, opened the door to William and Mary's succession and the Glorious Revolution." Discuss in one or two paragraphs.
[Why do Whig historians call it 'The Glorious Revolution'? Two basic reasons:
(i) it abolished absolute monarchy and
(ii) it established a Protestant monarch on the throne of Britain/UK in perpetuity.
Consider the significance of these points. In this generation (2007), it seems absurd that the British royal family must symbolize the Protestant hegemony in the UK in perpetuity. But ancient institutions perpetuate themselves unless forced to change.]

Copyright ©2008 Aidan Breen, Ph.D.