The historical and political background of the Restoration Period

The historical and political background of the Restoration Period

Question: Write a note on the restoration Period.

Or, discuss the historical and political background of the Restoration Period.


The Restoration period (1660-1700) is one of the most important periods in the history of English Literature because English literary tradition had been restored in this period with the restoration of the monarchy.

Political and Historical Background

In the Commonwealth Period (1649-1660), after the death of Charles I, Oliver Cromwell who was the puritan leader came to the power. Then Charles II, Son of Charles I, fled to France. After the death of Richard Cromwell, people again wanted Monarchy in England that is why they brought Charles II and made him king of England on May 29, 1660. He stayed in power till his death, in 1685. Then James II, another son of Charles one, took the throne but he was catholic that is why many Protestants wanted to destroy him. So, in 1688, there was the Glorious Revolution against James II but he escaped to France. Then the throne had been given William III, son-in-law of James II. Now it is transparent that the last part of the Restoration was politically unrest.

Features of this period

Acute Puritanism

Puritanism is considered the soul of Restoration because of religious purification.

Prose and Reason

This period was dominated by the term ‘prose and reason’. The people of this period did not believe in anything without logical reasons that is why even poetry has been written from the point of view of prose and reason. In the Victorian period, Matthew Arnold has represented this in his famous critical essay “The Study of Poetry”.

Satire and Criticism

Satire and criticism are seen from a positive perspective because without satire a society cannot be rectified. In the Restoration Age, this was acute. The satirical poem of John Dryden “Absalom and Achitophel” is one of the best examples.

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Evaluation of upper Class

The subject matter of Restoration literature was the lifestyle of upper-class people. What they did was the main matter of concern for the writers. Even there is no trace of the presence of common people in the literary works of the Restoration period. For this reason, later in the Romantic Period (1798-1832), English Romanticism took place in English literature.

Neglecting Common People and nature

The urban lifestyle was the main fact of representation that is why nature and the common people were totally absent in the literature. This tendency continues till 1785. For this reason, William Wordsworth with S. T. Coleridge started a new journey in the literature that is called the Romantic Period (1778-1832).

Remarkable literary works:

  1. Paradise Lost (1667) and Paradise Regained (1671) by John Milton.
  2. All for Love (1678) and Absalom and Achitophel (1681) by John Dryden.
  3. Oroonoko (1688) by Aphra Behn.
  4. The Way of the World (1700) and Love for Love (1695) by William Congreve.


We can say that the restoration period is an exceptional period because it has a great contribution to the history of English literature. It had changed the character of the English People.

Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

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