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Following the English Civil War there was a coup (known to some as The Glorious Revolution partly because of its surprisingly easy success). The Stuart dynasty was expelled for fear of presumed contact with Catholic powers (the Wars of Religion were dying down but their aftertaste remained). James Stuart was tentatively replaced by his daughter Mary and then his other daughter Anne, but each in turn died without issue. Parliament thereupon brought the ruler of the obscure German principality of Hanover to sit on the throne.
In response a conspiracy formed to restore the Stuarts. Supporters of the Stuarts were called Jacobites. The Jacobites made several attempts to organize revolts in their name, and appealed to continental monarchs for aid. However, each attempt was suppressed until the Stuart cause simply withered away, its noble supporters disinterested and its common supporters alienated and beaten. The conflict nominally originated in a dispute over the nature of the British constitution, specifically the Right of Succession, Jacobites holding it to be a royal birthright, the Hanoverians a liberty of parliament. However, it also drew in various cultural, ethnic and religious conflicts, particularly between the largely Protestant English, Lowland Scots and Ulster Scots, and the largely Roman Catholic Irish and Highland Gaels.
Although it is generally accepted that the Hanoverians were the preferable candidate, having greater respect for parliamentary authority, a good deal of Jacobite romanticism still exists, particularly in Scotland; although in Ireland it was largely superseded by republican sentiments, it entered the Scottish nationalist mythology, the Jacobite Highlander becoming the iconic image of the Scottish nationalist movement. To this day, there exists a number of Britons who express support for the Jacobite cause, although the current claimant, Duke Franz of Bavaria - "Francis II", in the Jacobite reckoning - has formally declined to pursue the claim.
Tropes associated with the Hanover Stuart Wars:
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Despite their efforts, neither James nor Charles had this.
- The Butcher: General Cumberland. Well earned.
- The Clan: The Highland Clans, on both sides of the conflict.
- Feuding Families: The Royal Houses of Hanover and Stuart. Also the more local feuds often overlapped, particularly in the Highlands, where the conflict was often superimposed onto old clan rivalries, most notoriously that of the Campbells and Mac Donalds.
- Fighting For a Homeland: After the victories of William of Orange at the Boyne, Aughrim, and Limerick, there had a massive exodus of Irish supporters of King James II called "the Flight of the Wild Geese". They spent years in the service of the French and Spanish armies, preferring to fight for their fellow Catholics rather than stay in a foreign-occupied Ireland. Young men from Ireland and Scotland continued to enter the French service for decades, and during the Hanover-Stuart Wars, many of them returned with "Bonnie Prince Charlie" to try and reclaim his throne for him.
- Good Old Ways: Romantic Scots sometimes regard the Highland clan system, suppressed in reaction to the wars, as such.
- Government in Exile : The Stuart court in France.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: Bonnie Prince Charlie. Sort of. The prince lived his life in the French court, and behaved like a typical French noble. In his despair he fell to drink. He was adulterous, and was once accused of abuse by an angry lover (rightly or wrongly). As nobility of his day went he wasn't spectacularly evil (except for the unconfirmed accusation of abuse), and arguably should be pitied more than anything. But his status as a hero is more because he was a convenient symbol for a lost cause than because of his actual behaviour, and some of his followers deserve more of a reputation for heroism then he did.
- Highlanders Like Claymores
- Kill Them All: The British at the Battle of Culloden Moor.
- Know When to Fold'Em : Bonnie Prince Charlie's brother, Henry Benedict Stuart, took religious orders, thus ending the direct progeny of the Old Pretender. However, other branches of the family remain to this day, the current claimants being the House of Wittelsbach, currently holders of the Duchy of Bavaria.
- Logic Bomb: The Stuarts (and indeed the Hanovers until it was quietly dropped in 1801) claimed to be Kings of France and used it in their coronation oaths--being a very old and silly claim left over from the Hundred Years War that any King of England was also King of France. Of course, in this period the Stuarts were in exile in France and were supported as pretenders by the Kings of France, who provided them with coronation ceremonies and attended. So to recap, the actual King of France stood there watching approvingly as the Stuart pretenders were crowned 'King of England, France, Scotland and Ireland' in front of them...what?!
- Even more ridiculously, Oliver and Richard Cromwell supposedly also kept this claim even though the monarchy had been abolished. On coins of the period, Oliver Cromwell is referred to as "Protector of the Republic of England, Scotland and Ireland & etc" with the "& etc" referring to the claim to France.
- The Migration: Many Jacobites left the British Isles after the failure of various rebellions. Irish exiles were famously known as "the Wild Geese", a term later used in reference to Irishmen serving abroad in foreign armies, sometimes including the British army.
- Noble Fugitive: Bonnie Prince Charlie, "The Prince in the Heather", on his famous escape after Culloden.
- Proud Warrior Race: The Scottish Highlanders are often characterised as such, although in reality few were professional soldiers.
- Rape, Pillage and Burn: General Cumberland specifically ordered this done to the Highlands in order to render it incapable of revolting again.
- The Remnant: The Jacobites.
- Rightful King Returns: Repeatedly attempted by the Stuarts, but never successfully carried out.
- Sacred Hospitality: The Highland Noblewoman Flora Mac Donald sheltered the Prince as he fled.
- The Troubles: Partially the result of the long-term fallout of this conflict.
- We ARE Struggling Together!: To later Scottish nationalists, both the Highland/Lowland divide and the inter-clan conflicts of the Highlands appear as such. While this is largely anachronistic, it emerged by the end of the 18th century, making that particular item of mythology Older Than Steam.
- You Will Be Assimilated: Following Culloden the British Government managed to, by shrewd policy, attain peace in the Highlands and even convince Highlanders to fight for them. As a result, the Highland units of the British Army toured the world, gaining a reputation as Badass Regiments in the Americas, against Napoleon, in India and the Crimea, and against the Boers, amongst others.
Depictions in fiction:
- This series of wars has been dealt with in fiction by several authors including Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.
- One of the most famous fictional works about this is Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, which is about an Odd Friendship between a lowland boy of Hanoverian persuasion and a Jacobite Highland warrior.