Why did Guy Fawkes and his companions undertake this act of state terrorism? What did they hope to accomplish by it?

Essay by tommy3tsUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, September 2006

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On November 5 1605, a cellar located under the House of Lords filled with dozens of barrels of gunpowder was primed to explode with the hope of restoring a Catholic Government to England. This treasonous plot was however discovered only days before Parliament were set to resume and as a result the plot remained just that. It would be remembered by Catholics and Protestants alike in infamy and joy respectively and damaged Catholicism in England almost to the point of no return. So why did Guy Fawkes and his companions undertake this act of state terrorism and what did they hope to accomplish by it? The scene in early 17th century saw the accession of a new King, one whom the Catholics thought would bring an end to the suffering they had endured under the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth. However this did not eventuate. This accompanied with a lack of Papal support and the failing of Spanish diplomacy, a handful of men, whose outstanding reputations meant they were 'sought by all the most distinguished...for

nobility and virtue' decided to commit this act of state terrorism. The act would create a new slate from which the conspirators could build a new government, and free Catholics in England from bondage.

With the death of Queen Elizabeth, Catholics around England believed the persecution they had endured for so long would soon be over as James VI of Scotland and I of England, a supposed Catholic sympathizer was to ascend to the throne. The King, unlike his two predecessors, did not believe in the shedding of blood relating to religious matters as is evident is a letter he wrote to Robert Cecil before his reign began. 'I will never allow in my conscience that the blood of any man shall be...