Monday, 5 November 2007

Bonfire Night

This is Bonfire Night – the evening on which we celebrate The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, or the Powder Treason, as it was known at the time. It was a failed attempt by a group of provincial English Catholics to kill King James I, his family, and most of the Protestant aristocracy in a single attack by blowing up the Houses of Parliament. The conspirators had then planned to abduct the royal children, not present in Parliament, and incite a revolt in the Midlands..
Some popular historians have put forward a debate about government involvement in the plot.. Conspiracy theorists rule OK!
On 5th November each year, people in the UK and some other Commonwealth countries celebrate the failure of the plot on what is known as Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night, Cracker Night or Plot Night.
The background to the celebration has become very much a secondary thing nowadays which is a good job as it is hardly politically correct to celebrate an event which highlighted religious and political intolerance, racism (James was Scots), provincialism, terrorism, and murder, It remains, of course, typically British to celebrate failure!

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