Why did Guy Fawkes want to blow up the Houses of Parliament?


Quick Answer

Guy Fawkes and several other conspirators devised a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament to protest poor treatment and oppression of Catholics under the reign of King James I. The Protestant religion dominated Great Britain In 1603, when King James I assumed the role as king. However, tensions surfaced long before then between Catholics and Protestants; Catholicism, once the dominant religion, suffered denouncement and penalties in the decades preceding the ascension of King James I to the throne.

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Why did Guy Fawkes want to blow up the Houses of Parliament?
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Full Answer

King James I succeeded Queen Elizabeth I on the British throne. Poor treatment of Catholics reached an all-time high under the reign of the Queen. Catholic citizens hoped for improved treatment of Catholics with the change of royal hands. However, that change never came. Many British Catholics protested, but Fawkes and company took opposition to the extreme.

Fawkes, along with Robert Catesby and three other men, devised a plot to seek revenge against King James. Historians credit Catesby with mapping the plan, and Fawkes with making the weaponry and materials, including gunpowder, for physically carrying out the attack. The men collected large amounts of ammunition, and stocked weapons in a rented room below the Parliament building. Eventually word of the plot leaked. Officials arrested Fawkes and other conspirators. Interrogation, torture and hanging followed shortly after the arrests.

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