Great Game Previews In History: 22 January 2014

by J.R.

Today In History

James_II_&_VIIIn 1689, the Convention Parliament convened in London to decide the matter of who was the rightful monarch of Great Britain with James II (James VII in Scotland) having committed two grievous errors: fleeing to France and being Catholic.

It was a tough time to be an English monarch. It hadn’t been that long since Charles I had his head displaced from his neck and James’ brother, Charles II had just died, converting to Catholicism on his death bed (!). James himself had two Protestant daughters, so Protestant folk in England were not too concerned that his increasingly pro-Catholic policies would last long. But then his wife gave birth to a son — James Francis Edward Stuart, who was baptized Catholic. Then it all kicked off.

Protestant leadership reached out to William of Orange (James’ daughter’s Mary’s husband) to foment an invasion. James refused the aid of Louis XIV, fled London ahead of William’s invasion, threw the Great Seal in the Thames, was arrested, allowed to escape and eventually posted up with Louis in France.

Thus, the Convention Parliament had a decision to make — did James abdicate or did he just vacate the throne (hilariously, there’s no provision for abdication at common law — something that would be problematic later)? Who would be heir (convolutedly, they settled on William and Mary ruling together)?

Complicating all of this, of course, was that the Convention Parliament wasn’t legitimate, setting a precedent for things called “Conventions” for years to come.

Blackhawks at Red Wings, 7 PM Central

Records: Blackhawks (32-8-11, 75 points, 1st in Conference III); Red Wings (21-18-10, 52 points, 6th in Flortheast)

Last Time They Met: Chicago defeated Detroit in Game Seven, sending all the Jasons with regrettable facial hair to the Eastern Conference.

Last 10: Chicago 5-1-4; Detroit 4-5-1

Historical Context: Finally, NBC gets a real rivalry on Rivalry Night so we don’t have to mock it (would have preferred Dave Strader — the Voice of Conference III — on the stick tonight, but we’ll deal).

The parallels between the Hawks and Red Wings and the Glorious Revolution are almost too-on-the-nose to be clever, but we’ll go through it anyway.

Despite Henry VIII’s creation of a Church of England separate from Rome, Catholics were still a powerful force in Britain, at least at the top of the hierarchy. Edward VI succeeded his father and was a Protestant, but his death brought crisis. Lady Jane Grey was executed shortly after Edward’s death, putting Mary, a Catholic on the throne. She died, and her sister Elizabeth I (a Protestant) took the crown. She died without children, putting James I (a Protestant convert) on the throne of England. His son, Charles I, was overly friendly to Catholics, got his noggin chopped off, there was the Commonwealth, then there was Charles II and then James II.

OK, so Detroit represents the old, if waning power of the Western Conference who had one last gasp at power, but facing trouble, fled into the willing and open arms of a power structure which is more than willing to do anything to protect said glory (here, the Eastern Conference power structure of the NHL is France in the short-term and the Jacobites in the long term). Chicago is both William and Mary (and the Parliament) — the Blackhawks have a legitimate claim (a very legitimate one, being as they have the Cup and all that) as the new lords of the west. They aren’t upstarts, but they’ve no truck for all this “How Many Cups Have You Won?” business, which is basically the hockey equivalent of toasting the King Over The Water.