Gunpowder Plot

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The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was a failed attempt by a group of provincial English Catholics to kill King James I of England, his family, and most of the Protestant aristocracy in a single attack by blowing up the Houses of Parliament during the State Opening. The conspirators had then planned to abduct the royal children, (who were Protestant) not present in Parliament, and incite a revolt in the Midlands.

The Gunpowder Plot was one of many unsuccessful assassination attempts against James I, and followed the Main Plot and Bye Plot of 1603.

Legal minds at the time considered the plot to constitute treason and attempted regicide. Some popular historians have put forward a debate about government involvement in the plot.

On 5 November each year, people in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries and regions including New Zealand, South Africa, much of the independent and dependent British West Indies, the Canadian island of Newfoundland, and formerly Australia celebrate the failure of the plot on what is known as Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night, Cracker Night or Plot Night; although the political meaning of the festival has grown to be very much secondary today. According to Esther Forbes, a biographer writes (Paul Revere & the World He Lived In, 1942), the Guy Fawkes Day celebration in the pre-revolution American Colonies, was a very popular holiday. In Boston however, the revelry took on anti-authority overtones and often became so dangerous that many would not venture to leave home.

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.