Charles was a ruler of considerable political skill. His reign was marked by a gradual increase in the power of Parliament, which he learned to circumvent rather than manipulate. The period also saw the rise of the great political parties, Whig and Tory; the advance of colonization and trade in India, America, and the East Indies; and the great progress of England as a sea power. The pleasure-loving character of the king set the tone of the brilliant Restoration period in art and literature.
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