• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far was Parliament more responsible than Charles for the breakdown of their relationship in the period 1640-1642?

Extracts from this document...


How far was Parliament more responsible than Charles for the breakdown of their relationship in the period 1640-1642? After ruling without Parliament since 1629, Charles was finally forced to call Parliament in April 1640 when his conflict with Scotland culminating in the Bishop's Wars left him in severe financial difficulty. However, this 'Short Parliament' lasted less than a month as Charles refused to listen to the grievances of MPs angered by Personal Rule. This meant that the Parliament was dissolved without any subsidies being voted for war with Scotland and after the Second Bishop's War in August 1640, Charles called another parliament in November 1640, with no option but to listen to their grievances in return for war subsidies. The MPs of the 'Long Parliament' opening at Westminster on November 3rd 1640 were united in their determination to change recent governing policies of Charles I's Personal Rule. Their stance became known as the 'anti-court consensus', and they had every hope of achieving their aims - the preservation of the old constitution from the King and his advisors, who had temporarily suspended it - through discussion and persuasion. At first the parliament was productive, their ambitious programme of legislative reform co-ordinated by John Pym, a member of the House of Commons, who avoided potentially divisive issues to unite Parliament against the King and his advisors. ...read more.


The English Parliament was left thinking that it would be possible to control Charles in a similar way, whereas before they had only suggested choosing the King's ministers. By the time Parliament began its Second Session in October 1641, the splits between MPs were far more obvious. Now the constitutional abuses of Personal Rule had been addressed, some MPs wanted to introduce further revolutionary reforms - with Pym's 'Grand Remonstrance' - while others - 'Constitutional Royalists' - believed that the King had to be trusted again for the constitution to succeed. With his support growing, Charles was placed in a stronger position, and had he consistently followed the advice of the 'Constitutional Royalists', he could have presented himself as a symbol of order and stability and a trustworthy monarch, which would undoubtedly have undermined Pym and his followers. However, Charles did not follow this path and it has been suggested that this is one factor which contributed to the further breakdown of his relationship with Parliament. "Charles I was ill suited to cope with his plight...while it would be foolish to conclude that the Civil War occurred simply because Charles was King, it would be equally foolish to underestimate the part played by his personality."1 His position was further damaged towards the end ...read more.


He responded with the Commissions of Array in June, his own call to arms which was based on a very ancient legal device and was not widely accepted, most of the gentry supporting the Militia Ordinance 'for the defence of King and Parliament' Pym felt himself to be in a strong permission and effectively started the civil war with an uncompromising list of demands to Charles, the 'Nineteen Propositions', which would have served to make the king a constitutional monarch. They were a list of demands which Charles found unacceptable and the king declared war on Parliament on 22nd August 1642. Within two years the relationship between Parliament and Charles had deteriorated to such an extent that England was at war. Parliament can be seen as wholly responsible for the deterioration because of its insistence in pushing controversial, revolutionary reforms through Parliament. However, I do not believe it can be held entirely responsible as several of Charles' actions worsened his relations with Parliament, for example his indecisive behaviour. Therefore I would say that responsibility for the breakdown of Crown-Parliament relations between 1640-2 must be apportioned more or less equally between the two factions. 1 Derek Hirst, 'Authority and Conflict: England 1603-58.' 2 Lawrence Stone, 'The Causes of the English Revolution.' 3 Sir Harbottle Grimston, during the period. Sarah Ritchie ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. To what extent was Charles 1st responsible for causing the civil war in 1642?

    Another thing that triggered off the Civil War is when the Irish rebelled. Catholics had risen up to their Protestant rulers. Two hundred thousand Protestants were murdered. Most people saw it as the first step to make England a Catholic country.

  2. Was Charles I responsible for his execution?

    It became even more so when he then imposed the ship tax onto all towns and villages, even if they were inland. He argued that all of the country benefited from the Navy's protection so they should pay taxes to help in its upkeep.

  1. In August 1642 the Civil War began, it was between Parliament and the King ...

    But Charles actions proved to Parliament that he couldn't be trusted. Charles moved out of London to look for support. In 1642 there were arguments about Money, Religion and Power. Some MP's wanted to get rid of Bishops and some wanted to get rid of the Church of England.


    large numbers of people who had been enfranchised by the 1867 Reform Act - Irish church reform as he promised in the 1868 General Election would appeal not only to Roman Catholics but also to non conformists and many working men throughout Great Britain.

  1. Why was there a breakdown in relationship between king and parliament in 1629?

    Charles is remembered for having a very close choice of advisors and this is one of his weakest assets as his choice was not the best and he was so easily influenced that these advisors could almost control the king and many of his decisions like they would puppets.

  2. How far & to what extent was Louis responsible for the turn of events ...

    Obviously, this lead to massive exploitation, with many intendants enriching themselves completely at the expense of the bourgeoisie and peasantry. This system, a relic from times past, also meant that France was divided up into over 120 separate areas, requiring masses of civil servants to co-ordinate events.

  1. This essay examines the actions of Charles VII in relation to events pertaining to ...

    Although written during the time of the actual trials, they are not direct dialogue thus contain some bias of the French court recorders who later translated the texts into Latin for the official record. The reliability of the official record is questionable as some documents were added in afterwards to further incriminate Joan.

  2. Why was there so much hostility towards Charles by 1640?

    For example the most infamous Catholic attack was The Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Several Catholics tried to blow up the King and the Houses of Parliament. This failed attack only strengthened the Puritans deep mistrust in Catholics.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work