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The Failure To Reach A Settlement From 1646 To 1649 Was Primarily The Result Of Each Of The Party's Religious Convictions. Do You Agree?

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Ben Jacques The Failure To Reach A Settlement From 1646 To 1649 Was Primarily The Result Of The Religious Convictions Of Each Of The Party?s Involved. Do You Agree Or Disagree? Between the years of 1646 and 1649 England was found yet again in a unique position and one that did not seem to have the same outcome at the end as many desired at the start. This outcome could easily be attributed to religious conviction amongst the main parties involved however we must also look at the wider beliefs and motives of those parties and the reasons for their actions. To understand why a settlement was not reached due to different religious convictions we must first examine each party?s beliefs separately. The King was a firm believer in the status quo of religion before the civil war. He believed in an Episcopalian system with bishops and most importantly himself at the head of the church as the religious leader of the country he also believed in the divine right of kings calling himself ?God's mouthpiece on Earth? . The army was made up of Independents who desired religious liberality and saw Charles increasingly as time passed as a ?man of blood? who worked against Gods will, especially after the second civil war. ...read more.


The problem with this is that they faced opposition from the Independents and Army that they did not address properly. Stroud argues that if Parliament had managed to pay off the army then a settlement could well have been reached with Charles without their interference. However Holles addressed the legitimate threat of Army radicalism by pushing them away further instead of appeasement, an action that was to have serious repercussions on the Army?s later actions. Another major reason that Parliament failed to reach a settlement with the king was self-preservation. In the back of many MPs minds they knew that were the king to return to power a simple pardon was unlikely, to reach a settlement with him would be essentially putting their necks on the block. The Independents within Parliament were also very important they hindered the Presbyterians attempts to reach a settlement and increasingly aligned themselves with the Army, encouraging their radicalism. To conclude Parliament?s religious convictions did get in the way of settlement negotiations as there was discourse within Parliament but also there was a creeping knowledge of hypocrisy in their negotiations with Charles as they questioned their King?s trustworthiness. ...read more.


Although this argument is relatively strong I believe that the main social change happened amongst those in the army and it was this section of society that saw the negotiations as an opportunity. My point is demonstrated by the fact that the general population was happy to accept the monarchy back during the restoration. Social change was an important factor in motivating the army to make the decisions it did and move away from a negotiated settlement with the king. In conclusion I would argue that it was not religious conviction that caused the failure to reach a settlement with the King but each party?s conviction to their principles, of which religion played a large role. When we examine the fine details we can find that out of the three parties involved only two groups found a common belief in each other?s principles, it was that amongst the Independents in the Army and the Independents in Parliament. These were both groups who began to vilify Charles and see regicide as a legitimate action, and so came the trial and execution of Charles. ...read more.

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