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To what extent was the superiority of resources the crucial factor in Parliament's victory in the first Civil War?

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Introduction

Alex Mansfield 12/2 To what extent was the superiority of resources the crucial factor in Parliament's victory in the first Civil War? It has been disputed how crucial Parliament's superiority in resources was to their eventual victory in the civil war. There are opposing views that suggest it was only the superiority in resources that allowed them to win, others think it was the creation of the new model army. Some believe it was a combination of factors. In comparison too other cities in England London was the most important city and site of the majority of the financial and military resources in England for Parliament. The London trained bands were the most professional in England. The Tower of London provided access to a large arsenal so the capital could equip its own troops. London was by far the biggest city in England and through its ports arrived most of the trade, it also had the largest population allowing Parliament to efficiently collect the taxes needed to fund the war and provide men for the army. ...read more.

Middle

He became Charles's cavalry commander and was probably the best commander on either side. Rupert's crucial flaw was his impetuousness, while his first charge often broke the opposition he did not see any reason to regroup and aid the infantry battle. Although the Royalists had the best cavalry commander in the war it seemed that both sides could boast a similar number of able generals. In fact the Royalist forces were usually superior in leadership before the creation of the New Model army. The advantage of better leadership meant that even though Charles was outnumbered his troops were usually better lead, which should have resulted in early victory. However rivalries between the Royalist generals, especially Rupert and Digby who did his best to turn Charles against his nephew, ensured that any victories that Rupert or any other Royalist general gained were never exploited fully. The result was a long war that the king could ill afford due to his lack of troops. Charles was unable to muster enough men for his armies, this could have been due to the reputation his troops had received for pillaging, defects in recruitment procedure or the problem of neutralism. ...read more.

Conclusion

The navy blockaded England preventing Charles from receiving foreign help even though Henrietta Maria failed in her attempt to gain support from abroad. Finally the last military resource that Parliament had over the king was foreign aid in the form of the Scots. Charles was unable to receive foreign help due to the blockading of England. The solemn League and Covenant was signed in 1643, Scotland would help in the war; in return Parliament promised that the Church of England was to be modelled more on the Scottish Presbyterian Church. The alliance provided 20,000 extra men for the Parliamentary side, combined with the relatively few troops that Charles had meant that now Parliament had a large superiority in numbers ensuring that the king was inevitably going to loose the civil war. The superiority of resources was important in the parliamentary victory, however equally important in the victory was the Royalist disadvantages. I believe that though Parliament had superior resources it was how they were used that allowed them to win rather than the quantity. The historian Derrick Hurst described it best. "money bags don't win wars." Parliament won because of Royalist inefficiencies and better use of resources rather than just because they had more. ...read more.

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