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

What Was The Main Cause Of The First English Civil War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What Was The Main Cause Of The English Civil War? [1642-1646] The first English Civil War took place between parliamentarians and royalists over the course of four years, from 1642 to 1646. It consisted of much political conspiracy and armed contention from both sides who had encountered great difficulty in co-operating during the flawed reign of Charles I. The war was a result of parliament's general frustration at the monarch's policies, and the influence of the conflicts in Ireland and Scotland. Parliament's ultimate aim was not to dispose of Charles I from the throne, but to pressurize and obligate the King to abide by the policies in which they desire the country to be run. Supporters of Charles were to battle against parliament, and so began the events of the civil war. This essay will consider the causes of the civil war through events preceding 1642 from a series of different aspects. Social, political, economic, religious and military accounts will be excogitated and I will venture to find a conclusion to what I believe was the most notable in motivating the war. Charles I was a highly introverted character during his time as King of England and Scotland. He did not enjoy speaking or having any satisfactory form of communication to the public that he ruled over, and suffered from poor social skills. As a supporter of Arminianism, he abided by the divine right of kings, allowing him to remain silent in times of public commotion. ...read more.

Middle

People with property within limits of the boundaries of the Royal forests during Edward I's reign were fined for encroachment, and the Court of Wards was exploited so that the King became an acting guardian to the children of rich parents who had passed away, profiting by selling the estates that those children would have acquired through inheritance. Also during the Personal Rule, Charles' foreign policy revolved around isolating England from any non-domestic conflict. This, of course, compensated for the lack of funds - as did the avoidance of any major innovations in the country's communities. People were upset with the lack of advances at the time and this represents another reason as to why many people felt disgruntled under Charles' reign. Another factor that enraged the public was Charles' lifestyle and expensive taste. He held a firm interest in art and culture and purchased many paintings and portraits from established artists, such as Raphael and Titian (his collection of art was later dispersed by Oliver Cromwell). They felt that because they had limited resources on which to survive at this time, it was unfair of the King to spend abnormally high amounts of money on products that he could have easily survived without. Charles' lifestyle was reflected in his religious practice. Whereas Protestants favoured a plainer approach towards worship and their churches, the King was far more elaborate in these issues, enjoying a high Anglican form of worship which was deeply ritualistic and extensively decorated. ...read more.

Conclusion

to work around as the dissolution of Parliament was a central issue, and the lack of funds meant the King had to increase revenue by introducing taxes, such as the notorious ship money - an economic decision which enraged the public, as did many others. On a par with the importance of these social and economic expressions were that of military events, and the restriction of the power to control armies by Parliament, and the Irish Rebellion. However, I believe that religious issues were of a much more important nature. It is evident that there was a massive divide in the beliefs of the country, and as people are passionate about their beliefs, they will stand up to what they see as true and would be enraged if their reckonings were to be challenged, let alone deal with the abrupt imposition of something completely different (the enforcement of the Common Book of Prayer in Scotland, c. 1637). In conclusion, and in spite of the importance of religion during these times, my opinion is that the political causes outweigh all else, in particular the intrusions on Charles' policies by the John Pym-led Long Parliament in 1641. The Grand Remonstrance was a direct attack on the King, as were a series of other statements issued - and, as a monarch, Charles' only option was to enter into war to quell the threat that Parliament pressured, as life alongside it had become intolerable while having the majority of his power limited considerably and his reputation tarnished. ...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. Why did King Charles I Resort to Personal Rule in 1629?

    to refer to, effectively constricting the King a lot further than he had been before. It also forced the king to rely on Parliament because it outlawed forced loans and imprisonment without just cause. The King signed it, but it was to cause him trouble in the future.

  2. Was Charles I Trying to Establish Royal Absolutism during his Personal Rule?

    His personality was ill-suited to a time of change and turmoil. Many of his personality traits lead him to be a poor communicator. This was for several reasons.

  1. Was the Henrician Reformation inevitable?

    From one point of view, it seemed that Henry's desperation for a divorce and a male heir , together with the lack of co-operation with Charles V and Clement VII, had forced him to push into a reformation that was neither necessary nor inevitable.

  2. The roles and leadership of Charles Stuart and John Pym in the English Civil ...

    Charles was a strong believer in the Devine Right of Kings, like his father before him, and this was a reason for his inability to make concessions with parliament. His mixture of outward self-certainty and inner self-doubt made a lethal combination that created many difficulties with a many number of groups of people.

  1. Henry II (1154 - 1189) is generally seen as the main catalyst in the ...

    59 Ultimately, failure to comply with the new 'code'60 meant punishments varied from fines, corporal punishment for misdemeanors, imprisonment and the death penalty for felonies.61 Without doubt, there is no evidence of "liberal" attitudes to offenders or had the need for rehabilitation in the secular laws.62 Henry however felt that

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

    and her army was disbanded; the process of exclusion was beginning to take place.32 The king's apathy, and tendency to take bad counsel, meant a halt to any attempt to take Paris as Charles did not want to break the surreptitious truce.

  1. What was the most significant cause of civil strife in England from 1455-61?

    The removal of these nobles was one of the demands of Jack Cade's 1450 rebellion, proof that this was a contentious issue amongst the public. Although this was undeniably a contributing factor to the outbreak of civil strife, the stronger argument is that it was not the creation of these

  2. Wives & War: To what extent did these two aspects undermine Henry VIIIs rule ...

    the reason that Henry?s uneasy ally Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire committed a war against Francis I, King of France. What must be understood is that England?s involvement in the war is exclusively Henry?s own matter (with little help from court), but why with France and Scotland, which showed little chance of success.

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