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Why did Civil war break out in 1642?

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Introduction

Why did Civil war break out in 1642? King Charles I declared war against parliament on the twenty second of August in 1642. There were a lot of victims to this war; approximately one man out of every ten was killed. People who were not physically affected had lost a lot of their property; this includes houses, land and other possessions. In my opinion, Civil war did not break out due to King Charles I. I think that the events that led a civil war started almost a century before King Charles' reined; when Henry VIII became the head of the Church of England. To do so he had to have Parliament's agreement so that he could claim that everybody agreed with his new position. Like this King Henry made Parliament feel more powerful than they ever were. So the Parliament's strengths kept building up till they had enough power to rebel against their own King, The Civil war broke out unexpectedly. Before 1642 there were several events that could have triggered the civil war, but most of these were sorted out by 1641. King Charles I could not rule the country on his own, he needed parliament's help to pass on new laws. By the end of his reign he had lost control over Scotland as well as London, due to an attempt at governing without Parliament. ...read more.

Middle

He began collecting ' Ship Money'; this was a tax that was collected to improve the navy during the times of war and most of the time it was collected only from coastal counties. King Charles began collecting ' Ship Money' annually from both coastal and inland counties. At first, in 1635 almost everybody paid these but by 1639 the king collected only twenty percent of these taxes. Again people had different views about ' Ship Money'. Some people agreed about it but some like John Hampden, who came from an inland county refused it. Another tax that he introduced was the 'Coat and Conduct money', which was used to pay for the army's uniforms, training and costumes. This tax rose when King Charles fought a war against the Scottish people since they rebelled against the new prayer book. Since Charles I ruled both England and Scotland, he insisted on making Scotland use the same prayer book as England; he wanted to spread Laud's ideas over his entire kingdom. Scotland contained more Puritans than England and so they rebelled against the new system. In 1637 the king ordered all of the churches in Scotland to use the new prayer book even if it were against their will. The king seemed to be collecting too much money; this created a taxpayer's strike. In Wiltshire, soldiers released the people who were imprisoned for not paying ' Coat and Conduct Money'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The votes were 159 to 148. This also states the point that the Members of Parliament were becoming too self-confident and arrogant. The first step towards spreading Catholicism in England took place on November the first 1641, when news reached London of a rebellion in Ireland the Catholics murdered 200,000 Protestants. King Charles was suspected of being behind this movement since, as mentioned before, he was thought to be a Catholic in secret. When this Irish rebellion arose, England needed an army to oppose. As always, the kings had control over the army, but this time Parliament wanted to control the army because they were afraid that the King might use this army to fight against them and because they did not trust him very much. So in March 1642, Parliament took control over the army against the king's will. This helped in increasing the Parliament's power to rebel against their king, with an army at hand. On the first of June 1642 a new set of laws was released, it was called 'The Nineteen Proposition'. People had to choose between either the King or Parliament. This helped both the King and Parliament to set up an army for the beginning of a Civil War. The Civil war had two phases: from 1642-1646, and from 1646- 1649. After a formal trial in 1649, King Charles I was accused of treason and was executed on January 30 in 1649. Oliver Cromwell thought that the king's execution was "a cruel necessity". Karen Beshay S2J History 1 ...read more.

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