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

Why were the parliamentary armies more successful in 1644/5 than in 1642/3?

Extracts from this document...


Why were the parliamentary armies more successful in 1644/5 then in 1642/3? At the beginning of the war in 1642/3 it was obvious that royalists held the upper hand and severely outnumbered their victories to parliaments. At the beginning of the war, the king held the majority of support throughout the country. His position of king granted him the authority of the monarchy, of which many people found their loyalty bound too. Many people felt that because Charles was king, the war would result inconclusively as the Earl of Essex stated "if we beat the king 99 times yet he is king still'. His title would still remain, and parliament would have restrained control. They feared the impending punishments if parliament lost, and the king rose successfully back into power. Many feared the religious consequences of opposing the king, because the king was directed straight from the divine right, a long standing idea that the monarch was picked by God. Many opted for supporting the royalists to quash their fears, and ease their consciences. Many of the nobility raised their own private armies in which to serve Charles because they bound to the kingship due to personal loyal ties, and also they felt he was the final decision in casting social order, and their status is what supported them. ...read more.


Parliament at the beginning of the war had weak and inexperienced leaders such as the Earl of Essex, who earned his position alone on social status. At the age of 51 he was considered too old, but gained the continual support of John Pym for whom he had worked loyally for in the lords. Williams Waller was probably their second strongest commander with a stint of service in the thirty year war, but a strong opposition to the downfall of the king. Lord Ferdinando Fairfax was perhaps the best general of the parliamentarians. He possessed international military experience and had the characteristics of an honest, decent and principled man. Cromwell only became involved with the military towards the end of the war; he proved to be a good horseman, though he had no military experience he became to be considered an outstanding general and never lost a battle. The self denying ordinance and the development of the new model army soon put a stop to the weak leaders. Probably one of the main influences that clinched parliament's success was the creation of the New Model Army. The New Model Army was created in February of 1645 in a bid to raise a professional organized and controlled army constituting of well behaved, paid and uniformed men. ...read more.


We have evidence of this from Maurice's army which shrank in September 1644 from 4,600 men to 2,000. Also many soldiers developed localism, which meant they were willing to fight for their country but not willing to go further a field than their own county. Providing accommodation and food for a large army also proved a prominent problem. Many commanders resorted to encouraging their troops to billet towns, which caused massive resentment from the people towards the occupying army. Their behaviour was atrocious including stealing, fighting and the large consumption of alcohol. At the end of the war many counties were owed thousands of pounds of compensation due to the effects of billeting and many men were also expecting a long back payment for their service in the war. Parliament's victory in the war rested heavily on the self denying ordinance and the knock on effects of the New Model Army. A pattern with good leadership has also prevailed; once the social status of an individual had been ignored and the focus put on their own ability did the true talent begin to show. This applies to leadership as well as ordinary troops. In conclusion the parliamentarians came through their problems by using a mixture of long term and short term structures, but mainly the remodelling of their army amidst a civil war was a precarious yet very successful strategy. Abigail Morrish 12A Miss Abbott ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Did Oliver Cromwell achieve his objectives from 1642 to 1658?

    5 star(s)

    The army did however support Cromwell until his death, showing his political skill. A royalist wrote the following regarding Cromwell's foreign policy, "Greatness at home was but a shadow of the glory he [Cromwell] had abroad," suggesting Cromwell's foreign policy was a success, which was true in almost all areas.

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

    This would surely be a problem for any ruler of a nation, as oratory skills are important in attracting support. His weakness at speaking in public would surely have been a problem in 1642-1643. She also states that Charles was overshadowed by the presence and then death of his brother, Prince Henry.

  1. The Prince.

    I suppose that you could say that it was organised chaos, but without the organised bit in it. Nothing was organised when the prince was involved. The prince was obviously nervous - he kept on consulting the stars to see what time it was (we're talking about the 15th century

  2. Considered assessment of the Great War career of Field Marshal Douglas Haig.

    Communication during Haig's planning of the Battle of the Somme has also been under scrutiny after "GHQ writes to Rawlinson that "it was not clear whether his attack or that of the Second Army at Messines would start first" ".

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