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English Civil War

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The English Civil War From the moment of his coronation in 1625 there was friction between Charles I and Parliament, finally leading to the Civil War, a truly profound political event in 17th century Britain, between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell. The Stuart kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland were ripped apart by religious and political unrest, and as neither side was willing to back down over the principles that they held, war was inevitable. The accepted starting point of the English Civil War is August 22nd 1642, when Charles I unfurled his standard at Nottingham. We have been looking at the events in the years leading up to this. The Civil War was largely caused by a struggle for power between Charles and the Parliamentarians. Each wanted to be in control of the army, control England's religious future, and be in charge of collecting taxes. Charles I and his father James I believed that they had a Divine Right to be in control of the country; that Kings were appointed by God, and could not be wrong. ...read more.


Charles had done the same as that which James had done; he closed down Parliament so that he could run the country as he wanted to. He kept it shut for 11 years. When he needed money he would persuade rich people to buy titles, and if they refused they were fined the same amount anyway. He ruled with the help of his friends, and made people pay a new kind of tax called Ship Money. This was supposed to pay for the navy in times of war, and all people living on the coast were meant to pay it, but Charles made everyone pay it when there was no war. Charles wanted power not only in England but also Scotland and Ireland. He sent soldiers to Ireland in a hopeless attempt to take over; he was fast losing this war and needed more money to fund it. Parliament executed the Earl of Strafford on charges of organising an army in Ireland, where he governed. ...read more.


o The King's advisors must be approved by MPs o Parliament must control the army o Parliament should decide the future of the Church o Parliament should make sure that the King' children are brought up Protestants and decide how they are educated and who they marry o The King must get rid of his soldiers Charles, backed by 236 MPs who thought that Pym had gone too far, angrily rejected his demands, went north, and called every loyal citizen to come with him and fight. We can categorise the causes of the war into: o Power. Both sides wanted to control the country, and each wanted more power than the other over issues such as the army, taxes, and the Church o Money. Charles' lack of money lead to many disputes including the illegal taxation, and John Pym's demands which sparked off the war o Religion. The wars leading up to the civil war with Scotland and Ireland were caused mostly by religious disagreements. The Divine Right and High Anglicanism greatly angered the MPs. ...read more.

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