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What were the causes of the English Civil War?

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The Causes of the English Civil War There were many causes that eventually forced the country into civil war and these causes are usually split up into long-term causes and short-term causes. I am going to start with the long-term causes. These events caused mistrust between Charles and Parliament. They could not cause a Civil War on their own, but they helped to make it possible. From 1629 to 1640, King Charles ruled without Parliament. He still had the same old problem; how to raise enough money? He used 3 different methods to increase his income from £600,000 a year in 1629 to £900,000 a year by 1640. He did this by imposing forest fines, selling monopolies and collecting ship money. The forests belonged to Charles. He had the boundaries of the forests fixed so anyone living inside the boundary had to pay a fine. Counties in coastal areas of England were supposed to provide ships in time of war to protect England from invasion. ...read more.


In November 1630, the Puritan preacher Alexander Leighton was arrested for drawing up a petition against the power of bishops. The Star Chamber ordered that Leighton be whipped, that bits of his body be cut off and that he be put into prison for life. There are many other similar cases of Puritans being harshly judged in the Star Chamber. Laud was powerful but his ideas were hated. Parliament was angry as they thought was Charles was being to kind to Catholics. They also blamed him for having a Catholic wife. The short-term causes did what the long-term causes had not. They pushed the relationship between the King and his Parliament to breaking point and made compromise impossible. Charles needed money. In the summer of 1640 the Scots invaded again in what was known as the Second Bishops’ War. They defeated the English and demanded Charles pay £850 a day. Charles had to call another parliament. In November 1640 the Long Parliament met. ...read more.


He was also fed up with the criticism and insults directed to his wife. Charles decided to take action. He demanded that Parliament impeach five MPs whom he blamed for the supposed plot. Parliament refused so, on 5th June 1642, the King entered Parliament with 300 soldiers intending to arrest the MPs. But someone had tipped them off and they had fled into London. Some MPs, who had previously though that Pym and the radicals were too extreme, now started to support the them. At the end of January, Charles left London. In June 1642, Parliament issued the Nineteen Propositions. The Nineteen Propositions suggested that Charles give up some of his power such as the right to make war; that Parliament should choose the King?s ministers; decide on religious matters, and even arrange the education of the King?s children. Charles was not prepared to sign this and Parliament probably knew it. Instead of accepting the Nineteen Propositions, Charles went to Nottingham and , on 22nd August, he raised his Standard. By this symbolic action he was declaring to Parliament that he was ready to fight them. The Civil War had started. ...read more.

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