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English Civil War 1642

Uploaded by Grand_Pooba on Dec 03, 2007


1642, the year civil war broke out between the two huge powers of Parliament and the Monarch. King Charles the 1st was later to be the first Monarch of England who was executed on charge of treason. This essay explores one of the many answers to the question, ‘Why did Civil War break out in England in 1642?’


One of the most important reasons of the civil war breaking out was power. Power was everything to both Parliament and Monarch. There were both long term causes and short term causes of the power struggle between Parliament and King.
The status and authority of the monarchy had started to decline in the reign of James I. He was known as ‘the wisest fool in all of Christendom’. James believed strongly in ‘divine right’ (a concept that the monarch was given his power and authority by God himself and he should not be questioned). He expected Parliament to do anything he wanted and never expected argument over his decisions. However Parliament controlled the money in the nation and James was always short of it. Parliament and James always clashed over Customs Duties (A major source of James’ income). They told him that he could not collect it without permission and this enraged him, being questioned or argued against was something he did not expect. In 1611, he closed Parliament down and ruled without them for 10 years. In 1621 James summoned Parliament to discuss the future marriage of his son, Charles, to a Spanish Princess. Parliament was outraged by this and felt that if Charles gets married to a Catholic then what would become to nations religion and to the monarch’s children? Would they be raised as Catholics or Protestants? Spain was still not considered an ally or a friendly nation to England, many still remembered the Spanish Armada in 1588. The marriage never took place but the damaged relationship between King and Parliament was never mended. James died in 1625 leaving Charles to rule with a bad start and introduction to the crown.
Charles was a very arrogant King and had witnessed the argument and struggle between the Monarchy and Parliament and felt it was entirely the Parliament’s fault. Just like James he was a believer in Divine Right but in a much more extremist sense, he found it difficult to accept a King could be wrong or at fault and all this...

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Uploaded by:   Grand_Pooba

Date:   12/03/2007

Category:   Civil War

Length:   3 pages (754 words)

Views:   11393

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