A history of civil war in england

The History Learning Site, 17 Mar The split between Charles and Parliament was such that neither side was willing to back down over the principles that they held and war was inevitable as a way in which all problems could be solved.

A history of civil war in england

Elizabeth's death had resulted in the succession of her first cousin twice-removedKing James VI of Scotlandto the English throne as James I of England, creating the first personal union of the Scottish and English kingdoms. In spite of this, James' personal extravagance meant he was perennially short of money and had to resort to extra-Parliamentary sources of income.

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This extravagance was tempered by James' peaceful disposition, so that by the succession of his son Charles I to the English and Scottish thrones in the two kingdoms had both experienced relative peace, both internally and in their relations with each other, for as long as anyone could remember.

Charles hoped to unite the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland into a new single kingdom, fulfilling the dream of his father.

As Charles shared his father's position on the power of the crown James had described kings as "little gods on Earth", chosen by God to rule in accordance with the doctrine of the " Divine Right of Kings "the suspicions of the Parliamentarians had some justification.

Instead, Parliament functioned as a temporary advisory committee and was summoned only if and when the monarch saw fit. Once summoned, a parliament's continued existence was at the king's pleasure, since it was subject to dissolution by him at any time.

Yet, in spite of this limited role, over the preceding centuries Parliament had acquired de facto powers of enough significance that monarchs could not simply ignore them indefinitely. For a monarch, Parliament's most indispensable power was its ability to raise tax revenues far in excess of all other sources of revenue at the Crown's disposal.

By the seventeenth century, Parliament's tax-raising A history of civil war in england had come to be derived from the fact that the gentry was the only stratum of society with the ability and actual authority to collect and remit the most meaningful forms of taxation then available at the local level.

This meant that if the king wanted to ensure a smooth collection of revenue, he needed the co-operation of the gentry. For all of the Crown's legal authority, by any modern standard, its resources were limited to the extent that, if and when the gentry refused to collect the king's taxes on a national scale, the Crown lacked any practical means with which to compel them.

Therefore, in order to secure their co-operation, monarchs permitted the gentry and only the gentry to elect representatives to sit in the House of Commons. When assembled along with the House of Lordsthese elected representatives formed a Parliament. The concept of Parliaments therefore allowed representatives of the gentry to meet, primarily at least in the opinion of the monarch so that they could give their sanction to whatever taxes the monarch expected their electorate to collect.

In the process, the representatives could also confer and send policy proposals to the king in the form of bills. However, Parliament lacked any legal means of forcing its will upon the monarch; its only leverage with the king was the threat of its withholding the financial means required to execute his plans.

The Parliament refused to assign him the traditional right to collect customs duties for his entire reign, deciding instead to grant it only on a provisional basis and negotiate with him. Military support for Protestants on the Continent had the potential to alleviate concerns brought about by the King's marriage to a Catholic.

A history of civil war in england

However, Charles's insistence on having his unpopular royal favourite George Villiers, the Duke of Buckinghamassume command of the English force undermined that support. Unfortunately for Charles and Buckingham, the relief expedition proved a fiasco[18] and Parliament, already hostile to Buckingham for his monopoly on royal patronageopened impeachment proceedings against him.

This move, while saving Buckingham, reinforced the impression that Charles wanted to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny of his ministers.

The elected members included Oliver Cromwell and Edward Coke. The new Parliament drew up the Petition of Rightand Charles accepted it as a concession in order to obtain his subsidy. First and foremost, to avoid Parliament, the King needed to avoid war.

However, that in itself was far from enough to balance the Crown's finances.


Unable to raise revenue without Parliament and unwilling to convene it, Charles resorted to other means. One method was reviving certain conventions, often long-outdated. For example, a failure to attend and to receive knighthood at Charles's coronation was a finable offence with the fine paid to the Crown.

The King also tried to raise revenue through the ship money tax, by exploiting a naval-war scare indemanding that the inland English counties pay the tax for the Royal Navy. Established law supported this policy, but authorities had ignored it for centuries, and many regarded it as yet another extra-Parliamentary and therefore illegal tax.

InJohn BastwickHenry Burtonand William Prynne had their ears cut off for writing pamphlets attacking Laud's views—a rare penalty for gentlemenand one that aroused anger. Bishops' War The end of Charles's independent governance came when he attempted to apply the same religious policies in Scotland.

The Church of Scotlandreluctantly episcopal in structure, had independent traditions. This was violently resisted; a riot broke out in Edinburgh, [32] which may have been started in St Giles' Cathedralaccording to legend, by Jenny Geddes.

In Februarythe Scots formulated their objections to royal policy in the National Covenant. In the spring ofKing Charles I accompanied his forces to the Scottish border to end the rebellion known as the Bishops' War.

The truce proved temporary, and a second war followed in the middle of This time, a Scots army defeated Charles's forces in the north, then captured Newcastle. He had insufficient funds, however, and needed to seek money from a newly elected English Parliament in The Scots went on to invade England, occupying Northumberland and Durham.Civil War and Revolution Elizabeth I died childless so was succeeded by her cousin, James VI of Scotland, who henceforth assumed the title of James I of England as well.

Civil War, English

The English Civil War pitted the armies of King Charles I against the armies of Parliament for control of England. It happened in the mid 17th century. Click for more interesting facts or download the worksheet collection. The military history of England and Wales deals with the period prior to the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain in For the period after see Military history of the United Kingdom.

English Civil War battles were significant in the scope of British history but they were not arrayed in the manner of a typical war. Although this was a civil war, and the whole country was affected, there were remarkably few major battles. Discover your family history. Explore the world’s largest collection of free family trees, genealogy records and resources.

Dec 02,  · Watch video · The civil wars of seventeenth-century England also involved the two other kingdoms ruled by the Stuart dynasty, Scotland and Ireland. The invasion of England by a Scottish army seeking religious.

English Civil War - Wikipedia