English Civil War

Michaela Corning-Myers, Zoe LaBonte

Years Fought

1642-1651

9 years, 1 week, 5 days

Root Causes

The root causes are James I's reign, as he wanted Parliament to do what he wanted because he thought they would comply without argument, yet they did. They clashed over custom duties, as it was one of the main sources of income. Parliament told him that he could not collect this money without their permission, and so in 1611 James suspended Parliament for ten years. Then, he used his friends to help run the country and they were rewarded for this with titles, but that offended members of Parliament. Finally, in 1621, he recalled Parliament to discuss the marriage of his son to a Spanish princess. Parliament got upset over this because Spain was not friendly to England at the time, and they were still mad about the Spanish Armada. This damaged the relationship between Parliament and they King.

Direct Causes

After James died, his son held a grudge against Parliament and they argued a lot about money and religion. In 1629, Charles suspended Parliament, but he did not tell them about the suspension and just locked them out Westminster. This was later known as the Eleven Years of Tyranny. He taxed people ridiculously, which angered many, charged for titles, and he ordered people to pay ship money, which is collected to help upkeep the navy. By 1642, Parliament and Charles were enemies but he had to listen to him as they retained the ability to collect the money Charles needed. This was a problem because Charles believed in the divine right of kings. In 1642, Charles went to Parliament with 300 soldiers to arrest five of his biggest critics, who were already in hiding from him. But now people could see his true side. Six days later he raised an army to fight Parliament, and that's what started the war.

Key Figures

  • King Charles I - King of England who started the war.
  • King Charles II - he lead his father's group until the war ended
  • Oliver Cromwell - leader of the Protector and Commonwealth of England
  • James VI of Scotland - Father of Charles I. He was what started the tensions that Parliament held, and that carried over to his son.
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Important Battles

Parliament: a group of people who advise the king.

Outcome of the War

In 1646, Charles I surrendered to the Scots rather than the Parliament. In 1649, he was tried and found guilty for "traitorously and maliciously levied war against the present Parliament and the people therein represented". He was later executed January 30th, 1649.

Main Significance

The main significance of the war is that it helped to enforce democracy in England instead of just the traditional monarchy.

Summary

The war started when Charles I raised his army in 1642. There were only three major battles, which have been listed. The general breakdown of supporters are the nobility land owners and the Anglicans who supported Charles, and the people who lived in towns and cities supported Parliament. In 1643, Cromwell came more to the front with his desire for a New Model Army. In 1644, Charles lost control of the north of England. The armies of Parliament and the Scots defeated the royals. In 1645, Cromwell's army inflicted the defining blow of the war. In 1646, Charles surrendered to the Scots instead of Parliament. In 1649, he was tried and eventually executed.

Primary Source

In this document, Parliament is asking Charles I to allow them to convene and respect their authority. They request all political actions be called before Parliament also. Finally, they inform the King that they will not collect tax without these requests fulfilled.