English Civil Wars

"CRUEL NECESSITY" Cromwell on the execution of King Charles


The English Civil Wars (1642-1651) was the conflict between Charles I and Parliament over an catholic Irish rebellion and which would have more power in England politics the King or the Parliament. The first war was settled with the parliaments victory at the Battle of Naseby. The second phase ended with Charles’ defeat at the Battle of Preston and he would later have his execution in 1649. Charles II, son of Charles I, then formed an army of English and Scottish Royalists, which led the parliament to invade Scotland in 1650. The following year, the parliament defeated the remaining Royalist forces and ended the Civil war. Despite Charles II becoming king in 1660 which would led to the era of restoration in England.

Roots of the War

You can trace the start of this conflict from the reign of King James I. King James I strongly believed in "the divine right of kings ," which basically meant that he could control England because god choice him too. This would create many problems with the parliament. When King James inherited the throne he had a large debt to pay off and he also inherited a divide church in England as well. Because of his debt problems he sough after the parliament's money and tried to gain more revenues to gain money, the parliament didn't like this at all. Also there was religious tension between the Catholics and the Protestants in England one of these instances was when King James I talked of a marriage between his son and a princess from Spain (Catholic) which enraged the parliament and the protestants in England.

Direct Causes of the War

When King Charles I came into power he had married a Henrietta Maria of France who was catholic. The fact he was married to a catholic upset many including the parliament. You could argue that this caused the civil war but Charles also want money that the parliament had as well. Also the aftermath of the Bishop's War and conflict with Spain had an effect as well. Like stated in the summary an Catholic Irish rebellion rose and Charles rose an army to defeat the rebellion, however the parliament felt that they should've controlled the army to handle the rebels. They felt that the army could turn on the parliament and cause England to convert back to Catholicism. King Charles would eventually arrest member of the In March 1642 Parliament passed the Militia Ordinance which put the local militias under the control of Parliament. King Charles would eventually arrest 5 members of the parliament using force with soldiers. Eventually Charles would leave for Scotland where he had support and he raised an army to take over the parliament. In response so did the parliament.

Inportent Events

The first Major event would have to be the battle of Naseby which was a decisive victory for the Parliament and also would shift the side for the first civil war towards the parliament. The battle took place near the village of Naseby, north of London, the battle was in 1645. Another major event would be the Battle of Preston which took place in 1648 which took place in Lancaster. This battle was also another decisive victory for the parliament not only that but this victory would led to the execution of King Charles I. He would die in 1649.


The major importance would have to be the change of the government in England which would be a constitution monarchy being that the King or Queens power is restrained by a parliament or law different from most European absolute monarchy. Also religion in England and Scotland would shift towards Protestantism however Ireland would mainly stay Catholic.