The Trial of King Charles

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In March 1625, the ailing King James I died. He was succeeded to the throne by his eldest surviving son Charles. King Charles' first Parliament assembled in June 1625, before his coronation had taken place.

The King's principal objective was to raise enough money for war against Spain, which he could raise from the taxes he collected from the peasants. But the Parliament was already in charge of collecting all taxes, and so, they made Charles accept their demands for a constitutional monarchy. Charles would have had to come back regularly (e.g. every two years) and ask for an exact amount of money, and give a reason for his require. Charles declined, and instead collected taxes from the ships that came and left the country.

In 1649, Charles was sent to court. It was a biased trial for a number of reasons. Parliament’s argument was that after Charles was defeated in the First Civil War, the Parliament expected him to accept its burdens for a constitutional monarchy. Once again, Charles refused, even though he was indebted to the Parliament and his army. He was kept in prison for two and a half years for his actions, but managed to forge an alliance with Scotland, and succeeded to escape to the Isle of Wight. His actions provoked the Second Civil War.

In Trial, Charles reminded the Parliament that he was still the King, who was considered to be ruled directly by God; therefore they weren’t in the position to accuse him. The Parliament gained enormous amount of power while Charles was in prison, plenty to make its own laws. But not enough to out rule the King.

The Parliament had the power to send Charles to Trial. He wasted the kingdom’s money, starving many families and then sending them to war. Moreover, he broke the promise he made to the country, as a King, which was to protect his people. He started two civil wars, which killed thousands.

On the other hand, one may argue that Charles wasn’t given the chance of a fair trial. He wasn’t allowed to...
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