Which Was the Most Important Reason for the Outbreak of the English Civil War: -Tension Between King and Parliament -Religious Issues

Topics: Charles I of England, English Civil War, Charles II of England Pages: 6 (2237 words) Published: May 16, 2013
Assessment 3-Which was the most important reason for the outbreak of the English Civil war: -Religious issues
-Tension between King and Parliament

In 1625, Charles I became King of England and Scotland at the age of 25.17 years later, 1642, Civil war broke out in England between Charles I and members of Parliament.

When Charles I became King there was already tension because his father James I had lots of arguments with parliament even suspending them in 1611. When James I next recalled parliament in 1621 it was to discuss the marriage between Charles I and a Spanish Princess but parliament were annoyed because they didn't want the children to be brought catholic. James I believed in the 'divine rights of kings' so he did not like to be argued with and the therefore there was a damaged relationship between King and parliament.

Consequently when Charles I became King neither parliament or Charles were happy. Charles who had not expected or prepared to be King had grown up seeing the arguments between his father ad parliament and thought that it was all parliaments fault. Like his father, Charles firmly believed in the divine rights of kings so he found it hard to believe that his father was wrong. Members of Parliament did not want the same thing that James did to happen to them again so they made it harder for Charles to rule without them. With both sides already seeing each other in the wrong there was already increased tension between both sides.

In 1625 Charles I married a French catholic, Henrietta Maria which outraged the MPs because they had not been consulted and because the country was protestant many people disliked the idea of having a catholic for Queen however this was not a main cause for civil war because most people just accepted it but it arose a lot of suspicious in the future that some people argue was the cause of civil war. If he had married a good wholesome English Protestant then his relationship with parliament may not have got off to such a bad start and therefore decrease the amount of tension that was already there because of Charles' father and also people may not have thought Charles was turning the country catholic when he introduced the prayer book so puritans in parliament may not have been so strongly against him.

In 1626, his main advisor Buckingham and best friend had wasted lots of money on a failed naval attack against Spain, therefore parliament want him sacked however Charles let his emotions get to him he would have realised that parliament didn't have strong evidence against Buckingham so therefore he could have saved Buckingham and still had a good relationship with parliament, instead he got his reign off to a worse start and the tension was increasing in parliament. As he stopped parliament to prevent The Duke of Buckingham to be impeached he made parliament much less likely to approve of future advisors including Archbishop Laud who caused a lot of religious issues in the future. Consequently because of his actions here he now had to resort to other means of finance.

Parliament had been growing in power since Henry VIII reign and in 1629 when Charles I dissolved them they were consequently not happy so they tried to make it harder for Charles to earn money. After running out of money Charles introduced the 'ship money' where he collected money from the coastal towns to help the navy. However at this time the navy was not in use so people in the country were quite annoyed with the decision. A source shows the statistics for the collection of ship money in England, in 1634 and 1635 when the tax was first introduced high percentages where collected showing that although people did not think it was right for them to pay they still thought that he was King so they should. However, when the tax was introduced inland a man called John Hampden refused to pay the money showing resistance against the king and this gained Charles bad publicity resulting in 1639 only 20%...
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