Why Did the Civil War Begin?
On 22 August 1642, King Charles I raised his battle standard and declared a civil war against his enemies in Parliament. A civil war is a conflict fought between inhabitants of the same country. In this case the two sides that fought against each other in England were the King's side known as the Royalists and Parliament's side known as the Parliamentarians. The main reasons for going to war were part of three or possibly four topics; they were Money, Religion, Power, and...Personality. I will study these factors in my following essay. An estimated 250,000 people would be killed in the war that followed. How had a situation come about where Englishmen were prepared to kill each other, their friends and even members of their own families? A man once quoted:
“You would think it strange if I should
tell you there was a time in England
when brothers killed brothers, cousins
cousins and friends their friends.”
Sir John Oglander, 1660
In my essay I will try and discover why a civil war that led to Charles 1 public dath began. I will complete this by looking at the long and short term causes and by trying to uncover which one is most important. However there is not a simple answer there are several reasons and causes these can be split into Long term and short term and their definitions are below. Long Term: Long-term causes are reasons that have developed over a period of time. It can be helpful to think of them as factors that bring about the right conditions for an event to happen. I will first look at the Long term causes these include:
* Charles’s belief in the divine right of kings
* Charles’s money problems
* the rise of Parliament
* religious issues
* Charles’s attempts to rule without Parliament.
The divine right of kings is my first long term cause, why the civil war began? Charles believe in the Divine Right of Kings was a long term cause because ; when Queen Elizabeth 1 died childless in 1603 her cousin James v1 of Scotland took over and became James 1 of England. James was use to getting his own way in Scotland and so when he came to the throne in England he didn’t get along with the English Parliament. The main reason James didn’t get on with the English parliament is the fact that he believed in the Divine Right of Kings. This means he believed that the King was appointed by God and he had divine authority over his subjects. According to the Divine Right of Kings no one had the right to argue with the king or limit his power. James’ son Charles 1 was brought up with these same views. This made constant tension between the current monarch and Parliament. The MP’s were frustrated with their constant undermining; this became too much for Parliament and was a major cause to the Civil War.
This made the war more likely as the tension between the King and Parliament caused tension, which eventually caused a hostile environment, which in turn created many domestic arguments and finally the Civil War.
My second long term cause for the Civil War is Money Problems: When James I became king he inherited a lot of debt from Elizabeth I this was again passed on to Charles 1. In the past, English kings and queens had been expected to run the country using the income they got from their own lands. Taxes were only for special expenses, like wars. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth the crown spent more money than it earned. Because of Charles 1 issues with Parliament and his believes in the Divine Right Of kings Parliament spent Three times summoned and three times dissolved through 1625-1629, Parliament went the next 11 years without being summoned. The biggest problem in running the country without Parliament was how to raise enough money: * Charles borrowed a lot of money from rich people. When they refused, he took it anyway as a forced loan. * He also began to raise money by selling the exclusive right to make things like soap. These monopolies made those...
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