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Charles I Was the Reason for His Downfall

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Charles I was the reason for the downfall
The reason why war broke out between Charles I Parliament, in 1642 and was due to many reasons which will be discussed. However Charles, belief in the divine right of kings was one of the factors that caused misunderstandings with the Parliament.

Religion

Many disagree that Charles was to blame, however his actions did add to this. Religion had been a problem for Charles’ father, James I. Perhaps, this would hinder Charles in his reign as this would be remembered by the people. In 1625 Charles married a French princess, Henrietta Maria who was a Catholic and openly attended Catholic Mass. This perturbed the parliament and the people, they feared if the couple were to have children, their country would eventually be converted back to Catholicism.

The reason why this could be argued for Charles being innocent is that it was the Parliament and the people who feared this and it had not become a threat yet.

Problems Before His Reign

The status of the monarchy had started to decline under the reign of James I. He was known as the "wisest fool in Christendom". James was a firm believer in the "divine right of kings". This was a belief that God had made someone a king and as God could not be wrong, neither could anyone appointed by him to rule a nation. James expected Parliament to do, as he wanted; he did not expect it to argue with any of his decisions.
However, Parliament had one major advantage over James - they had money and he was continually short of it. Parliament and James clashed over custom duties. This was one source of James income but Parliament told him that he could not collect it without their permission. In 1611, James suspended Parliament and it did not meet for another 10 years. James used his friends to run the country and they were rewarded with titles. This caused great offence to those Members of Parliament who believed that they had the right to run the country.

Growth Of Parliament

In 1629, Charles copied his father, James. He refused to let Parliament meet. Members of Parliament arrived at Westminster to find that the doors had been locked with large chains and padlocks. They were locked out for eleven years - a period they called the Eleven Years Tyranny.
Charles ruled by using the Court of Star Chamber. To raise money for the king, the Court heavily fined those brought before it. Rich men were persuaded to buy titles. If they refused to do so, they were fined the same sum of money it would have cost for a title anyway.
In 1635 Charles ordered that everyone in the country should pay Ship Money. This was historically a tax paid by coastal towns and villages to pay for the upkeep of the navy. The logic was that coastal areas most benefited from the navy's protection. Charles decided that everyone in the kingdom benefited from the navy's protection and that everyone should pay.
A few say Charles was correct, but the relationship between him and the powerful men of the kingdom, that this issue caused a huge argument between both sides. One of the more powerful men in the nation was John Hampden. He had been a Member of Parliament. He refused to pay the new tax, as Parliament had not agreed to it. At this time Parliament was also not sitting as Charles had locked the MP's out. Hampden was put on trial and found guilty. However, he had become a hero to the people for standing up to the king.

Charles Was To Blame

Majority of the people, feel that Charles was indeed to blame. With every one of the reasons stated above there is a fault to Charles. An obvious reason would be the Ship Money, which caused Parliament much anger with the King. Also, Charles believing in the divine right of kings was looked down upon, not only this but Charles was a poor leader, which could be due to poor health as a child or lack of parental affection. Also, his marriage to Henrietta Maria was extremely unpopular. Charles was lacked confidence and was unwilling to bargain and negotiate. This was clearly not what England wanted in their King.

Conclusion

To conclude, I feel that Charles was a good man but that was not what was needed as King. Charles did indeed bring about his own downfall but was not helped for several reasons. Also, Charles’ father did not help in his previous reign. Overall, Charles lacked very important qualities to be a king, confidence, and leadership.

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