A. The First (1642-46) and Second Civil War (1648-49)
We can notice that people talk about English Civil WarS in the plural. It is due to the fact that the war was composed of several war periods separated by relative peace ones. Although these wars had globally the same causes, they did not involve every time the same belligerents and the purposes could change, so did the endings, one of which would be unexpected.
Causes of Civil Wars:
Petition of Rights (February 1628): Parliament forced Charles to acknowledge it. He was reluctant because as it was giving Parliament more liberties, it was taking away the absolutism of royal power and was a declaration of the “rights and liberties of the subject".
Scottish Riots (1637): Archbishop Laud decides to impose the English Prayer Book on Scotland, where most of the people was Presbyterian. The Scots erupted into open rebellion. The Kirk: Scottish Presbyterian Church.
Charles’ attempt to arrest MPs (January 1642): Event that actually started the Civil War. Charles marched into the House of Commons and tried to arrest five leading MPs who had been forewarned and had already fled. The country started to divide itself between King and Parliament.
The “Cavaliers” (supporters of the King) also known as the “Royalists”
The “Roundheads” (supporters of Parliament) also known as the “Parliamentarians”.
I. The First Civil War (1642-1646)
November 1640: Parliament passes an Act that prevented it from being dissolved without its own consent.
1st December 1641: The Grand Remonstrance (list of grievances) passes. One of the major events which would lead the English Civil War.
4th January 1642: Charles’ failed attempt to arrest five parliamentary leaders.
22nd August 1642: Beginning of the English Civil War: King Charles declared war on Parliament by raising his standard at Nottingham.
October 1642: Battle of Edgehill,
References: Ashworth, Leon. Oliver Cromwell. Bath: Cherrytree Books, 1997. Guy, John. Charles I & Oliver Cromwell. Tunbridge: Ticktock Publishing, 1998. Seel, E. Graham. The English Wars and Republic: 1637-1660. London/ New York: Routledge, 1999. Starkey, David. Crown & Country: The Kings & Queens of England. London: Harper Collins, 2011. Worden, Blair. The English Civil Wars: 1640-1660. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/civil_war_england.htm (07.11.2013) http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/civil_war_revolution/ (05.11.2013)