What Was the Most Important Cause for the Civil War in 1642?

Topics: Charles I of England, English Civil War, England Pages: 4 (1532 words) Published: April 14, 2013
What was the Most Important Cause for the Civil War in 1642?

After the death of his father, James I, in 1625, Charles I became the King of England. However, he was very unpopular with his people and he had many problems, which lead to the Civil War in 1642. There were both long-term and short-term causes for the war, including: the King’s negative attitude towards Parliament, the fact that they had fewer riches than their rivals and the decisions he made…

To begin with, Charles I’s personal life choices made his reign go down from the very beginning! In the same year in which he became the monarch, he married Henrietta Maria of France, a Catholic princess. Of course, the Parliament was all against his marriage, as England was a Protestant country and marrying a Catholic princess would increase the chances of a religion change. In addition to this, Parliament distrusted the Duke (Charles’ main advisor), Buckingham. A popular rhyme in source 1, page 42 shows how much the people of England hated Buckingham: ‘…Who rules the King? The Duke. Who rules the Duke? The Devil’. To be described as ‘The Devil’ by the public must have meant that he had a really bad influence on Charles and England. What was bad about Charles’ choice of advisors was that he picked his friends to help him rule the country, meaning that they all earned titles and riches, instead of choosing experienced leaders who would have helped to make his reign successful.

Next, Charles refused to go along with the Parliament’s rules and orders (for example, he continued the ‘customs duties’ without Parliament’s permission). By 1629, he finally decided to dissolve Parliament. In the next eleven years that followed, he ruled England without Parliament and this period of time was called ‘The Eleven Years Tyranny’. Many historians say that his policies at that time (taxes and religious reforms) were extremely unpopular and were close to bringing up a Civil War.

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