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Why Did Civil War Break Out In England In 1642?

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Why did Civil War break out in England in 1642?

Modern historians still argue upon the causes of the English revolution. (The English Civil War). The people, in 1642, did not expect this event so soon. However, if we look down and combine all the facts and the evidence, the reasons will be exposed.

Considering the past historical events, the English Civil War was a disagreement due to a conflict between the overpowering Parliament and the King, Charles I.

In the beginning of the reign, in 1625, when Charles was 25 years old, he married a French Catholic princess, Henrietta Maria, without consulting the Parliament. Moreover in the 17th century a King could not rule the country without Parliament’s help and recommendation. The members of Parliament were hostile at Charles as he was not advised by them. The other reason was that the King married a French princess who was a Catholic and the Parliament feared that Charles’s intention was to make England a Catholic country. In result the Parliament was beginning to grow suspicious and lose their trust towards the King.

The MP’s were afraid that Charles would rule without them, in the same way as James did, and tried to make them indispensable to him by producing him the regular amount of income during one year instead of his whole lifetime. However Charles continued to rule without any help of the Parliament by collecting tax such as “Ship money”. This caused perturbation as people refused to pay because they considered that the ships were not at war and in perfect state. As a result, Charles received less and less money with every year.

During his rule without Parliament’s involvement, Charles several changes such as reforming the English Church and restoring the New Prayer book in Scotland. This, as some historians might highlight, was the beginning of the crisis. Charles followed Archbishop Laud’s ideas upon the Church such as making an altar at the East of the church and placing the Pulpit to the side instead of the front of the building. These changements were not appreciated by the people, especially the puritans, since they considered that Charles was trying to make England Catholic as the MP’s feared he would. Thus this idea lead to nothing good in particular and rather on the contrary the people started to dislike their King, which was not good in terms if war would suddenly start. When Charles established the new “Prayer Book” modelled on the English Book of Common Prayer, the Scots did not regard it from the good side. They considered it was a step towards Catholicism and to the Roman Catholic Church. As most Scots preferred to keep their Presbyterian Church, they rebelled against Charles. To attack the Scottish armies back, the King needed to have his own. After his eleven years rule alone, Charles called the Parliament to demand income to raise his army as the gentry refused to collect the taxes. The Parliament did not agree upon the King’s policies; they demanded Charles to stop his reforms and remove the useless taxes because it was a way to control the King when he did not have any money. In reply, Charles dismissed the Parliament after three weeks time which was called the “Short Parliament”. Charles defeat against Scotland permitted the Scots to invade Northern England. In this desperate situation, the crown called the Parliament, which was called this time “Long Parliament”, to discuss the political, religious and economic situation and was left with a series of grievances such as the religious reforms and the political ministers. Having no other choice, Charles obeyed and did what the MP’s demanded. Seizing their opportunity, the Parliament imposed new rules which could be later the several causes of the Civil War. To begin with, in November 1641, the House of Commons created a list



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