Charles I Innocence Essay

820 words - 4 pages

After the end of the civil war, officers of the New Model Army, formed by Cromwell, decided to put Charles on trial. Parliament voted to negotiate with the King in order to come to a peace agreement, but that was met with a fierce rebuke from Cromwell and his army. In order to kill any hope for the King and to prevent any kind of compromise between the King and Parliament, one hundred and eighty members of Parliament were excluded, and forty five were imprisoned for showing resistance. This act of purging was described simply as a coup d'état. (23 Laughland) If the king is truly guilty and hated by his people, Cromwell wouldn’t have needed to perform this despicable action of arresting and barring Parliament members from their seats. At this point, the authority of Parliament that was supported by the Roundheads, over the King’s, has lost all its legality. Parliament became a military tool in the hand of Cromwell and his army. In addition to this, Cromwell’s son-in-law, Henry Ireton, was the one who submitted a request to prosecute the King, which was naturally accepted by the one third of the Parliament left. A court with the name of ‘High Court of Justice’ was formed to be responsible for the King’s trial. (103-104 TURCHETTI)

Cromwell who accused the King of abusing his power is no better in using it himself; a Bill of Attainder was created especially for the king by the High Court of Justice. The infamous Bills of Attainder are considered one of the most popular forms of power abuse. Laws are supposed to be general statements for the mass public not specifically woven for an individual; hence, they are illegal ever since. No ordinary judge was present in the judgment. Excluding John Bradshaw, a second rate-lawyer, everyone feared participating in what they described as a judicial farce, since it is a violation of the laws of England to put an immune sovereign on trial. Those who were present at the court were all either members of the New Model Army or members of the purged Parliament. They agreed that Charles should be executed even before the trial. (24 Laughland)

If Charles was a manifest tyrant that deserves execution there wouldn’t be so much controversy. The notion of putting him on trial was not present in the first place. Parliament members’ main attack was on...

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