Civil War In England. Which Were More Important, Short Term Or Long Term Causes?

1033 words - 4 pages

What led to Civil war in England. Which were more important, short-term or long-term causes? From the beginning of Charles's rule in 1625, long-term factors such as his Arminian beliefs, disputed ways of raising of finances and methods of enforcing laws created huge resentment which led to the civil war in England. Short-term factors like the Bishops wars, the Long Parliament, rebellion in Ireland, the Grand Remonstrance and the attempts by Charles to rid his opposition sparked the fuse.Unlike his father James, Charles favoured Arminians who rejected predestination and after 1627 he did not appoint a Calvinist bishop again. William Laud, a convinced Arminian, was elevated to Archbishop of Canterbury in 1633.Laud's church looked Catholic. He stressed "beauty of holiness" with elaborate decorations and vestments on priests encouraged. He also used High commission and Star Chamber to enforce what he could not achieve by consent. There was also a great fear amongst the land owning gentry that Laud and the King would start a campaign against impropriated tithes that went with property rights over former churches.A major long-term cause of the Civil War in England was the eleven years of personal rule when parliament was not called. This denied the governing class an opportunity to air their grievances as well as promote their own interests.The measures Charles took to raise finances such as ship money and the composition of knighthood also caused much dislike. Ship money involved the crown levying ships from the Kingdom's ports for the purpose of national defence during emergency. During the Personal Rule, however, the King levied money in order to build and maintain the Royal Fleet and thereafter it was collected annually and so became a regular tax which was extended to inland counties. It was disliked because it raised the question whether it was constitutionally legitimate and people were concerned that it made the calling of parliament even less likely.Charles' administration over other kingdoms such as the harsh polices carried out in Ireland by Wentworth and the introduction of an Arminian prayer book in Scotland that led to the Bishops wars made people fear a similar fate would be in store for England.Short-term causes of the Civil War began with the first session of the Long Parliament in 1640. Charles was forced to call parliament as the defeat at the hands of the Scots in the second Bishop's wars resulted in occupation of Newcastle and demand for 850 pounds a day until grievances were met. After being neglected by Charles for eleven years parliament was not about rally behind him and feared that if they did not do enough to secure parliament's position in the constitution, the king could punish them in the future. Led by John Pym, 400 of the 493 members of the commons were opposed to the king and were now in a position to air their grievances and dismantle the machinery of prerogative rule. Wentworth and Laud were both arrested and...

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