Explain Why Civil War Broke Out In England In 1642

1002 words - 5 pages

In 1642, King Charles raised his royal standard in Nottingham, marking the beginning of the English Civil War. The next ten years saw the King Charles and his army of Cavaliers engaged in a vicious war against the parliament and their army of Roundheads, with the parliament ultimately victorious. This essay will attempt to explain why civil war broke out in England while summarizing the story behind the antagonism of the two parties.
One of the key factors that led to the civil war was the contrasting beliefs of King Charles and the parliament. According to Fisher (1994, p335), the monarchy believed in the divine rights of kings, a biblically-based belief that the monarch's authority ...view middle of the document...

Having already been dismissed twice by King Charles, the parliament was called for a third time in 1628. Under pressure by the parliament and in need of finances, King Charles, was forced to sign the "Petition of Rights" which prohibited the King from transgressing specific laws, some of which he had infringed during his reign. Although the King was granted the funds that he needed, the continual complaints and criticism of the parliament towards him led to their dismissal once again. Having come to the realization that the parliament was not needed if finances were not needed, King Charles made peace with England's enemies, which ended their involvement in the "Thirty Years War". His evaluations were true and the parliament was not called on again for another eleven years.
Without the financial backing of the parliament, King Charles was forced to seek his own means of finances. He gained a significant amount of funds by forcing certain men to lend him money under the threat of being jailed. Although most of the men cooperated, seventy of them refused and were jailed without trial or charges. Another controversial method used to generate income was the collection of ship money. Ship money, as explained by Encyclopaedia Britannica , was tax collected from coastal towns during war for the building of warships. His collection of ship money incensed the parliament as England were at peace and King Charles had little or no reason to levy the tax. His monetary methods transgressed the laws of the parliament and their relationship grew worse by the day. Nevertheless, because of the absence of war and parliamentary taxation, he proved to be a popular figure among the commoners of the land and they were undoubtedly his largest source of support in the rising civil war.
In 1637, intending to unify his kingdoms under the Anglican church system, King Charles forced the church of Scotland to use the Book of Common prayers, an Anglican prayer book. The staunch Presbyterian Scots reacted violently to King Charles's attempts and...

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