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How Strong Was The Opposition To Personal Rule In England Between 1629 1640

952 words - 4 pages

Opposition to Charles’ personal rule between 1629 and 1640 was aimed at him from a number of different angles.
The first of these is Religion. Charles came under attack from, in simple terms, the Protestants and the Catholics. He had this attack on him for many different reasons. He was resented by the Catholics, because he was a protestant. To be more precise, he was an Arminian, which was a sector from the protestant side of Christianity. On the other side of the spectrum, he is resented by the puritans, as they see him as too close in his religious views to Catholicism. Furthermore, he is disliked by the puritans as he put restrictions on their preaching and themselves. The puritans were a well organised opposition to Personal rule. The top puritans, linked through family and friends, organised a network of potential opposition to the king and his personal rule. This ‘Godly party’ as they became known, was made up of gentry, traders, lawyers and even lords. This group of powerful and extremely influential people was the most well organised opposition to Charles’ personal rule.
Another source of opposition to Charles’ personal rule was that of the parliament and Charles’ financial expenditure. Charles’ personal rule lasted 11 long years in which he didn’t call parliament for any money or subsidies. To finance his problems, he used his position of power as king to call upon favours and rules that enabled him to gain money without calling parliament. One of these was selling titles. Distraint of Knighthood. This was where men who owned estates worth £40 per annum were in theory supposed to present them to be knighted at a new King’s coronation. Charles thus fined people for not doing so even though the practice had not been used for many years. This built up huge amounts of opposition as many people felt that they had been caught out by an outdated law. Another way the king got money was through Tonnage and Poundage. This was Customs on Imports and Exports. This on the other hand had not been approved by parliament. Forest Laws were another way for the king to make money without the consent of parliament. The government researched the extent of medieval royal forests for the purpose of fining land owners whose estates now encroached on these ancient boundaries. This made huge amounts of opposition as many landowners could not produce title deeds for land held by their families. An example of this is the Earl of Salisbury who was fined £20,000. One of the biggest ways for the king to make money to finance his wars and battles was Ship Money. This was an ancient tax in which the seaside towns paid extra tax for defences to be made and maintained. This was then moved further inland, as the king said that the whole country could benefit from having a...

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