As the movie Cromwell so clearly indicates, the struggle between King Charles I and Parliament was an important one for the development of British government and government all over the world. The two sides came to a fork in a proverbial philosophical road and they could not overcome differences in those opinions. On one hand, King Charles I was looking to protect what he thought was a mandate from God to act how he wished as the King of England.
The members of English Parliament were looking to protect not only their own interests, but the interests of the people of England in not allowing one person to gain absolute control of the country. King Charles operated primarily under the assumption that people would respect the manifesto of “Divine Right of Kings”. In his own mind, Charles was appointed to the throne by God and because of that, he had not only the right, but the mandate to do whatever he pleased. Along his line of thinking, King Charles had a responsibility to do God’s work while he occupied the top seat of the English monarchy.
The King’s entire tenure in control was marred by the fact that he did whatever he wanted without first consulting the powers that existed in Parliament. He levied taxes against the people of the country without the approval of Parliament. That was outdone only by the fact that he married a Roman Catholic woman and took other actions which brought the vaunted Church of England dangerously close to their former roots of Catholicism. In doing this, he not only threatened the power of the men in Parliament, but he also threatened the sanctity of the nation, which so many parties had worked very hard to protect.
Parliament helped to push the action to the point where a war was absolutely necessary. They were prominent members of English society that had to work very hard to get to where they were in the government. Though power was certainly not the only thing that concerned these men, it was definitely one of their primary concerns through the entire struggle. They did not want to give even an inch to the King; for fear that he might take that inch and run with it.
That particular Parliament had seen what could happen when a King had complete control and they were not about to let it happen again without a fight. In addition, they wanted to protect the country’s economic system, which struggled for much of the reign of King Charles I. The power struggle between these two sides is one of the many historical events that has had a significant impact on how the American government works. When the forefathers of the United States took the time to frame the constitution, they took measures to create a balance of power.
As a direct result of King Charles and the situation with Parliament, the American founding fathers were sure to put a system of checks and balances into the core of the country’s values. That was to make sure that no one party, be it the President, the courts, or Congress, could not have complete power and control over the country. The realized that when a leader tried to use religion to justify his actions, it made stopping such a mandate extremely difficult for both the commoners of the country and the people who also held control.