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Why did the english civil war break out in 1642? Essay

The English civil war broke out in 1642 between King Charles II and parliament. In the following essay I will state some of the most important factors of how the war broke out. In my conclusion I will some up what I think the main factor was that broke out war between the King and parliament. There were significant political views between the king and parliament. Charles wanted to do whatever he wanted because he thought that was what the king could do. He brought in unnecessary taxes into England, such as ship tax which wasn’t needed because the country was not in a war with another country.

The sailors did not like ship tax because it meant they had to pay money that didn’t need to be paid that would be spent on the king’s lavish luxurious lifestyle. Parliament on the other hand wanted to have as much power as possible and wanted to overthrow Charles. Parliament introduced the Grand Remonstrance which was a document that said all of the misdeeds that Charles had done. They also introduced the 19 propositions.

They took power away from Charles, so Charles ruled without parliament for a period of time. This made parliament and Charles angry at each other causing the country to split into two groups. Parliament and the king were each building up their own armies. They both knew that the only way to solve the problem was to have a civil war. This is because without each other the country would not be right. Charles had to face many financial problems. He lots of arguments with parliament about these problems and many of them were linked to religious and political issues.

He needed money to fight wars against Spain and France. He also needed to control the uprisings in Scotland and he had to pay of his own expenses from his lavish lifestyle. He was only getting only a seventh of the money he requested from parliament so he decided to rule without them. This lasted from 1629 to 1640. This didn’t help him with his money raising though because he wasn’t being paid at all by parliament now. One of the ways he tried to raise money was to fine people.

He would fine poor people that had pulled down houses saying that it encouraged peasants to move to the city. Charles also introduced ship tax that meant sailors had to pay to ship goods into the country. Charles wasted a lot of money on other wars which he didn’t win meaning that he lost men and lots of money. I think that this factor is very important because it gave parliament a chance to see one of Charles’ weaknesses. Everyone thought that Charles was changing the country catholic. This is because he married Henrietta Maria who was a Catholic and French.

Parliament were very strong protestants and were not happy with Charles marrying Henrietta. Parliament were very concerned with the marriage because it meant that if the king and Henrietta had children they would be Catholic meaning the country could be converted into Catholicism. Although Charles was a member of the Church of England he liked churches that had music and statues and preferred that way of worship.

This was what Parliament (the Puritans) were campaigning against causing even more concern. Charles introduced the prayer book into all of the churches in Scotland. The Scottish people were not in favour of this and rebelled against Charles. Overall I think this factor was very important because the whole country could have rebelled against the king, leaving parliament in a very strong position. In conclusion I think that the most important factor that broke out the civil war was Charles’ religious problems. He made the whole country think that he was going to turn the country Catholic and they could have been influenced by the Scottish revolt and rebelled against the king. This would have given Charles no other decision but to surrender.


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