No, this statement is partially true, yes Charles did contribute to the war to break out, but he was not completely responsible, he started his reign really badly by marrying a French catholic, he had a lot of problems with parliament, this was inherited from his father James the First, Charles dissolves parliament and rules for 11 years between 1629 and 1640.
In this period he introduces preposterous taxes, like ship tax to get money, he also introduced the court of Star Chamber 1635, with this court that he ruled, he took money from civilians, and furthermore if they refused they would get punished.
On the other hand parliament had their contribution for the civil war to break out, firstly when Charles called the parliament back, the parliaments gave Charles some demands, these would reduce Charles’s power. Then in 1641 the parliament asked for bishops power to be reduced, this was narrowly passed by a very close vote, then the parliament wanted no bishops,, then the last string was pulled, the parliament asked for 19 propositions, this outraged Charles and then the civil war broke out.
Some historians say Charles was to blame, others say it was parliament, and others say that both were to blame, in this essay I will show you who is the real person to blame.
The first long term cause is that King Charles the first reign starts of really badly, he marries a French roman catholic in 1625, this is influenced by Charles advisor, Buckingham, now the country hates the advisor and people start to make a little rhyme ‘ who rules the kingdom, the king. Who rules the king, the duke.Who rules the duke, the devil’ this event disturbs the parliament and the country because most of the population is protestant, and Charles is protestant so the country was expecting he would marry a protestant, he marries Henrietta Maria to create friendship with France, this scares the parliament and they start to believe Charles is catholic in secret, this raises fears that Charles will turn the nation catholic, this would happen if the heir would be born catholic.This is a religious and personal cause.
This is Charles fault because he decided to marry a catholic, Henrietta Maria. Charles the first inherited lots of beliefs and problems from his father, one of the beliefs that Charles believed in was the divine right of kings. This is where you believe that god has chosen you to be the leader, this gives Charles full power, this disturbs the parliament because they are also greedy for power. This is a political, religious and personal cause.
Between 1628 and 1629 Parliament only allow Charles money for 1 year, parliament do this so that Charles the first could call parliament yearly. Eventually King Charles the first starts absurd taxes without the permission from the parliament, this is due to him wasting valuable money to pay for wasted wars against Spain and France, some of the things that Charles does is that he starts selling title, for example knight and lord. He also starts to take loans from rich people.This is all parliaments fault because they try to be clever by giving Charles money for only one year so he could call parliament back yearly.
On the other hand Charles is at fault because he starts to sell titles when the people who he was giving it to did not even deserve it. The next long term cause is when Charles dissolved parliament because he rejects the petition of rights and runs the nation for 11 years between 1629 and 1640; this is because he had enough quarrels parliament.During this period Charles badly needs money but does not want to recall parliament so he starts to collect taxes, one of the taxes is called ‘ship money’. This tax is when you have to pay a certain amount to the navy if you live near the coast.
To get these taxes of people and to punish the people who refused to pay the taxes Charles made the court of Star Chamber; this was run by Charles so if any one refused to pay he could easily punish them.One of the men that refused to pay ship money was John Hamden; he refused to pay because the taxes became permanent, also because they were not accepted by the parliament. When he got trialled by 12 judges in the court of Star Chamber, 7 to 5 were in the king’s favour; he was guilty and was sent to prison. To add on to this Charles hired William laud as arch bishop of Canterbury, laud attempted to reform the churches.
Puritans were not at all happy, so they start accusing William laud of reintroducing Catholicism.In 1637 Prynne, Burton and Bastwick criticise the arch bishop, soon laud finds out and has the three men’s ears cut off. The puritans do not like this so they make a picture of arch bishop laud eating ears. This is a financial, religious and political cause, this was Charles blemish because he dismisses parliament which makes his financial problems worse which then makes him put taxes on people, the people do not like this, then laud tries to reform the church when Charles knows that the country is protestant, then why does he try to turn it catholic.
Charles makes a huge blunder in 1637 because he tries to enforce a new English prayer book on Scotland. Now the Scots hate Charles, they start to riot in the streets, sometimes the when the priest is praying out of the new prayer he has to carry revolver in case the people start to riot in the church. This makes situations a lot worse for the king.Scotland broke into war, To stop these situations getting worse Charles sends an army and stops enforcing the prayer book, the Scots are still not pleased, because now they have to pay a tax called ‘cote and conduct’ in basic terms it means they had to pay for the armies uniform and transport.
In 1639 Strafford returns, he was recalled from Ireland, he was one of the kings most hated ministers, Strafford had a huge army in Ireland that could help the king a lot.Then In desperate need of money Charles recalls parliament in 1640, in his desperation to gain financial support he has to agree with some conditions, laud had to stop reforming the churches and to banish the absurd taxes, Charles refuses stubbornly. He sends parliament back in just three weeks after they reunited, this is called the short parliament as it ran for a short period of time, this is a long term, financial cause, Charles is not being co operative at all in bad situations, so I think Charles is at a huge fault here.In 1640, when summer was in the air, Scotland declared war, the army that Charles sent to Scotland had been defeated, and then the Scots invaded northern England, they started to ask for 850 pounds a day to the king to stop them going any moving further south, Charles the first did not have this vast amount of money, so again in his desperation for money he recalls parliament hoping that they would compromise and give him the money, this parliament eventually lasted 20 years this is why it is called long parliament.
The parliament had the upper hand when they last met, now they looked more superior than Charles in this certain situation. All the members of parliament were unified against Charles; at this point there was no question about the civil war due to no army that was on Charles’ side. If parliament were to give money to the king, Charles would have to accept the terms and conditions. In November 1640 parliament released their demands, some of the most important ones were ‘ministers should be appointed who will advise Charles, some of these ministers should be appointed by parliament’ Charles hated this one.
The king should get rid of court of Star Chamber’ this meant that Charles could not get everything that he wanted and finally ‘regular meetings should be held of parliament’ this way parliament could keep control of the situations. I think all these demand are fair. Some of the important concessions made by Charles were ‘parliament must meet every 3 years’ this is very minimal amount of meetings, Charles did this so he could keep some power, ‘Strafford has been tried for treason and executed’ this made Charles furious that he had to kill his own advisor, he was forced to do this by parliament on may 1642. laud is in prison’ this way he could not reform the churches, ‘ship money has been made illegal’ Charles no longer could get money, if he needed money he would have to ask parliament, ‘court of star chamber was abolished’.
All these concessions made by Charles meant that he would lose a lot of power. This is a financial cause.On one hand Charles is at a fault because he dissolved parliament the first time which triggered all the future events to happen, on the other hand a number of historians say that parliament went too far when they made their demands, one of the most brutal thing they did was that the forced Charles to execute his advisor and put the arch bishop to jail. This is a long term cause.
The remaining number of causes is all short term causes, this means that they happened in a short period of time that trigger a big event, in this case it was the civil war. The first short term cause occurred in November 1641, it was the grand remonstrance.This is when parliament released a new set of demands which reduced the power of bishops, plus the advisors to the king should be employed by parliament so they can trust the employee. The grand remonstrance was scarcely passed by 159 members of parliament saying yes and 149 members saying no, Charles was furious at these results and did not accept it, when the supporters of the king heard the results they nearly started a riot in the House of Commons, the parliament were adamant for the remonstrance to take place that they passed it without the kings permission.
Charles responded by still employing his advisors by himself. This whole event shows us that the parliament was divided to the king. This is parliaments fault as they demanded more things from the king, and then passing the grand remonstrance without Charles the first’s permission. On November 1641 Irish Catholics were not happy with the rules that were passed by parliament against Catholics, in their rage they killed 3000 Protestants, parliament think Charles is behind this and that he will use this rebellion to make the whole of England catholic.
Majority of historians say that parliament framed Charles to show the public that Charles is catholic and he should not be king, on the other hand the other historians say that Charles made these anti-catholic laws to show the public he was protestant. Both parties have their fair share to cause the civil war. The next short term cause happened in January 1642, this is one of the most important triggers.Charles broke into the parliament with 400 soldiers behind him, he was going to arrest 5 members of parliament that criticised Charles including john pymm, he insisted to arrest them, but the members he was going to arrest had escaped down the river Thames before his arrival.
In this situation Charles was abusing his power because it is illegal to arrest members of parliament. The mp’s that trusted Charles no longer had the trust in him due to this event. I think this was all Charles fault, he Abused his power in a very bad way.During a parliament meeting in February 1642 just a month after the failed attempt of arresting 5 mp’s, the members that were puritans released a new law, religious divisions; this was where the puritans wanted no bishops in the House of Lords, the Anglican members thought that this was going too far and that the churches needed to be protected, this was a religious cause, parliament were at fault as they were going too far, they should have thought about what they were doing before they did it, Charles had no share in this.
March 1642, the army was being fought over between Charles and parliament on who should control the army. This was basically a fight for power. The Irish rebellion was going too far, England needed an army quick, usually the king is in charge of the army, but parliament were very scared, that Charles could use the army against them so without permission parliament took control. Charles lost a lot of power over the country.
This is a big political cause; Charles could not be trusted due to hid act that he did 2 months ago. However parliament should not have taken control of the army without permission, in basic terms they stole the army. The last string was pulled on June the first 1642 parliament sent another set of demands called the 19 propositions. This outraged the king because these final set of rules took away all his power and left him with just a name ‘king’.
Some of these demands had been repeated in the last set of demands showing us that parliament were adamant to not let go, some of these demands were ‘all ministers must be approved by parliament’ this was repeated, ‘parliament must control all the education of the kings children and should not be married without parliaments approval’ this shows us that parliament could brainwash the children so they do not turn out catholic and do not marry a catholic. Law against Catholics must be enforced’ the language of this demand tells us that Charles has no choice. From just these couple of demands we get a portrait showing us that parliament have gone to far and are to greedy for power. On 22nd of august 1642 the armies were ready to fight.
This is all parliaments fault due to them being over greedy for power; they released these demands because they could no longer trust him due to Charles embarrassing himself when he tried to arrest 5 mp’sToo much extent Charles was to blame, he made huge blunders, but it was not entirely Charles’ fault, parliament had their share especially towards the end of the build up to the civil war, at the beginning they gave Charles money for only one year, forcing him to kill his advisor, seizing control over the army and most importantly the 19 propositions that pulled the last string, however Charles triggered a lot of these, he started absurd taxes, complications in religion, but most importantly he abused his power, this left him with absolutely no supporters.By trying to arrest 5 mp. The statement has a fair balanced motion, both parties to blame, Charles ruled without parliament for 11 years due to parliament doing bad things to trigger it off.Parliament asked some fair demands in November 1640 due to Charles having financial problems, Charles big blunder was when he tried to arrest 5 mp’s because they criticised him, Charles abused his power too much but on the other hand parliaments big blunder was when they asked the 19 propositions, this made Charles lose all his power this was really unfair to chares the first.
So I think the civil war ended up being both parties fault due to them being greedy for power. It is not fair saying it was one sides fault.
Cite this The first was completely responsible for the civil war
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