Reasons why Parliament won the First Civil War 1642

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  • Created on: 31-05-17 16:19
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  • Reasons why Parliament won the First Civil War 1642
    • Charles I
      • Charles had made fatal errors and poor decisions in the war
      • after the stalemate at Edgehill, Charles had the perfect opportunity to march on London and attempt to capture it, instead he ignored the opportunity and just settled to march slowly back up the Thames to Oxford
      • C also demonstrated inadequate leadership skills before the Battle of Naseby where despite not been ready and advised by Prince Rupert not to, he decided to take on the New Model Army which had disastrous consequences for him and the Royalist war effort as after this defeat, he had effectively lost the war as the surrender of  Bristol and Oxford and Charles’ surrender to the Scots followed.
    • ParliamentaryAlliances
      • Scotland
      • John Pym’s most important contribution to Parliament’s war effort was his negotiations with the Scots to send an army to fight for Parliament in the Solemn League and Covenant.
      • The Scottish made a useful contribution to Parliament’s war effort, they invaded the Royalist areas in the north and sieged Newcastle and York and helped Parliament win the Battle of Marston Moor.
    • Finance
      • P had better organised finances e.g. Pym's tax gathering excise tax
      • P used finance more effectively and were in control of the wealthiest parts of england e.g. London and East Anglia
      • Charles and his forces did not have these means of raising money and became worse off than Parliament for the war so Parliament had an advantage here.
      • John Pym,  raised money through monthly assessmentsby confiscating Royalist estates in southern England
    • Geographical Advantages
      • P held bases at Hul, Plymouth and Gloucester = preventing the Royalists from attacking London
      • P heard rich parts of England e.g. South East
      • C had the advantage - C controlled the majority of the country (so  had the support of the majority of the gentry and nobility.)
    • Military
      • Self-denying ordinance = key advantage for NMA
      • Royalists on the other hand were led by Prince Rupert - although had had experience in the 30 yrs war - he spent much of his time setting fire to towns
      • strong commanders such as the General of the New Model Army, Sir Thomas Fairfax who was a capable and respected commander and Oliver Cromwell who was highly successful cavalry commander
    • Organisation, Tactics and Resources
      • Cromwell discovered that if you disciplined the cavalry to charge immediately after the first charge, it would make them much more effective than the Royalists' cavalry.
      • at the beginning the Battle of Marston Moor, Prince Rupert went for his supper, showing the lack of tactics and leadership on the Royalist side.


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