E) Second Civil War and Charles' Execution (1646 - 1649)

Mindmap of events and themes leading up to and including the Second Civil War and Charles' exectution (1646-9)

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  • Second Civil War and Charles' Execution (1646 - 1649)
    • 1646
      • The War Party
        • Support for Cromwell + Fairfax and creation of New Model army not intended to humiliate or execute king after defeat
        • Regicide = unthinkable for most MPs
          • Issue was to win war that had dragged on (awful example of 30 Years War)
        • Believed Charles would see logic of his position after defeat + come to terms
        • Many were not radical in religion or politics
          • Feared creeping anarchy that a continuing war would bring
        • Virtually ceased to exist with victory
          • Assumed Charles would now negotiate
          • Leadership in Commons = passed to opponents of the Independents + the army men in Parliament
            • MPs aims
              • Make rapid agreement with King
              • Disband expensive + increasingly threatening army
              • Establish national Presbyterian Church (all have to attend)
      • King's attitude to settlement
        • Had no intention of giving up any powers and prerogatives
        • Saw self as central to any agreement
        • All his enemies (Parliament, army, Presbyterians, Independents, Scots) were traitors
          • Therefore any agreements with them could be broken - only duty = to regain rightful God-given place as divine-right monarch
        • The longer he prolonged negotiations = more enemies would 'fall out amongst themselves'
      • Religion
        • Presbyterians loathed + feared Independency
          • Represented potentially anarchical system of Church government
          • Anglicanism = wrong - so was idea of the gathered congregation
          • Any agreement with Charles must include establishment of Presbyterianism as state religion
            • Power to crush Anglicans + increasingly difficult Independents
            • Might be realistic aim if Independency didn't have a power base in army
              • Independents = minority in country + Parliament
    • Army vs. Parliament (1646-8)
      • Many MPs (led by Holles) wanted to disband army as soon as possible - saw as threat
        • Holles didn't offer army reasonable financial settlement to encourage to disband
          • Army - only way to get what they saw as their rights = to interfere in any settlement with King
      • Solemn Engagement
        • Made by army  - disillusioned with Holles + Presbyterian majority in Parliament
        • Newmarket, 29 May 1647
        • Wouldn't disband until had settlement that had approval of an Army Coucil
          • Would represent opinions of all parts of army (composed of general officers, 2 commissioned officers from each regiment + 2 soldiers from each regiment)
      • Newcastle Propositions
        • Charles received whilst a prisoner of Scots (before handed him over for payment of Scot army)
          • Played for time - eventually accepted modified version
        • Demanded Presbyterianism be established in England (Anglican Church + bishops abolished)
          • Would be state religion
        • Parliament would have control over armed forces for 20 years
        • Could have opened prospect of coalition of forces vs. army (Presbyterians in Parliament, Royalists + Scots)
          • Scots feared + disliked Independent-dominated army as much as Holles etc.
        • Army's reaction (1647)
          • Cornet Joyce + 500 troops went to Holdenby (2 June), seized King and took to army at Newmarket
            • Could now negotiate with King directly
          • The Declaration of the Army (June)
            • Demanded Parliament set date for own dissolution
            • 11 MPs 'impeached'
              • Clear threat that army would march on London - withdrew from Parliament
          • The Heads of Proposals
            • Charles prolonged negotiations - bad
              • Religion
                • In some ways, best offer for protection of Anglican Church
                  • Previous Parliamentary offers = destruction of Anglican Church (replaced by Presbyterianism)
                • Religious toleration
                  • Implication of CofE could exist
                    • Without coercive powers
              • Army had power to enforce settlement
                • Parliament couldn't without army consent
                  • Could block with military strength
            • Army offer to King
      • London 'Counter-revolution'
        • Presbyterian mob
        • Possibly organised by Holles
        • Invaded Commons + Lords
          • Attacked MPs likely to come to agreement with army
          • Restored 11 withdrawn Presbyterians
          • Forced commons to pass resolution inviting King to London (despite under army's arrest)
          • Leading Independents fled to army (allies)
        • Army response
          • Occupied London 6th August
            • Keep down 'counter-revolution' + pressure Parliament
      • Potential army splits
        • 'The Case of the Army Truly Stated
          • Frustration with Parliament + King
            • Fed radical + Leveller ideas
              • Unease about Role of Cromwell, Ireton etc.
          • Unease about Role of Cromwell, Ireton etc.
          • Demanded biennial Parliaments (elections every 2 years)
          • 'All free born Englishmen over 21 should vote'
          • 'All power is originally... in the whole body of the people'
        • Putney Debates
          • Leveller attidutes
            • Colonel Thomas Rainborough (one of most radical Levellers) stood on idea of 'natural rights'
              • 'The poorest he that is England hath a life to live as the greatest he' + all should vote
            • John Wildman (another prominent radical): soldiers had earned right to vote by fighting
          • Discussions between Levellers in the army + senior officers
          • What the future constitution of England should be
          • Representatives of each regiment ('agitators') = ranged vs. Cromwell + Ireton
            • More conservative political instincts wouldn't allow to consider sweeping reforms as Levellers put forward in the 'Agreement of the Poeple'
              • 'The Agreement of the People' - demands
                • 'The Case of the Army Truly Stated
                  • Frustration with Parliament + King
                    • Fed radical + Leveller ideas
                    • Demanded biennial Parliaments (elections every 2 years)
                    • 'All free born Englishmen over 21 should vote'
                    • 'All power is originally... in the whole body of the people'
                  • Continued arguments of 'The Case of the Army Truly Stated'
                  • Biennial Parliaments
                  • No authority was above Parliament
                  • Nobody could be forced to do military service
                  • All should be equal in the eyes of the law
                  • Parliamentary constituencies should all be same size
                  • Present Parliament should be dissolved on 31 December 1648
          • Failure to come to agreement
            • Opposing views of senior officers + Levellers couldn't be reconciled
            • Cromwell desperate to keep army together
              • Feared anarchy
              • Stressed on agreements (some kind of reform, religious toleration)
                • Sympathies on radical political reform really with 'grandees'
          • By October 1647
            • Continuing negotiations with King = no progress
          • Senior officers reaction to Levellers
            • Cromwell opposed Leveller ideas
              • Would lead to anarchy
            • Ireton (clearer political thinker) = more philosophical stance in discussions
              • Argued vs. Leveller idea 'natural rights'
                • Took view that society = based on property
                  • Therefore, only those who had 'a permanent fixed interest in the Kindom' should vote
      • Second Civil War (1648)
        • Charles escapes
          • Effects of Charles' actions
          • Allied with Scots by the Engagement (26 December)
          • Made contacts with English Royalists to organise risings
          • Parliament temporarily as horrified by implications as the army
            • Passed Vote of No Addresses - wouldn't negotiate with King
          • Obvious a 2nd civil war (Charles, Scots + Royalist elements vs. army + reluctant Parliament) about to break out
            • Leveller agitation died down
              • Exception: mutiny at Corkbush Field (Cromwell put down easily)
              • Soldiers would trust Cromwell over radicals in dangerous times
                • Army united again
        • Royalist failure
          • Scottish invasion (perhaps greatest threat) = defeated by Cromwell at Preston (August)
          • Charles had fled from Hampton Court to Carisbrooke Castle on Isle of Wight
            • Believed governor Robin Hammond would be sympathetic + provide a secure base to organise war from
              • After some hesitation, Hammond imprisoned him
        • In essence
          • Series of uprisings
          • Local grievances = driving force as much as Royalist sympathies
          • Some Presbyterians joined Royalists
            • Most remained neutral
              • Appalled by prospect of another civil war
          • Mass of country
            • Most remained neutral
              • Appalled by prospect of another civil war
      • Charles' Trial + Execution
        • Army's decision to try King
          • Pride's Purge
            • 6 December 1648
            • Colonel Thomas Pride
            • List of MPs army were sure wouldn't vote for trial
            • Stood at door of Commons
            • Kept out c.110 MPs
              • Some in house arrest
              • 250 more either withdrew or didn't attempt to enter
              • Left c. 60 (inc. Cromwell) who would agree to trial
                • 135 had been named
          • Largely united in view: no peace while Charles lived
          • Furious at repeal of Vote of No Addresses
          • Ireton probably driving force
          • Parliament (as then) would never agree to trial
            • Totally illegal under constitution
            • Unthinkable to conservative instincts
          • Army + group of Independent MPs couldn't simply execute Charles
            • Had to justify in the eyes of the world - trial of King as a war criminal = essential
            • Some parliamentary element needed to give impressions that law was being observed
        • Charles' trial
          • Refused to plead/speak throughout
            • On legal grounds that there was no law that could try him - he was the law
          • Possibly saw trial as a bluff to force into settlement
            • Misunderstanding opponents
          • After presiding judge (Bradshaw) passed death sentence, suddenly tried to speak
        • Execution
          • 30 January 1649
          • Banqueting House in Whitehall
    • Could dispense army without paying its full arrears of pay
      • False beliefs
        • King would negotiate in good faith
        • Independency in army + minority in Parliament could be suppressed or ignored
        • 1646
          • The War Party
            • Support for Cromwell + Fairfax and creation of New Model army not intended to humiliate or execute king after defeat
            • Regicide = unthinkable for most MPs
              • Issue was to win war that had dragged on (awful example of 30 Years War)
            • Believed Charles would see logic of his position after defeat + come to terms
            • Many were not radical in religion or politics
              • Feared creeping anarchy that a continuing war would bring
            • Virtually ceased to exist with victory
              • Assumed Charles would now negotiate
              • Leadership in Commons = passed to opponents of the Independents + the army men in Parliament
                • MPs aims
                  • Make rapid agreement with King
                  • Disband expensive + increasingly threatening army
                  • Establish national Presbyterian Church (all have to attend)
          • King's attitude to settlement
            • Had no intention of giving up any powers and prerogatives
            • Saw self as central to any agreement
            • All his enemies (Parliament, army, Presbyterians, Independents, Scots) were traitors
              • Therefore any agreements with them could be broken - only duty = to regain rightful God-given place as divine-right monarch
            • The longer he prolonged negotiations = more enemies would 'fall out amongst themselves'
          • Religion
            • Presbyterians loathed + feared Independency
              • Represented potentially anarchical system of Church government
              • Anglicanism = wrong - so was idea of the gathered congregation
              • Any agreement with Charles must include establishment of Presbyterianism as state religion
                • Power to crush Anglicans + increasingly difficult Independents
                • Might be realistic aim if Independency didn't have a power base in army
                  • Independents = minority in country + Parliament
    • Negotiations restart with King
      • Charles' Trial + Execution
        • Army's decision to try King
          • Pride's Purge
            • 6 December 1648
            • Colonel Thomas Pride
            • List of MPs army were sure wouldn't vote for trial
            • Stood at door of Commons
            • Kept out c.110 MPs
              • Some in house arrest
              • 250 more either withdrew or didn't attempt to enter
              • Left c. 60 (inc. Cromwell) who would agree to trial
                • 135 had been named
          • Largely united in view: no peace while Charles lived
          • Furious at repeal of Vote of No Addresses
          • Ireton probably driving force
          • Parliament (as then) would never agree to trial
            • Totally illegal under constitution
            • Unthinkable to conservative instincts
          • Army + group of Independent MPs couldn't simply execute Charles
            • Had to justify in the eyes of the world - trial of King as a war criminal = essential
            • Some parliamentary element needed to give impressions that law was being observed
        • Charles' trial
          • Refused to plead/speak throughout
            • On legal grounds that there was no law that could try him - he was the law
          • Possibly saw trial as a bluff to force into settlement
            • Misunderstanding opponents
          • After presiding judge (Bradshaw) passed death sentence, suddenly tried to speak
        • Execution
          • 30 January 1649
          • Banqueting House in Whitehall
      • Gap between conservative, moderate, largely Presbyterian majority + independent minority MPs = widened
      • Most MPs = no settlement without King
        • Vote of no addresses repealed
      • Started with Newport treaty
        • Parliament = couldn't support army's desire for religious toleration + obvious radical leanings
          • Settlement with King = attractive (regardless of past)
      • King regarded self as indispensable
    • Many junior officers + rank and file = disillusioned with Parliament's failure  to move on demands
      • By October 1647
        • Continuing negotiations with King = no progress
    • Senior officers under suspicion from elements of army - regarded officers as 'grandees'
      • Potentially selling out - unwilling to force Parliament or King to settlement
    • Escaped army custody (11 November)
      • Charles escapes
        • Effects of Charles' actions
        • Allied with Scots by the Engagement (26 December)
        • Made contacts with English Royalists to organise risings
        • Parliament temporarily as horrified by implications as the army
          • Passed Vote of No Addresses - wouldn't negotiate with King
        • Obvious a 2nd civil war (Charles, Scots + Royalist elements vs. army + reluctant Parliament) about to break out
          • Leveller agitation died down
            • Exception: mutiny at Corkbush Field (Cromwell put down easily)
            • Soldiers would trust Cromwell over radicals in dangerous times
              • Army united again
    • Revolts in Kent, Essex, South Wales + Norwich
      • Royalist failure
        • Scottish invasion (perhaps greatest threat) = defeated by Cromwell at Preston (August)
        • Charles had fled from Hampton Court to Carisbrooke Castle on Isle of Wight
          • Believed governor Robin Hammond would be sympathetic + provide a secure base to organise war from
            • After some hesitation, Hammond imprisoned him
      • As much vs. high taxation, hated County Committes + army as for undiluted Royalism
      • Fanatical Royalists = not universally trusted by allies
        • ie. Roger Le Strange - prominent + disastrous role in Kent uprising
      • Risings not well coordinated
      • Didn't attract sort of mass support to be victorious over army
      • Some vicious fighting (esp. Colchester - executions after fall of town)

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