Side-taking in 1642

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  • Side-taking in 1642
    • Religion
      • Arguably very motivating; Puritans tended to be parliamentarians; while the Royalist were those against them (often thought to be Catholic by the Puritans). Puritans also disliked Charles' court as well as how he implemented Laudian ideals onto the church.
    • Class divisions
      • This is subject to interpretation though as many of the Parlimentarians thougfht they were preserving the old order, although more of them were the Poltical radicals.
      • The idea that the lower sorts were Parliamentarian because they had less to lose, and Gentry were Royalist because they wanted to 'preserve the old order' because they feared the religious sects.
    • Economic reasons
      • In some areas, the ones were they were very controlled, it was more beneficial to support a certain side. It financially benefited the companies and businesses in that area.
        • EXAMPLE: Northampton supported Parliament because Parliament needed them to make shoes and boots therefore supporting Parliament meant they made more money.
    • Loyalty
      • Loyalty to the Crown and the King. Experienced by many gentleman, who although did not agree with the kings actions, held too much respect and reverence for the Monarchy.
      • Loyalty in the lower sorts to their local MP or JP because these are the people who looked out for them and their county, referred to as the 'Squirearchy'.
    • Force
      • Some were forced to support the side of the group that occupied their area, the army could be very forceful, especially on lower sorts
      • Forced by employers or people around them
    • Reluctance was prominent throughout the period
    • Arguably sides weren't properly taken as the English population had the tendency to change sides easily depending on who was in power in their area, who was winning, etc.
    • Generally agreed upon that the reasons for taking sides was individual and often a mixture of the above factors. NOTE: Reasons are generalized therefore it is accepted that there were exceptions to the rules.
    • Local disputes
      • Fights between some of the old families in English counties led to some families choosing sides based solely on rivalry with other families.
    • Self-interest
      • Personal 'vendetta' against the King (it is well established that his personality was off-putting). The king was known for alienating many of his natural supporters.
        • EXAMPLE: Henry Marten was called a 'whoremaster' by the King and so fought for Parliment (he was not Puritan)
      • The Gentry and Aristocracy would want to 'preserve the old order'. They had much more to lose compared to others (money, land, influence, etc.)
      • Trying to make up for past actions, making it up to the other side.
        • EXAMPLE: Sir John Gell, a Derbyshire gentleman who had been sheriff of the county and at the time of the ship money tax he was so violent in the prosecution of it he feared that Parliament would punish him and so took to their side.
    • Nationality
      • Parliament tried to portray itself as the 'English party', throughout most of the Kingdom this did well but resulted in counter-reactions in 'Celtic' Cornwall and Wales. The areas ended up greatly supporting Charles' which reinforced his already 'Un-English' reputation. this wasn't helped when he brought over troops from Catholic Ireland either.
        • Similarly the Parliamentarians remained in close contact with the Scots, undermining their Englishness but also forcing those who were anti-Scottish to side with the king.


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