The First Civil War

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  • The First Civil War
    • Why did Parliament Win?
      • Attitudes
        • Parliamentary commanders grew much more ruthless when they realised they couldn't afford to lose
        • The New Model Army: known as the 'praying army', it retained godly preachers and genuinely belived they were fighting with God on their side
          • Generally well-disciplined with harsh punishments for infractions
        • Charles was portrayed as a Catholic sympathiser which damaged his army's morale and confidence
          • After Naseby his personal letters were released which further damaged his reputation
          • He found it increasingly difficult to recruit new or replacement troops
    • Timeline
      • October 1642: Edgehill (inconclusive)
        • November 1642: Turnham Green (parliament)
          • July 1643: Capture of Bristol Lansdown Hill, Roundway Down (Royalist)
            • Aug-Sept 1643: Siege of Gloucester First Newbury (parliament)
              • June 1644: Siege of York Cropredy Bridge (royalist) Marston Moor (Parliament)
                • August 1643: Lostwithiel (royalist)
                  • October 1644: Second Newbury
                    • Feburary 1645: The New Model Ordinance The Self-Denying Ordinance
                      • June 1645: Naseby
                        • July 1645: Langport (Parliament)
                          • September 1645: Recapture of Bristol (parliament)
                            • May 1646: Charles surrenders to the Scots
                              • June 1646: Oxford surrenders
                              • less resentful/radical
                            • Charles sent Rupert into exile
                          • South-west Royalists were cut off from the main army
                        • First test of NMA results in a decisive victory. Cromwell's cavalry routed the royalist horse, then regrouped to attack the infantry.
                      • formed an organised paid army under Essex's command. Officers could not also be MPs
                    • mutual recriminations as Manchester seemed reluctant to follow through on victories
                  • Fairfax's army was defeated in Cornwall
                • Jan 1444- Scots Covenanter troops arrive
                  • Cromwell's cavalry command and the Scots covenanters resulted in a decisive victory for Parliament
              • Charles' siege on Gloucester was broken by Essex's army, which forced its way back to London at Newbury
            • The governer of Bristol, Nathaniel Fiennes, was court-martialled and narrowly escaped execution
            • Both battles were in the South West: Hopton vs Waller
          • Charles marched towards London but was stopped by the London trained bands (unable to capitalise on early success)
        • 3000 dead
          • Many people lost support for the war
          • Parliament started to sue for peace thinking they would lose the war, but Charles refused
        • Ended in a draw because Rupert's cavalry left the field, despite early victories and Sir Faithful Fortesque's troops crossing over to the royalists (ironically)
    • Why were the Royalists originally successful?
      • Command
        • a unified high command, leaders such as Rupert were experienced
        • Charles was 'not lacking in either personal bravery or tactical agility' -Seel
        • Charles had legal authority
        • The Council of War was 'flexible in its strategic thinking, and efficient in carrying it into practice'
          • Parliament had to invent completely new executive bodies, were never sure if it was MPs or field commanders in charge
            • Eg Lostwithiel 1644
            • FACTIONAL SPLIT in Parliament between independents and presbyterians
              • The committee of both kingdoms spent a lot of time arbitrating petty disputes
      • Strategic aims
        • Charles only wanted to take London
        • Many of the Presbyterian faction in Parliament only wanted to negotiate with the King: unwilling to follow through on victories.
          • eg Marston Moor
        • Parliament didn't really manage to combine local militia and the field army
      • Money
        • Parliament's financial superiority didn't really come through until 1643
        • Henrietta Maria: collected arms and money on the continent
      • Logistics
        • Commission of Array forces were legally allowed to move beyond county borders
        • parliament's local militia were focussed on country defence: couldn't combine with Essex's main field army very easily
          • Lots of resentment and bad communication (eg in the Eastern Association
    • What was the impact of the Civil War?
      • Financial Burden
        • Parliament charged new taxes (Feb 1643: a weekly land tax and an excise tax on commodities such as meat)
        • Property of opposing sides seized- Parliament seized 5000 Royalist and Roman Catholic estates
        • if territories changed hand multiple times (eg Tewkesburyt) they could end up having to pay multiple fines and taxes
      • Casualties
        • David L Smith: 'the impact of the war was horribly destructive at all levels of society'
        • one in 5 Englishmen fought at some point
          • at any given time in the summer between 120 000 and 140 000 men were in arms (1 in every 8)
      • Heavy burden on local people
        • Over 100 towns in England were besieged for more than a month
        • Armies demanded 'free quarter' from communities
        • Armies tended to loot as they were badly disciplined and paid
        • Clubmens associations sprang up to protect their local communities from both armies (CONTROVERSY LINK: neutralism)
          • Many counties signed neutrality pacts: Yorkshire's neutrality pact was even signed by Fairfax
      • Divided local communities (controversy link)
        • eg Henry Hopton and William Waller, the Verney family
        • sometimes counties split along the lines of an existing local feud (for example Leicester
        • If side-taking was due to local issues, why did friends and family fight against each other?

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