Causes of the Civil War

  • Created by: Kate H
  • Created on: 25-04-15 16:54

What happened during the Short Parliament?

  • April-May 1640
  • Distrust of Charles evident from beginning
  • Complaints about Catholicism at court
  • Commons demanded that grievances be dealt with before subsidies were voted. 
  • Laud inflamed situation with Canons
  • Charles dissolves Parliament and attitudes harden
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Second Bishops' War

  • Charles takes £30,000 from City which worsens relationship
  • Outbreak of new fighting with the Scots
  • 850/day to sit on Newcastle
  • Treaty of Ripon October 1640
  • Calls Parliament
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Long Parliament: Aims of Gentry

  • Reverse Laudian changes
  • Punish or neutralise the king's evil advisors; Windibank, Finch and Laud and Strafford
  • Restore the old consitutional balance 
  • Eliminate financial innovations of the Personal Rule
  • Get rid of the hated Court of Wards, which doubled its income during the Personal Rule. 
  • Get rid of the prerogative courts- Star Chamber and Court of High Commission
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Long Parliament: Attitudes of many MPs

  • King was in a weak position but they did not feel they were strong
  • Feeling that this was the last chance to reverse the trends of the 1630s before the Catholics gained control
  • Apprehension, especially over ruthless Strafford
  • Wanted to restore the old constitution ; conservative
  • At least 60 pro-court MPs
  • Fear of popery and absolutism holding them together
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Getting rid of evil advisors

  • Finch and Windibank fled abroad
  • Laud arrested and sent to the tower, executed in 1645
  • Earl of Strafford impeached in Novemeber 1640 because: 
    • Reduced Ireland to obedience
    • Irish Parliament reduced to rubber stamp
    • Irish Protestant church remodelled
    • Individuals knew their place: took £40,000 from Cork
  • Main charge he wished to bring his army and use it as a force to continue personal rule 
  • Advice he had given to Charles used against him
  • Act of Attainder- diffcult to find evidence for treason- Charles passes it under pressure and he is executed on the 12th May 1641
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How did the Long Parliament destroy the machinery

  • Star Chamber and High Commission abolished 
  • Got rid of:
    • Ship money
    • Boundaries of royal forests restored to those of James (not radical)
    • Distraint of knighthood illegal
    • Court of Wards abolished
  • Triennial Act 1641. Followed by act that Parliament could only be dissolved on its own> Charles agress due to london mob, seen as temporary concessions
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Pym's Control of the House of Commons

  • Assosciates: Henry Vane and Oliver St. John)
  • Presented measures as necessary to safeguard the freedoms of the House of Commons
  • Played on fears of popery and London mob
  • Fully supported idea that there was a Catholic conspirary that needed to be dealt with
  • A vague 'army plot' in spring 1641involving officers around the court possibly planning a coup d'etat supported Pym's thesis
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Death of Bedford

  • Bridging scheme- planning to make Pym Chancellor of the Exchequer 
  • Moderate, hoped to organise government which had confience of house of commons and king
  • Restrained Pym
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Ten Propositions

  • 1641
  • Parliament should choose king's ministers 
  • Why  passed by the Commons?
  • Pym presented ideas as defensive- would be protected if they had control over who had access to the king
  • No one understood the significance of his position at this point
  • Problem glossed over when King went north; six week recess of parliament
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Root and Branch Petition

  • Feb 1641.
  • Called for the abolition of bishops
  • Too radical for many MPs- didn't want a presbyterian system
  • Pym deflected the issue and gave it to an Assembly of Divines 
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Attitudes of MPs at end of First Session

  • Satisfied
  • Lurking fear of Catholism
  • A few doubts about Pym's use of mobs to pressurise
  • Reasonably united- down to Pym
  • Important questions remained eg future of church
  • AIms of anti-court consensus had been met by summer 1641 so where would parliament go now?
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The Incident

  • Summer of 1641 after end of first session
  • Charles leaves for Scotland to ratify a treaty between the two countries- fear he hoped to woo the scots into providing him with an army- parliament actually sent commissioners with him 
  • October 1641, Scottish royalists led by Marquess of Montrose tried to capture the conventer leader
  • Resulted in no hope of Charles coming to an agreement 
  • Charles' integrity damaged.
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2nd Session: Henrietta Maria

  • Pym saw her and her associates as dangerous influences over Charles
  • Never understood the ideas behind the English Consititution- subjects should obey the king
  • Her ignorance was to be of critical importance
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2nd Session: Some begin to support Charles

  • Constitutional Royalists including Edward Hyde and Viscount Falkland
  • Supported the king as long as his power was limited
  • Opposed royal policies of the 1630s as undermining royal constitution
  • Disliked Laudian changes and agreed to execution of Strafford
  • They thought the reforms of 1641 had restored the balance between king and parliament
  • CoE back to its proper position with the fall of Laudian bishops
  • Concern that Pym's policies would lead to anarchy
  • King must be trusted
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2nd Session: Charles' early mistakes

  • Fails to keep a consistent attitude. If he had consistently followed the moderate constitutional path advised by Hyde and Falkland, he would have presented himself as the symbol of order and stability and a trustworthy monarch.
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2nd Session Grand Remonstrance

  • Lengthy, one sided account of Charles' reign
  • November 1641
  • Rock on which the anti-court consensus finally broke up
  • Reassert the existence of a Catholic conspiracy 
  • Justify revolutionary demands e.g control of militia
  • Clear invasion of prerogative
  • Passes 159 votes to 148
  • Making of King's party to defend old constitution
  • Many MPs disturbed by the use of the mob
  • Printed- MPs horrified the people were being involved in politics
  • Pym seen as undermining the social and political order
  • MPs disturbed at the signs of public disorder- people outside the House of Commons demanding the exclusion of bishops from the lords
  • 27 December fighting between militia and people
  • Charles could hope for no support from the City because it had elected a new common council which encouraged the mob in support of Pym
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2nd Session: Irish Rebellion

  • 22 October 1641
  • Oppressive rule of Strafford removed leads to Catholic natives rising against Ulster Presbyterians
  • 12,000 Protestants died
  • Number hugely exaggerated
  • Rebels falsely claimed to be acting under Charles 
  • Army needed to put down rebellion but many doubted Charles could be trusted with it: 19 Propositions demanding control of militia
  • Strengthened belief in a Catholic conspiracy; fears about Irish Catholics crossing the sea and killing English Protestants
  • Pym uses it to pass the Grand Remonstrance
  • Focuses attention on Charles' military authority
  • Ensures parliament would have to remain sitting in order to raise funds for the military expedition
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2nd Session: 5 Members Coup

  • 4th January 1642
  • On the advice of Henrietta and Digby Charles made a fatal error
  • Believed there was an impeachment plot against the Queen by Pym
  • Ordered the Lords to impeach Mandeville of the Lords, Pym, Hampton, Strode, Haselridge and Hoiles of the Commons
  • They refused so Charles decided on a military coup- entered with 300 troops but they had been tipped off and escaped
  • Commons outraged- breach of privilege 
  • Surrounded by an angry mob and five members returned in triumph. 
  • Charles leaved London on 10 January fearing for Henrietta's safety
  • Swung many MPs back to Pym, as this is what he had predicted
  • King's departure created a situation of two sides negotiating at  a distance
  • This meant London and its immense resources belonged to Parliament
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2nd Session: Charles' further mistakes

  • Gave impression he was hoping to gain the position he held in the 1630s
  • Inconsistent in following policy, turned to Catholic court for advice
  • Appointment of Thomas Lunsford, a convicted felon, as the Governer of the Tower of London. He could intimidate the city and seemed a confirmation of his desire to regain freedom of action through a military coup
  • He cancelled this appointment but the damage was done and he appeared weak as he had been forced to back down
  • Didn't appoint the Earl of Essex as commander of the troops for re-conquest of Ireland. This would have resassured the Commons- he was associated with the reforms of the past year.
  • In the end Charles failed to nominate a commander.
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2nd Session: Charles behaviour after leaving Londo

  • Attempted to gain control of arsenals at Portsmouth, Kingston and Hull- failed
  • Queen left for France to gain support for Charles, and he appears to have listened to Hyde
  • Hyde started to produce moderate royalists progaganda which was convincing
  • Yet Charles' inconsistent behaviour was the same: drifted between compromise and concession, and making war preparations
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2nd Session: Drift into Civil War

  • 1. Unrest. Widespread social disorder, including rioting. Poor harvest and trade depression- considerable distress among the lower orders . Gentry feared this threat to social disorder- growth in radical preaching and pamphleteeting also risk
  • 2. Gentry arms itself. Fear of anarchy. 2 rival authorities- King and Parliament- power vacuum. Collapse of CoE authority made future seem bleaker as the social order crumbled.
  • 3. Propaganda war- each side trying to persuade moderates of the justice of their case, and the other side of their strength. 
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2nd Session: Militia Ordinance and Commission of A

  • Militia Ordinance March 1642.
  • Passed by 2 Houses by not the King, it gave authority to lords lieutenants and deputies in the counties to raise local militia to serve within the county .
  • Normally it was only the king who was supposed to do this- dubious legality. 
  • Commission of Array was Charles' reply. Militia should prepare for war to fight for him. 
  • Medieval device- dubious legality.
  • Not very successful- Parliament's position stronger 
  • Majority of gentry either stayed neutral or supported Militia Ordinance 'for defence of king and parliament'
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2nd Session: 19 Propositions

  • June 1642 
  • Pym confident and presented them
  • Thought they would diffuse the situation and take power
  • King give up prerogative powers such as military control
  • Parliament choose king's ministers
  • Parliament control church matters
  • Parliament appoint guardians for King's children
  • Little room for compromise 
  • Nearly 200 MPs abstained from voting
  • Charles had no choice since he believed in DROK. Rejects within three weeks
  • Parliament appoints commitee of public safety and Earl of Essex in charge of 24,000 soldiers
  • Charles formally raised standard at Nottingham on 22nd August and declared war 
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Pym's mistake

  • Pym probably thought it was an empty gesture- king only had 800 supporters with him 
  • Badly miscalculated- was to last four years and kill 50,000 Englishmen
  • 6th September a parliamentary declaration stated that those who did not actively support parliament would be declared deliquents and pay for the cost of war. 
  • This drove the neutral members of the gentry onto the king's side. Within weeks the king had a large army. 
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