Causes of the English Civil War

These cards describe the four main causes of the English Civil War.

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Multiple Kingdoms

Multiple Kingdoms led to the outbreak of the civil war because....

  • Charles ruled his countries as independent countries, not as one united country.
  • Charles also tried to unite his countries in religion and ruling, but by doing this, he isolated all his countries.
  • Conrad Russell's 'Billiard- Ball Effect'- this is an easy way to explain the way that the countries reacted. Firstly, it kicked in when Charles took 8 years to go to Scotland and then he introduced the Prayer Book. In 1638, the Scots rebelled against it. Then, in 1641, the Irish took the Scottish Revolution as an example and they too rebelled. This affected England because it raised the question of who should control the army- parliament didn't trust Charles.  
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Charles I

Charles I led to the outbreak of the civil war because:

  • He wouldn't explain his actions and he wouldn't take any advice.
  • His actions after 1640- in 1642 he tried to imprison the Five Members after the Grand Remonstrance and the Militia Bill
  • It was Charles's actions that aggitated Pym, who reacted in a rational way and Pym's actions aggitated and also fightened some.
  • He is also significant because James I had the exact same situation and he could handle it.
  • The other causes, except Constitutional Royalism, had existed for a long time before charles was king, and this shows that the changes he brought about made the MPs react & gave Constitutional Royalism
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Religion led to the outbreak of the civil war because:

  • Charles's enforcement of Laudianism created fear of Catholicism and of absolutism.
  • It was part of everyone's life- linked to Scottish rebellion and the Irish rebellion
  • It led to the 'Root and Branch Petition'- the idea the church had to be changed at its roots and at its branches- eg. Bishops
  • Religion was a key issue in the Ten Propositions, the Grand Remonstrance, and the nineteen Propositions
  • Iconaclasm ignited a fire for response from the Puritans
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Constitutional Royalism

Constitutional Royalism led to the outbreak of the civil war because:

  • Showed the separation in parliament.
  • Moderates moved towards Charles not because of who he was, but for what he stood for- order, hierarchy and peace as well as something they were used to. they believed he could keep the constitution.
  • Constitutional Royalism  showed and made Charles stronger & it showed that Charles still could control some MPs.
  • Constitutional Royalism created two sides to fight a civil war and without two sides to fight, there wouldn't have a civil war.
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