Financial Weakness and reform under Charles I


Economic inheritance

In the early 1620s there was an economic depression and poor harvests.

The royal debt stood at £900,000 in 1620.

Parliament was reluctant to grant subsidies.

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The impact of foreign policy

Charles entered the Thirty Years War.

Buckingham was commander in chief. His foreign policy ventures ended in failure and financial ruin. The favouritism of Buckingham was one of parliaments main grievances.

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Charles asked for a loan of £60,000 from the City of London merchants.

Parliament only granted Charles tonnage and poundage for a year.

Charles dissolved Parliament.

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Charles called another Parliament as he needed money to continue the war.

Parliament attacked Buckingham.

Charles dissolved Parliament.

Forced Loan.

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Over £200,000 was raised from the forced loan. But only 70%. 

Five Knight's Case. Five members of the gentry imprisioned without trial for not paying the forced loan. Close vote. Judge says Charles has a particular right to imprison without trial.

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Charles could only get funds if he gave his assent to the Petition of Right

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