History Revision Year 8

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English Civil War - Power, Religion and Money

Power  Religion  Money

Charles married Princess Henrietta Maria, a French Catholic.

In 1626 George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, was losing the war against Spain. Charles had chosen him to lead the war. This made  Parliament despise Charles even more due to the bad decisions he had made. When the Sailors returned they were in a terrible state, there were starving sailors on the streets.This was obseved by Sir Eliot John, a puritan and representative of Cornwall in the House of Commons.

In 1628 Charles demanded more money from Parliament but they refused. He was forced to borrow through threats. Then the Petition of Rights was created, lessening Charles' power. The key points were:

  • No taxes could be levied (imposed) without Parliaments consent.
  • No English subject could be imprisoned withought cause, thus reinforcing habeas corpus (a writ requiring a person to be brought before a judge or court).
  • No quartering (the provision of accomodation or lodging) of soldiers in citizens homes.
  • No martial law can me used during peacetime.
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English Civil War - Power, Religion and Money

In the 1630's Charles began to make changes to the Church of England. This angered Puritans especially and some wrote pamphlets attacking the Church and Monarchy. In 1637 Archbishop Laud put three puritans, who had written pamplets, on trial. They were found guilty and were severly punished.

In 1637, when Charles attempted to make the Scots use the English prayer book they refused. This lead to him sending an army to force them, though his army was beaten and the Scots demanded compensation.

Nearly all the MP's in the House of Commons were united against Charles and in 1640 they imposed another set of rules. They were: 

  • Hold regular meetings with Parliament.
  • Punish your ministers, especially Strafford, for the way they have behaved.
  • Take advice from sensible Ministers; some of your ministers must come from Parliament.
  • Reverse the changes you and Archbishop Laud made to the Churches.
  • Raise no more taxes without Parliaments agreement.
  • Put an end to your special courts, such as the court of Star Chamber, where you lock up opponent without trial.
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English Civil War - Power, Religion and Money

In 1641 Charles gave in to several of the new rules imposed by Parliament. They were:

  • Parliament is to meet every 3 years and cannot be ended without the MP's agreement.
  • Ship money is to be made illegal.
  • The court of Star Chamber is to be abolished.
  • The Church reforms have not been reversed; but Archbishop Laud has been imprisoned
  • Strafford, Charles' minsister, who was hated most, has been tried by MP's and  executed.

In November 1641 Parliament demanded more power. Extreme Puritan MP's made a new list of demands, called the Grand Remonstrance. A few demands were:

  • Parliament must choose the King's Ministers. This would give Parliament power over how the country was ran.
  • The power of bishops was to be reduced. Making the Church more Protestant.

Charles was infuriated by the demands, and there was a division between the MP's; 159 votes for; 148 votes against. This encouraged Charles that he had support.

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English Civil War - Power, Religion and Money

In January 1642 Charles burst into the the House of Commons with 400 soldiers and demanded that atleast five MP's were handed over for Arrest. However, the MP's had been warned about this and had fled down the Thames by boat. They were protected by the council and were treated like they were heroes. This consequently made the MP's distrust Charles even further.

In March 1642, Parliament took control of the army; the king had controlled the army in the past. But the MP's did not trust Charles enough to let him control the army as he might use it against them. So Parliament took control of the army without the permission of Charles.

On the 1st June 1642 the 19 propositions were created. Several of them were:

  • All affairs of the state, including religion, foreign policy and finance must be agreed with Parliament.
  • All ministers must be approved by Parliament.
  • Parliament must control the education of the King's children and they cannot marry without Parliaments approval.
  • Laws against Catholics must be enoforced.
  • The Church must be reformed as Parliament wants.
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English Civil War - Power, Religion and Money

This finally divided the kings supporters from his opponents as many thought Parliament had gone too far.

On the 22nd August 1642 Charles declared war. Charles said that all these rules would make him a 'mere phantom of a King'. Charles' supporters left London to join him and both sides acquiered armies.

On the 22nd August 1642 Charles raised his standard at Nottingham. The Civil War had begun.

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