OCR Civil War revision: Why did civil war break out?

Gives answers and evidence for key question 1 for OCR AS History

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  • Created by: Alice
  • Created on: 16-05-12 21:05

Fear of a Roman Catholic Conspiracy


  • Refused role of Cardinal in 1633 saying "not with Rome as it is"
  • Introduced prayer book in England 1634
  • Introduced prayer book in Scotland 1637 --> Scottish National Covenant and invasion of England (Bishop's wars)

Henrietta Maria

  • Had Catholic advisers e.g. Finch and Windibank with access to Charles
  • Parliament tried to impeach her --> Fiver Members Coup 1642
  • Came from France where they believed in a more autocratic monarchy

Root and Branch Petition

  • A failed petition from 1642 which would ban Bishops and create a Presbytarian Church system

Bishops Wars

  • Charles' Bishop's War with the Scots over the Prayer book made the Protestants look like victims of Catholic tyranny in 1639


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Parliament's fear of the King becoming a dictator


  • Attacked machinery of Personal Rule in the first session of the Long Parliament 1640 (eg Star Chamber and Chamber of High Commision)
  • Destroyed the King's methods of collecting tax (Ship Tax, Forest Fines etc) in 1640
  • Triennial Act in Spring 1641 and Act of Perpetual Parliament in May 1641 demanded that Parliament should be held every three years - showed fear of anothing 'reign of tyranny'
  • 10 Propositions of 1641 took away some of the King's power
  • 19 Propositions of 1642 proposed that King should give up control of the armed forces


  • Did rule without Parliament for 11 years in Personal Rule (1629 - 1640)
  • Tried to put Thomas Lunsford in charge of Tower of London in 1641 which suggested to Parliament that he was about to stage a coup
  • Staged Five Members Coup in January 1642 which alienated any support that Charles did have within Parliament
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King's character and refusal to negotiate


  • Belief in the Divine Right of Kings
  • Closed down Short Parliament when they challenged his authority in 1640 by demanding that their 'grievances' should be dealt with before they would give Charles money
  • Attempted 5 member coup in January 1642 as a response to rumours about Parliament impeaching Henrietta Maria
  • Refused to accept 19 propositions of 1642 and instead raised his standard at Nottingham in August 1642, thus starting the civil war


  • He did accept restrictions on machinery of personal rule at the start of Long Parliament in 1640
  • He was prepared to sacrifice Strafford to appease Parliament in May 1641
  • Accepted Triennial Act in Spring 1641
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Charles' financial insufficiency

Personal Debt

  • Had a personal debt of £1 million so had to rely on Parliament

Calling of Parliament

  • Had to pay Scots £850 per day after Treaty of Ripon so was forced to call Short Parliament in 1640
  • Was forced to call Long Parliament in 1641 to pay for First Bishop's War
  • King couldn't afford a professional army so was forced to rely on Munster system


  • Couldn't afford a professional army so had to rely on Munster system leading to the loss of the Bishop's Wars
  • Wasn't allowed to choose his how commander to fight the Irish Rebellion as Parliament was funding it


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