The quest for political stability, 1625-88


Charles I and parliament 1625-29

  • Charles believed in the 'divine right' of kings very firmly. 
  • Suceeded to the throne in March 1625, with an empty treasury. This meant Charles moved to gain a loan from the city of London merchants for £60,000 however this still would not have been enough so he had to call parliment. 
  • Parliment refused to grant Charles and excise tax- suggested a grant for one year to ensure that parliment would be called more often. 
  • Following the failure of the naval attack on the port of Cadiz in Spain (led by Lord Buckingham) parliment began to speak of impeaching Buckingham. 
  • In 1626 Charles recalled parliment nethertheless- but dissolved it to save Buckingham 
  • To raise finance without parliment for a grant Charles issued a forced loan to all tax payers- which many people thought as a challenge to law. 
  • In 1628 at war with France and Spain, forced to recall Parliment- he recieved subsidise in return for signing the petition of rights which demanded forced loans would no longer be issued. 
  • Charles ended the session of parliment due to continued complains on Buckingham and revised the petition of rights- allowing him to collect Tonnage and Poundage without a grant. 
  • In 1628 Buckingham was assisinated, leading to public celebration. In 1629 parliment reassembled but Charles ajorned it when they began to look into his breaches of the Petition.  
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Personal rule and its failure 1629-40

  • Some historians see 1629 as a turning point in the deteriation of relations between Charles and Paliment that ultimately led to civil war. 
  • Some people believe Charles was attempting to create an absolute monarchy and destroy parliment- while others see him as trying to create a more stable form of government. 
  • In 1630 the Treaty of Madrid ended the wars against Spain and reduced Charles spending and dependancy on Parliment for funds. 
  • Charles created new ways of gathering finance- including fuedal payments, and ship money which was used for the upkeep of the navy- these led to resentment. 
  • He also supported arminianism (with links to catholicsm), and promoted Laud as arch bishop. 
  • Puritans clashed with these ideals- and those who resisted were taken to church courts and deprived of their livings. 
  • French catholic Henrietta Maria encouraged others and her children to participate in Catholic worship and Charles welcomed an ambassador from the pope in court. 
  • In 1636 John Hampden refused to pay Ship money- and was subject to a legal trial which eventualy took the kings side (but was close). 
  • Star chamber sentanced three Puritan writers who had attacked government and sentanced them to have their ears cut of and to be branded- punishments decided by Laud which showed his influence in the government. 
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Scottish troubles- the collapse of personal rule

  • Scottish church was Presbyterian (not governed by a heirarchy of bishops). 
  • In 1636 Charles issued a Book of Canons to the Scots which introduced practices related to the C of E. 
  • In 1637 introduction of the English Prayer Book to Scottish Churches caused riots and a spread of disorder. 
  • Both sides raised armies- hoever Charles lacked finance and so had to rely on local militias- so he signed the Treaty of Berwick in 1639. 
  • Taxpayers in England striked as were unhappy about funding the war with the Scots. 
  • Charles opened the Short Parliment however was closed after 3 weeks to to parliments floods of petitions against personal rule and Charles demands for money. 
  • Charles gathered a badly organised and under equipped force to fight the French- and was defeated at the battle of Newburn. 
  • In October 1640 Charles signed the treaty of Ripon in which he was forced to pay the Scots £850 a day while they occupied Newcastle. 
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The failure to compromise, 1640-49

  • The long parliment met in Nov 1640 and the kings opponents (such as Pym) were ready to sieze the oppurtunity. They impeached Wentworth and Archbishop Laud (the kings closest advisors). 
  • 1641 parliment passed he Triennial Act ensure parliment was called every 3 years. 
  • In April when Wentworth was put on trial Pym stated there was a catholic plot to release him- causing an angry mob to surround- thus pressuring Charles to sign his death warrant. 
  • Some MPs thought Pym was going to far after he issued a bill to establish a new church along Presbyterian lines, and the abbolition of perogative courts- showing cracks withing parliment, and a group of moderates emerged who wanted to create a settlement between the king and parliment (the constitutional royalists). 
  • The ten propositions were drawn up which would give more power to parliment. 
  • Charles stayed in Scotland until November 1641 and whist he was gone parliment decided to raise an army- but were afraid charles may use it against parliment. 
  • Pym sent the king the 'grand remonstrance' which was similar to the Ten Propositions, passed the commons by 11 votes (showing division in parliment). Rumours that Pym was planning to impeach the Queen. Charles then arrived at the commons with 300 and arrested five leading members- including Pym. 
  • June p publised the 19 propositions for negotiation, but suggested didnt really want peace, both sides raised armies, and Charles declared war in august 1642. 
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The first civil war, 1642-8

  • During the first stage of the civil war the royalists did well due to wealthy support and more experianced commanders. 
  • 1643 Pym establshed a tax in parlimentary areas to maintain p forces- despite many MPs wanting peace. P signed an agreement with the scots which helped the parlimentry army to win at Marston Moor in 1644. 
  • 1645 parliment passed the self-denying ordinance where all military leaders resigned to create a new model army- of 22,000 men led by Fairfax- Cromwell calvery commander. 
  • The creation of the NMA won a huge sucess at the battle of Naseby in 1645 as the army was well trained, disciplined and well led. 
  • In April 1646 Charles surrendered to the scots and parliment had no plans to remove Charles at this point- however did execute Laud in 1645. 
  • Charles recieved proposals from the scots in newcastle- to secure their Presbytarian church in scotland, however he delayed so was handed to parliment. 
  • Parliment offered Charles the newcastle proposals in 1646 which included the abolition of bishops (influence of political presbytarians). 
  • Levellers gained support of the NMA, and when parliment voted to disband the army without pay they formed a rivial political force (agitator) and took control of charles. 
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The politicisation of the army

  • Cromwell and army officrs signed an engagement to create the general council, and published the representation of the army- to get rid of presbytarian MPs, reasonal religious toleration and fresh elections. 
  • In 1647 the army leaders presented the heads of the proposals to charles- to hold parliment every 2 years, and for parlimet to nominate the heads of state for 10 years. 
  • However some soldiers supported a more radical- 'agreement of the people'
  • Issues which were discussed at the Putney Debates showed divisions in certian beliefs within the army. 
  • Charles escaped and so the army had to return to regiments- which lead to a near mutiny which cromwell managed to supress. 
  • In december 1647 charles made an agreement with the scots to have a presbytarian church for 3 years. 
  • Parliment voted for no more negotiatiations with Charles and prepared for the second civil war. 
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The second civil war, 1648-49

  • April 1648 the scots entered england which marked the beginning of the second civil war. 
  • The royalists were defeated at the battle of preston- however no one knew what to do with Charles as he still would only agree to abolishing bishops for a maximum of 3 years.
  • In november the army presented the Remonstrance to parliment which demanded that Charles was brought to justice, and sent 4 bills to charles (similar to the newcastle propositions). 
  • The commons wanted to negotiate with Charles, but the army disagreed and surrounded the commons, arresting 45 promoting discussions with the king, and excluding 186 who supported negotiations. 
  • This left only the Rump in the commons- who were against further negotiations. They were involved in the trial and execution of Charles. 
  • High court of Justice was created to try Charles- and found him guilty of treason. He was executed on the 30th of January 1649. 
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