Introduction-Causes of war in England in 1642
A) Religious reasons
1) Charles marries a French catholic
2) French catholic Queen had influence over King Charles
B) Political reasons
1) Charles wanted complete control of England
2) The parliament wanted more power
C) Short -term triggers
1) Charles wanted more money from the parliament
2) MPs and Advisers being arrested and execution
WHY THE CIVIL WAR BREAK OUT IN ENGLAND IN 1642
In 1642, war broke out between two armies led by the King and Parliament .The civil war was a turning point in British history. It was all caused by a combination of long term and short term factors. Some of these causes were political, other were more economical and religious. Historians disagree about which the most important causes are and who should take most of the blame for the start of war. Some criticize Charles for trying to rule without a parliament. Others believe parliament pushed too hard for power or argue that things just ran out of control.
Charles was involved in the Catholic versus Protestant struggles that had been happening for decades and are still happening today. These continued throughout his reign. Charles’ reign got off to a bad start when he married Henrietta Maria, A devout catholic. These made people dislike him. During the 1630’s Charles and Archbishop Laud began to make changes to the Church. They wanted Churches to be decorated and look beautiful. The puritans in parliament didn’t approve, as they believed that Churches should be simple. When Laud introduced a controversial new prayer book, this also made some parliamentarian puritans unhappy. The Scots also didn’t like it and they rioted. Charles sent an army to Scotland but didn’t have enough money to pay the soldiers. This caused him to introduce a new tax named coat and conduct money. The British public did not like paying this tax and it helped cause the taxpayer’s strike 1639-1640.
On 1st November 1641, people in London heard that Catholics had risen up in Ireland and had killed 20,000 Protestants. The rumors were that Charles was behind an attempt to make England all catholic. In January 1642. Charles tried to arrest five M.P.s, He stormed into the parliament building with dozens of soldiers. However, these men had been warned and had already fled the building. This rash move by Charles brought the civil war extremely close and it convinced parliament that Charles was trying to overthrow them. These triggers made the civil war imminent, as it was the first time either side had used force. I believe that both parliament and Charles caused the civil war. Power was the most important of the four causes we have looked at. This is because power was primarily what the parliament vs. Charles feud was about. Although it is believed that some of Charles’ rash actions were significant in the causes of the civil war.
He began collecting ‘ Ship Money’; this was a tax that was collected to improve the navy during the times of war and most of the time it was collected only from coastal counties. King Charles began collecting ‘ Ship Money’ annually from both coastal and inland counties. At first, in 1635 almost everybody paid these but by 1639 the king collected only twenty percent of these taxes. Again people had different views about ‘ Ship Money’. Some people agreed about it but some like John Hampden, who came from an inland county, refused it. Another tax that he introduced was the ‘Coat and Conduct money’, which was used to pay for the army’s uniforms, training and costumes. This tax rose when King Charles fought a war against the Scottish people since they rebelled against the new prayer book. Since Charles I ruled both England and Scotland, he insisted on making Scotland use the same prayer book as England; he wanted to spread Laud’s ideas over his entire kingdom. Scotland contained more Puritans than England and so they rebelled against the new system. In 1637 the king ordered all of the churches in Scotland to use the new prayer book even if it were against their will. The king seemed to be collecting too much money; this created a taxpayer’s strike. In Wiltshire, soldiers released the people who were imprisoned for not paying ‘ Coat and Conduct Money’.
The first step towards spreading Catholicism in England took place on November the first 1641, when news reached London of a rebellion in Ireland the Catholics murdered 200,000 Protestants. King Charles was suspected of being behind this movement since, as mentioned before; he was thought to be a Catholic in secret. When this Irish rebellion arose, England needed an army to oppose. As always, the kings had control over the army, but this time Parliament wanted to control the army because they were afraid that the King might use this army to fight against them and because they did not trust him very much. So in March 1642, Parliament took control over the army against the king’s will. This helped in increasing the Parliament’s power to rebel against their king, with an army at hand. On the first of June 1642 a new set of laws was released, it was called ‘The Nineteen Proposition’. People had to choose between either the King or Parliament. This helped both the King and Parliament to set up an army for the beginning of a Civil War. The Civil war had two phases: from 1642-1646, and from 1646- 1649. After a formal trial in 1649, King Charles I was accused of treason and was executed on January 30 in 1649.
In 1642 Parliament proposed to get rid of bishops once and for all and in March 1642 Parliament demanded control of the army, Charles refused to give in but they took control of it anyway. In June 1642 Parliament presented its final list of demands, called the Nineteen Propositions. Amongst these were that Parliament must agree all state business including foreign policy and religion; all ministers must be approved by Parliament; Parliament must control the education of the King’s children to make sure they were brought up Protestants and Parliament must approve who they married to make sure they did not marry Catholics; the Church must be changed to be how Parliament wanted and Parliament would control the army. Charles would not agree to the Nineteen Propositions – they would put an end the Royal Privilege and give the power to run the country to Parliament. Civil war was now inevitable. In the summer of 1642 both King and Parliament began to organise armies. On August 22 1642 King Charles raised his standard against Parliament in Nottingham. It was the sign for war to begin.