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  • The english Civil war

    Charles I was the son of James I* and like him believed in the divine right to be monarch. He succeeded his father in 1625 and the same year married with the catholic Henrietta Maria.

    Thanks to his father the two kingdoms of Scotland and England had both experienced relative peace, and Charles hoped to unite the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland into a new single kingdom, fulfilling the dream of his father. But many English Parliamentarians had suspicions regarding such a move, because they feared that setting up a new kingdom might destroy the old English traditions which had bound the English monarchy, and found a justification in Charle's position on the power of the crown (divine right).

    Many concerns were raised over Charles's marriage to Henrietta Maria because it raised the possibility that his children, including an heir to the throne, might grow up as Catholics. This was quite an alarming prospect for officially Protestant England, where the Church of England is led by the King.

    Charles I avoided calling a Parliament for eleven years: during this period, Charles's lack of money determined policies. First and foremost, to avoid Parliament the King needed to avoid war. Charles made peace with France and Spain, but it wasn't enough to balance the Crown's finances. Charles asked the parliament for money in 1628 in which was written that taxes could only be imposed after the approval of the parliament and that no man could be sent to prison without regular trial.
    During the "Personal Rule" period Charles arose most antagonism through his religious measures: he believed in High Anglicanism, a sacramental version of the Church of England, but Puritans accused the Anglicans of reintroducing Catholicism, and gave rise to a social and political movement holding a considerable majority in the parliament.
    The end of Charles's independent governance came when he attempted to apply the same religious policies in Scotland, which had independent traditions.Charles, however, wanted one uniform Church throughout Britain (and introduced the High Anglican version of the English Book of Common Prayer to Scotland). Scotland was violently resisted, and in 1638, the Scots formulated their objections to royal policy in the National Covenant. This document took the form of a "loyal protest," rejecting all innovations not first having been tested by free parliaments and General Assemblies of the Church.
    In 1639 started but the Scots army defeated Charles's forces. He had insufficient funds, however, and asked the parliament for money in 1640, but the parliament refused him the support.
    Without Parliament's support, Charles attacked Scotland again and was defeated. The Scots went on to invade England and Charles was forced to pay to keep the Scots from advancing. All this put Charles in a desperate financial position. As King of Scots, he had to find money to pay the Scottish army in England; as King of England, he had to find money to pay and equip an English army to defend England.

    So he summoned the parliament again, (Long Parliament) which sat from 1640 to 1653. Its opposition to the king led to the English Civil War between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists. Many of its members were dismissed in 1648 and it became known as the Rump Parliament. This was itself dismissed in 1653. At the Restoration in 1660 a new parliament was created.
    The parliament refused again to give him money and asked him to abandon any kind of power.

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