Outbreak of Civil War

Charles I succeeded to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland upon the death of his father, James I, in 1625. Greatly dissatisfied with his early English Parliaments, Charles I governed England on his own, beginning in 1629, for an eleven-year period known as his personal rule. But in the summer of 1640, the king’s Scottish subjects, alienated by his attempts to forcibly alter their Presbyterian Church, successfully invaded northern England and demanded a payment to withdraw. Charles I had no choice but to convene Parliament for assistance. Those summoned to London in November 1640, at the start of what would become known as the Long Parliament, were almost unanimous in their determination to ensure that the king would never again rule without them, and they forced Charles I to agree to a number of laws that effectively limited his sovereignty. However, as the parliamentary opposition, headed by John Pym, called for greater innovations in the governance of church and state, a reaction set in among the more moderate members of the Commons and Lords. Rebellion by Catholics in Ireland in late 1641 further complicated the situation, for Parliament would not entrust the king with the command of an army to put down the rebellion. In January 1642, Charles I tried to arrest Pym and other opposition leaders. His failed attempt demonstrated that he was willing to use force against his political opponents, and the resultant uproar in London caused the king to abandon his capital. Negotiations throughout the first half of 1642 failed to resolve the crisis. On August 2, 1642, as recorded in the journal of the House of Lords, Parliament declared that England stood in imminent danger by reason of a malignant party prevailing with his Majesty. Both houses, therefore, had no recourse but to issue a call to arms to defend the true Religion, the Laws and Liberties of the Kingdom, and the Power and Privilege of Parliament. Thus Parliament declared war on the king, who countered with his own call to arms at Nottingham on August 22. Charles I was fighting to maintain not only his royal prerogatives in governing the state but also his role as supreme governor of the Church of England. He believed in the Anglican episcopate and rituals, as opposed to the Puritans, who led his parliamentary opposition and wanted to further reform the church, root and branch. The king’s followers called royalists or, pejoratively, Cavaliers predominated in the north, parts of the Midlands, the West Country, and Wales. The parliamentarians derogatorily labeled rebels or Roundheads by their opponents controlled London and its wealth, the navy, and the richer shires in the center, the east, and the southeast. Nevertheless, even after the formal declarations of hostilities, most of the English people still hoped for a negotiated settlement to avoid a fratricidal war. In fact, neither king nor Parliament thought that the war would be protracted. Each side believed it would be victorious in the first major military encounter and would then be able to dictate peace terms to its defeated opponent. Parliament’s lord general, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, led his forces northwest from London that fall, intent on stopping the king from marching south from Yorkshire, where he had been recruiting. The two armies, numbering about 14,000 men each, met at Edgehill in Warwickshire on October 23, 1642. Charles I was in the field, as was his cavalry commander, his 22-year-old nephew Prince Rupert, already a veteran of the Continental wars. Despite the prince’s sweeping cavalry charge, the battle of Edgehill ended in a draw. That winter, the parliamentary leaders in London and the king at his headquarters in Oxford set in motion plans for a protracted conflict, as both sides commissioned local nobles and gentry to build up regional armies. Both sides also engaged in an intense war of words, producing and distributing countless propaganda pamphlets and news sheets aimed at winning public opinion. Presentation “The American Civil War 1861 1865. Causes There … Spanish News Today – 75th Anniversary Of Outbreak Of Spanish Civil … Commissioner Stylianides condemns South Sudan’s expulsion of UN …

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