Discuss the causes of the English civil war

Essay by G.J.I June 2004

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The struggle for supremacy between king and Parliament lead to the Civil War. There are many major reasons for this; social reasons, such as the disorders and 'social protests'1 of the fifty years before the Civil War and the constant peasant rages, demands, petitioning and demonstrations. Economical reasons, such as financial problems which lead to force loans, commercial monopolies, ship money, and an unfair tax system. Political reasons, such as the inefficient monarchs and their determination to rule independently with out Parliament, which caused many disputes, and religious reasons such as the uncertainty of the king's belief (Protestant or Catholic).

As said by John Morrill, History Today, 'The English Civil War was a number of issues. The Civil War was caused by religious issues, political issues, the media of the time and poor kingship.'2.

The English Civil War was caused by religious issues inflicted on England by Charles I. Charles I lacked all qualities of a strong leader.

He was brought up in the shadow of older brother Henry, who died unexpectedly from typhoid in 1612.

Although claiming to be Protestant, Charles I was considered to be more Catholic in many ways. Charles I had this long running battle of simplicity versus tradition with the Puritans, which have been left by father James I. The Puritans preferred a simplistic church with the absence of the ring in marriage, the surplus, the gold sacraments and the bowing; Charles I on the other hand ruled in favour of this. To make matters even worse Charles I, after several unsuccessful attempts at arranging marriages, was married to the fifteen year-old daughter of France's king Henry IV, Henrietta Marie a Catholic. Who was not favoured by the people. Three years of coldness ensued, but the pair finally became devoted to each other. This made...