The civil war started from 1642 and ended in 1648, claiming the lives of 1 in 10 men from England. The war broke out forty years after the death of Elizabeth I, who had managed to rule England well. But the real problems came with the coming of Charles I of England, (second son of James VI of Scotland). During the reign of different monarchies the power of parliament had increased and in those times it was ordinary from the king to rule with parliament. However, Charles believed in the rite of kings, which is a political and religious doctrine stating the kings power comes from God and it is only the kings duty to rule the country.
This definitely angered Parliament as it was taking away some of their power. He had also married Henrietta Maria, a French Catholic princess. This was not a good choice as at this time the country was still Protestant, reflecting badly upon Charles. Charles then appointed a man named Laud as his Archbishop. He thought that people would feel closer to God if the churches were colourful. Some saw this idolatry, others took it as a Catholic practice. The king of the country would normally be allowed to collect taxes fro all his life, this is his customs duties.
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However Charles was only allowed one year. Parliament were starting to take power from the king fro their own desires. Charles had only been granted custom duties fro a year, but collected them after this allotted time, without parliaments permission. This was then the cause of the dissolving of parliament. For the next 11 years Charles had his own personal rule and no parliament. However, without parliament there to provide him with taxes, he was forced to come up with ways to collect money himself. He eventually came to the conclusion of ship tax.
This tax was collected when the countries fleet was at war, however it was not. To start with people accepted it, but when Charles asked this from inland, people grew angry and said that they would not pay the tax. Only 20% of the expected sum got collected. In 1639 a new problem came up. A new prayer book was introduced to Scotland causing outrage. They then marched upon England, taking control of several Northern areas. Charles had to pay ? 850 a day until they reached an agreement. Charles didn’t have this money and with the stressing issue of the Scots, he was forced to bring back parliament.
But parliament agreed not to pay him anything until he got rid of the ship tax and his hated ministers. Charles had no other choice and so decided to do what he was told. Parliament then set about getting what they wanted. First came the Grand remonstrance. This was a set of demands given by parliament stating that the power of bishops should be reduced and that the king was only allowed to employ ministers who parliament trusted. In 1641 news was received from Ireland that the Irish catholic had rebelled against the English protestant rulers and killed around 200,000 of them.
Many people thought Charles was behind the rebellion as an effort to once again make England catholic. Then in 1642, Charles caught trying to arrest 5 leading MP’s, who had already escaped, showing up Charles efforts to get rid of parliament. In March that very same year, Parliament decided to extend its power a little bit more and came to the decision of throwing all bishops out of the House of Lords. At the same time Charles also wanted parliament to grant him enough money to pay for an army to halt the Irish rebellion, but he was not listened to.
But eventually it was too much fro Charles when Parliament introduced the nineteen propositions on June 1st 1642. These propositions, would take away many of the kings powers, including the power to raise an army and would give them to parliament. Charles would not stand for this and so declared war on parliament in August 1642. Although there were many things that affected the civil war, it seems that Charles stubbornness and the greed of parliament were the main factors that caused the way in which England is run today.