Academic Writing

Sample Essay on the English Civil War

The English Civil War, one of the reminiscent wars in the history of England was fought between 1642 and 1651. The wars stemmed from differences between King Charles I and the country’s parliament. The bone of contention was the powers of the monarchy and the rights of Parliament. In the early stages of the war, members of Parliament wanted to retain Charles as the King of England but with a more powerful parliament. Parliamentarians trounced the royalists even though the latter had made early victories. The escalation of conflicts led to the execution of Charles and the formation of a republic. Though Charles II was welcomed to become king in 1660, parliament set an inevitable parliamentary system for the nation.

What caused the disagreement? When he ascended to power in 1625, Charles I believed in having powerful Kings as he ruled over England, Scotland and Ireland. This was a major cause of conflicts, as parliament had the final word on raising monarchy funds. He therefore dissolved the House frequently because of members’ continuous attack on his cabinet ministers and their hardness in approving his money. In 1629, the King stopped sourcing funds from parliament. Instead, he began funding his system using outdated taxes. This angered the entire population. In 1638, Charles’ attempts to introduce a new prayer book on the Church of England was met with furry and resistance even from the Bishops. What followed was documentation of Scottish complaints in the National Covenant.

Image 2Due to lack of funds to counter Scottish revolt, Charles recalled parliament in 1640, before dissolving it for members’ criticism. Because of Charles’ way of handling parliament, the house began taming him but introducing laws for regular sessions and restricting the king against unwarranted dissolution. His closest advisor, Earl Strafford was convicted of treason and parliament sanctioned his execution. In 1642, Charles withdrew to Oxford after his attempts to arrest five members in the house were thwarted.

Different political factions failed to agree and clashed in October 1642, at the Battle of Edgehill. This marked the first English Civil War. The conflicts and realignments continued with Charles being forced to free troops. Following these developments, parliament supported Scotland even as the King made peace in Ireland.

Royalists won at Cropredy Bridge in June 1644, before parliamentarians registered a major win at Battled of Marston Moor in July. Following this victory, parliament formed its army in 1645, prohibiting its commanders from holding sessions in parliament. In April 1646, Charles surrendered to the Scottish army, which handed him over to Parliament. Upon his ousting, parliamentarians started scrambling to form the government, and found the involvement of the King to be critical. He signed an agreement with the Scots, that backed with Royalists revolts would invade England. This failed miserably and angry parliamentarians recommended that Charles be charged with treason. He was executed on January 30, 1649 after being found guilty. This led to uprisings. Cromwell went to Ireland to avoid resistance, winning several battles. In June 1650, Charles II arrived in Scotland and merged with Covenanters. Royalists battled with Cromwell troops at Worcester on September 3 where Charles II was defeated and fled to France in exile.

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