What Were the Causes of the English Civil War Essay

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The origins of the English Civil war went further back than 1642. They are traced by ‘Whig Historians’ such as Notestein right back to the early moments of James’ reign, and even into Elizabeth’s rule. Revisionist historians such as Professor Conrad Russell put more emphasis on the short term causes of the civil war, but even they look back to 1625 and the beginning of Charles’ reign. The troubles began in 1625 when parliament granted the new king tonnage and poundage for one year only, because they were not happy with the conduct of the Thirty Years War so far. This made Charles resentful because parliament had demanded the war and because all other monarchs had been granted tonnage and poundage for life. This was an origin of the civil war because it was the first sign of resentment. In 1626 matter grew worse as parliament attempted to impeach the royal favourite, Buckingham. Charles saved Buckingham by dissolving parliament, but that meant he did not get his subsidies that had been left in committee whilst impeachment was debated. Also Charles had been accused in this parliament of ‘pricking sheriffs’, which was a cause of the civil war because it made him look untrustworthy. In 1628 Charles and Parliament seemed to make up because Charles signed the petition of right, which condemned Arminianism, non-parliamentary taxation and martial law. This was a cause of the civil war because it shows that parliament were seeking to reduce the royal prerogative and later, when Charles went back on his word it showed again how untrustworthy he was. Charles dissolved parliament in 1629 after the forced resolutions, when John Eliot and others held the speaker down so that resolutions against Arminianism , non-parliamentary taxes and billeting could be passed. Charles decided to rule without parliament after this. During the Personal Rule (1629-40) there were many
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