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A discussion on why the parliamentarians won the civil war

There was a civil war in Ireland that pitted the Catholic majority against the Protestant minority, buttressed by English and Scottish armies.

This inclusion of inland towns was construed as a new tax without parliamentary authorization. Nevertheless, despite grumblings, there is little doubt that had Charles managed to rule his other dominions as he controlled England, his peaceful reign might have been extended indefinitely. Scotland and Ireland proved his undoing. Charles I, king of Great Britain and Ireland.

A National Covenant calling for immediate withdrawal of the prayer book was speedily drawn up on February 28, 1638. Despite its moderate tone and conservative format, the National Covenant was a radical manifesto against the Personal Rule of Charles I that justified a revolt against the interfering sovereign. However, the Covenantersas the Scottish rebels became known, quickly overwhelmed the poorly trained English army, forcing the king to sign a peace treaty at Berwick June 18, 1639.

Parliament assembled in April 1640, but it lasted only three weeks and hence became known as the Short Parliament. The House of Commons was willing to vote the huge sums that the king needed to finance his war against the Scots, but not until their grievances—some dating back more than a decade—had been redressed.

Furious, Charles precipitately dissolved the Short Parliament. On August 20, 1640, the Covenanters invaded England for the second time, and in a spectacular military campaign they took Newcastle following the Battle of Newburn August 28.

Demoralized and humiliated, the king had no alternative but to negotiate and, at the insistence of the Scots, to recall parliament. A new parliament the Long Parliamentwhich no one dreamed would sit for the next 20 years, assembled at Westminster on November 3, 1640, and immediately called for the impeachment of Wentworth, who by now was the earl of Strafford.

John Pym, detail of an engraving by G.

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Glover, 1644, after a portrait by Edward Bower. This rebellion derived, on the one hand, from long-term social, religious, and economic causes namely tenurial insecurity, economic instability, indebtedness, and a desire to have the Roman Catholic Church restored to its pre- Reformation position and, on the other hand, from short-term political factors that triggered the outbreak of violence.

Inevitably, bloodshed and unnecessary cruelty accompanied the insurrection, which quickly engulfed the island and took the form of a popular rising, pitting Catholic natives against Protestant newcomers. Perhaps 4,000 settlers lost their lives—a tragedy to be sure, but a far cry from the figure of 154,000 the Irish government suggested had been butchered.

Much more common was the plundering and pillaging of Protestant property and the theft of livestock. These human and material losses were replicated on the Catholic side as the Protestants retaliated.

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The Irish insurrection immediately precipitated a political crisis in England, as Charles and his Westminster Parliament argued over which of them should control the army to be raised to quell the Irish insurgents.

Had Charles accepted the list of grievances presented to him by Parliament in the Grand Remonstrance of December 1641 and somehow reconciled their differences, the revolt in Ireland almost certainly would have been quashed with relative ease.

Instead, Charles mobilized for war on his own, raising his standard at Nottingham in August 1642. The Wars of the Three Kingdoms had begun in earnest. This also marked the onset of the first English Civil A discussion on why the parliamentarians won the civil war fought between forces loyal to Charles I and those who served Parliament. After a period of phony war late in 1642, the basic shape of the English Civil War was of Royalist advance in 1643 and then steady Parliamentarian attrition and expansion.

The first English Civil War 1642—46 The first major battle fought on English soil—the Battle of Edgehill October 1642 —quickly demonstrated that a clear advantage was enjoyed by neither the Royalists also known as the Cavaliers nor the Parliamentarians also known as the Roundheads for their short-cropped hair, in contrast to the long hair and wigs associated with the Cavaliers.

Although recruiting, equipping, and supplying their armies initially proved problematic for both sides, by the end of 1642 each had armies of between 60,000 and 70,000 men in the field.

However, sieges and skirmishes—rather than pitched battles—dominated the military landscape in England during the first Civil War, as local garrisons, determined to destroy the economic basis of their opponents while preserving their own resources, scrambled for territory. Charles, with his headquarters in Oxfordenjoyed support in the north and west of England, in Walesand after 1643 in Ireland. Parliament controlled the much wealthier areas in the south and east of England together with most of the key ports and, critically, Londonthe financial capital of the kingdom.

In order to win the war, Charles needed to capture London, and this was something that he consistently failed to do. England during the Civil Wars. Yet Charles prevented the Parliamentarians from smashing his main field army.

  • The Self-Denying Ordinance and the re-casting of the Roundhead chain of command put Cromwell in a central leadership position;
  • The first major battle in October 1642 at Edgehill had been inconclusive, and thereafter the Cavaliers had found it easier to recruit out of a widespread social fear that the traditional English way of life was under threat from militant Puritanism.

The result was an effective military stalemate until the triumph of the Roundheads at the Battle of Marston Moor July 2, 1644. This decisive victory deprived the king of two field armies and, equally important, paved the way for the reform of the parliamentary armies with the creation of the New Model Armycompleted in April 1645.

Why did Parliament win the First Civil War?

Thus, by 1645 Parliament had created a centralized standing army, with central funding and central direction. The New Model Army now moved against the Royalist forces. Their closely fought victory at the Battle of Naseby June 14, 1645 proved the turning point in parliamentary fortunes and marked the beginning of a string of stunning successes—Langport July 10Rowton Heath September 24and Annan Moor October 21 —that eventually forced the king to surrender to the Scots at Newark on May 5, 1646.

  • The Irish insurrection immediately precipitated a political crisis in England, as Charles and his Westminster Parliament argued over which of them should control the army to be raised to quell the Irish insurgents;
  • It meant that Parliament had control of the arsenal at the Tower of London, and was more easily able to import the sword blades and gunlocks which were necessary for the war effort;
  • The first English Civil War 1642—46 The first major battle fought on English soil—the Battle of Edgehill October 1642 —quickly demonstrated that a clear advantage was enjoyed by neither the Royalists also known as the Cavaliers nor the Parliamentarians also known as the Roundheads for their short-cropped hair, in contrast to the long hair and wigs associated with the Cavaliers;
  • Puritans everywhere supported the Parliament, more conservative protestants - together with the few Catholics - supported the King;
  • This fiasco symbolised the incompetence which hampered the Royalist campaign, and compared unfavourably with the organisation displayed by the Parliamentarian military forces during the years of conflict;
  • Nevertheless, despite grumblings, there is little doubt that had Charles managed to rule his other dominions as he controlled England, his peaceful reign might have been extended indefinitely.

Oliver Cromwell at the Battle of Marston Moor. Royalist successes in England in the spring and early summer of 1643, combined with the prospect of aid from Ireland for the king, prompted the Scottish Covenanters to sign a political, military, and religious alliance—the Solemn League and Covenant September 25, 1643 —with the English Parliamentarians.

Desperate to protect their revolution at home, the Covenanters insisted upon the establishment of Presbyterianism in England and in return agreed to send an army of 21,000 men to serve there. These troops played a critical role at Marston Moor, with the covenanting general, David Leslie, briefly replacing a wounded Oliver Cromwell in the midst of the action.

For his part, Charles looked to Ireland for support.

English Civil Wars

In Scotland loyalty to the Covenant, the king, and the house of Argyll resulted in a lengthy and, at times, bloody civil war that began in February 1639, when the Covenanters seized Invernessand ended with the surrender of Dunnottar castle, near Aberdeenin May 1652.

Marquess of Montrose, portrait miniature after a painting by W. In September 1643, the two sides concluded a cease-fire, but they failed to negotiate a lasting political and religious settlement acceptable to all parties. On December 26, 1647, Charles signed an agreement—known as the Engagement —with a number of leading Covenanters.

In return for the establishment of Presbyterianism in England for a period of three years, the Scots promised to join forces with the English Royalists and restore the king to his throne. Early in July 1648, a Scottish force invaded England, but the parliamentary army routed it at the Battle of Preston August 17. Ultimately, the defeat of a combined force of Irish Royalists and Confederates at the hands of English Parliamentarians after August 1649 prevented the Irishmen from serving alongside their Scottish and English allies in the third English Civil War.

This wild attempt to capture London came to nothing.

The New Model Army: why Parliament won the English Civil War

Charles II, 19th-century engraving by William Finden. The fighting in Scotland and Ireland, where the populations were roughly a fifth of that of England, was more brutal still. As many as 15,000 civilians perished in Scotland, and a further 137,000 Irish civilians may well have died as a result of the wars there. In all nearly 200,000 people, or roughly 2. These were the last civil wars ever fought on English—but not Scottish or Irish—soil, and they have bequeathed a lasting legacy.

Ever since this period, the peoples of the three kingdoms have had a profound distrust of standing armies, while ideas first mooted during the 1640s, particularly about religious toleration and limitations on power, have survived to this day.