WHY DID THE CIVIL WAR BREAK OUT IN 1642?
The civil war was a turning point in British history. It was caused by a combination of long term and short-term factors. Some of these causes were political, other were more economic and religious. Historians dissagree about which are the most important causes and who should take most of the blame for the start of the war. Some criticise Charles 1st for trying to rule without parliament. Others believe parliament pushed too hard for power or argue that things just ran out of control.
In my opinion, political was the most important long-term cause of the civil war. I believe this because as Charles wanted complete control of England and that he believed in the Divine right of king, he ruled for 11 years without parliament. This would have made parliament really mad, as they wanted a lot more power over the country. The more parliament pushed for power the angrier Charles got, as he wanted complete control. The more Charles ignored parliament the angrier parliament got, and when Charles ignored the Petition of Right parliament got really mad. As each side got more angry with the other the more they would want (in this case the more power they would want).
Religion also contributed to the build up of tension because Charles married Henrietta Maria who was a French Catholic. After the gun powder plot Catholics were not trusted at all. Parliament did not want a French catholic Queen. Parliament thought Henrietta had a lot of influence over Charles decisions. He put more decorations in the church, parliament thought this was the queens doings but this didn’t only anger parliament it made the Scots angry too. The Scots declared war and this meant that Charles had to call parliament for money, when they wouldn’t give him money he raised money through old laws such as ship money. This did not make parliament happy.
The problems between Charles and Parliament had been building up for many years. These were then ignited by a number of short-term triggers. The most important of these were the war with Scotland as this meant that Charles had to call parliament after so long for money, Charles arresting five MPs was not a good move, this just made Parliament really angry, but Parliament arresting one of Charles advisers and executing another was not good, this just made Charles angry.
These causes link up with each other in a number of ways. For example Charles married Henrietta Maria who influenced him to put more decorations in the churches there for making the churches look more Catholic. Putting decorations in the churches made parliament angry ant the Scots, this lead to a war between Scotland and England. This meant that Charles had to call Parliament to get money, which gave Parliament the chance to blackmail Charles into doing what they want him to.
In conclusion, I believe that the civil war broke out in 1642 because neither side would compromise. Both sides knew what they wanted and would not give in until they got it. As neither side would give in they both just carried on arguing until it led to a war. Charles wanted complete Divine Right of King and Parliament wanted more power over England. As both sides wanted more power than the other each time one side took some thing from the other, the other side took something back. There would be no way that once one side got some power they would stop, they would just go back for more.
Charles marrying Henrietta Maria was quite a major part of the start of the civil war as it led to many other problems. It led to both religious, political and economical. The Scots declared war on England because Charles put more decorations in the church. Because on the war Charles needed money, this meant he had to give in to Parliament and call them up after so long. All this happened because Charles married Henrietta.
I think these are the two most important causes for the war, but it was probably all the problems building up together and each side making the other angrier that was actually the main cause of the war.