Charles I and the Civil War

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MeCo7707
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Charles I and the Civil War

Post by MeCo7707 »

My capstone project for grad school is "Why Parliment felt they had enough commoner support to behead Charles I" this has thus far endeed up including, prior misuse of the power of the crown setting the stage for Charles I to become the 'final straw' and tactics and methods used by parliment to 1. strengthen there position (in military terms) through the war, and 2 encourage anti-Charles behavior. On to the question, I need first hand accounts or as clost to obviously as I can about the subject. Where are the good museums? What are the good books? Where and who has the best information? Or who wants to put in their two cents because I know there has to be some reenactors out there that are big into the civil war.

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John Waller
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by John Waller »

A trip to the Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon might be useful. Not that far from where you are.
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by Nigel »

My capstone project for grad school is "Why Parliament felt they had enough commoner support to behead Charles I"

Right first off I am assuming that this is an American project

So is off the top of my head “commoner support” I have to ask is this some attempt to rewrite our Civil wars ?

To be absolutely clear it didn’t matter what the commoners thought they did as they were told? To start look at the signatories on the warrant there were some new men on it BUT the majority were of the “middling” orders Ireton Cromwell etc and included a few Knights and at least one Lord.

The civil wars were not a popular uprising but the middling classes extracting the power away from the king. These were the men who created the war, lead the armies (on both sides Rupert’s swordsmen the professionals were mainly from this class seasoned with a dash of aristocratic hardness) financed it and benefitted from the peace at the end.

Good books start with the Kings peace by Wedgewood for the bit pre war it’s been 20+ years since I studied this in detail as a topic (and I studied under the best at both school and at University where I studied this in depth) this book will be dated in terms of latest research BUT it will show you the key dates and fact and how we ended up at war in 1642.

As for the rest well there’s loads your questions are to be honest a bit general and catch all make them specific and I’ll see what I can do
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by the real lord duvet »

how did they know they had commoner support?

They had a big well trained loyal army and guns pikes or swords. The commoners didn't.

You could also compare why did henry 7 think he had a better right to the throne than richard3? Because someone else who funded an army told him so? H

You could also add that at the end of war people prefer to stop fighting, especially if they think their on the winning side or almost completely wiped out . And anything spun to them as an end to war appeals.

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'BOB'2
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by 'BOB'2 »

You could also say that the majority of commoners werent entirely happy with the notion of the king being executed. It was a handful of 'regicides' who signed their names. If you read the diarys of people like Lucy Hutchinson,for one example - who grew up at court but was married to a Parliamentarian. Her and more 'common' folk were appalled by the outcome. And also, was it a totally legal act to execute your king for treason?
Medieval kings, Richard II and Edward II for example, were done away with on the quiet. Murdered in such a way as not to look suspicious, for fear of retaliation. Look what happened to the regicides when Charles II took the throne.

For voices of the people of the time, try Diane Purkiss's the English Civil War.
And bear in mind that there were several reasons why the 'commoners' were not happy with their king and it started when his reign did. And also bear in mind it wasnt commoner against the well off. As The boys pointed out above. There were plenty of landowners you'd think of as middle class, who chose the side of Parliament for their own preservation. The common man would have done pretty much the same.
also take into account the common man who being a fervent royalist, who would have had no choice but to leave his home in a parliamentarian majority populated area, such as London. No military experience whatsoever but who now stands under the kings standard at Oxford because he has no other choice.
(That was a thesis i wrote for uni composed from researching the voices of the common people. That is the ones who were able to read and write that is).
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MeCo7707
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by MeCo7707 »

Thanks for the books, I realize that the commoner support has little or nothing to do with anything, but I didn't choose the topic my advisor did. My original topic was about theater and politics during the trial and execution, but even though there are several books written on the subject I was told that they held no merit and was off base and given this as my topic instead. For some reason they are similar (even though they are not lol). I do appreciate the help though as I turn in my first draft in a few short weeks.

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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by 'BOB'2 »

Well, if you need anymore advice on the period. Just tip us a nod. But i reenact on the king's side, i may be biased lol. It may be interesting to go back to the beginning of the king's reign in 1625 and follow all the dodgy decisions he makes leading up till when he raised his standard at Nottingham. It will give you a pretty good idea on why the common people were fed up and why parliament felt they had to do what they had to at the end.
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by Hinny Annie »

'BOB'2 wrote: It will give you a pretty good idea on why the common people were fed up and why parliament felt they had to do what they had to at the end.
well I know this is not my period BUT, I think common people have been fed up with them whats in charge for as long as there have been common people, and I also think parliament has always done what it wanted regardless, especially then because who amongst the common people had any say in it
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'BOB'2
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by 'BOB'2 »

Yeah but then parliament didnt waste tax payers money on little turnips in the country. But charles spent taxpayers money on little fruitless wars. Er, well not much change, just a shift of power from one side to other really. ;)
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by Hinny Annie »

so when do we chop parliaments heads off then. I have an axe :devil:
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by 'BOB'2 »

Cool. When's their next sitting. Ayes to the left and, oops heads too.
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by steve stanley »

OK...Personal bias time...The Army WAS 'the voice of the common people'..Certainly more representative than Parliament!..They'd fought the bloody man for 6 years.....Then,while negotiating with them,He ferments another Civil War!....
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MeCo7707
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by MeCo7707 »

True, but both sides only had about 13,000 at the start of the war, it wasn't until later that the army rose against both Charles and most of Parliment. Oy-vay, this subject I have no idea where to start lol.

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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by steve stanley »

OK....By 'Army' I mean the Standing,aka 'New Model' of post 1645....Now I'm not saying it was a 'People's Revolutionary Army'('Tho it had it's moments........)..But I think they'd earned the right to to stop farting about with Charlie-boy...........
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

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Expansion:I think the turning point was when it became clear Charles could not be trusted...I reckon Parliament had really tried to negotiate....But to Charles & his extreme supporters ANYTHING was justfiable to regain his power....On the other hand,as it was obvious to some extreme Parliamentarians that God had given them Victory.by starting another war,Charles was directly fighting against God..................
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by Nigel »

'BOB'2 wrote:Well, if you need anymore advice on the period. Just tip us a nod. But i reenact on the king's side, i may be biased lol. It may be interesting to go back to the beginning of the king's reign in 1625 and follow all the dodgy decisions he makes leading up till when he raised his standard at Nottingham. It will give you a pretty good idea on why the common people were fed up and why parliament felt they had to do what they had to at the end.
which is why I pointed hima t the Kings peace the starter and still good
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by Nigel »

“OK...Personal bias time...The Army WAS 'the voice of the common people'..Certainly more representative than Parliament!..They'd fought the bloody man for 6 years.....Then,while negotiating with them,He ferments another Civil War!”
Steve

Hi Steve would agree with this to a point being the army was the officers and to be correct Cromwell and Ireton .

“True, but both sides only had about 13,000 at the start of the war,” Essex mustered some 20,000 prior to Edgehill and the Kings army wasn’t much smaller and these were only two of the armies

But an average army was 10,000 strong if you look at Marston Moor this had 50,000 combatants from 5 armies involved.

To answer your final comment the civil wars are complex and went on a long time don’t expect any easy answers but read a few books I would also suggest one called the Royalist war effort.

But I will give you one pointer if you have time peruse the Thomasson tracts and if you want to know why Parliament won that is actually simple. They controlled London
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by mcIntyre »

'"Why did Parliament feel it had enough Commoner Support to execute the King?"

Well, quite simply it didn't! About 80 MP's that were let through by Colonel Pride's soldiers were encouraged to vote for the Trial of the King. The majority of Members were arrested, barred from sitting, or just stayed away.
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by kayleaeloise »

'BOB'2 wrote: And also, was it a totally legal act to execute your king for treason?
yes because after they captured charles and decided the only way forward was to execute him they decided to chamge the definition of treason so that they could leggally kill the king ... changed it to somthing to do with treason against the country as i recall!

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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

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mcIntyre wrote:'"Why did Parliament feel it had enough Commoner Support to execute the King?"

Well, quite simply it didn't! About 80 MP's that were let through by Colonel Pride's soldiers were encouraged to vote for the Trial of the King. The majority of Members were arrested, barred from sitting, or just stayed away.
By definition, they must have had 'enough' commoner support, or they couldn't have done it. The question is, how much commoner support was 'enough'?
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steve stanley
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by steve stanley »

Foxe wrote:
mcIntyre wrote:'"Why did Parliament feel it had enough Commoner Support to execute the King?"

Well, quite simply it didn't! About 80 MP's that were let through by Colonel Pride's soldiers were encouraged to vote for the Trial of the King. The majority of Members were arrested, barred from sitting, or just stayed away.
By definition, they must have had 'enough' commoner support, or they couldn't have done it. The question is, how much commoner support was 'enough'?

More organised guys with weapons................ :D
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by Lord High Everything Esle »

Nigel wrote:
So is off the top of my head “commoner support” I have to ask is this some attempt to rewrite our Civil wars ?

To be absolutely clear it didn’t matter what the commoners thought they did as they were told? To start look at the signatories on the warrant there were some new men on it BUT the majority were of the “middling” orders Ireton Cromwell etc and included a few Knights and at least one Lord.
My perception is that Commoner means everyone but the Aristocracy and the Clergy, as in HOUSE of COMMONS....
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by Foxe »

Nigel wrote:So is off the top of my head “commoner support” I have to ask is this some attempt to rewrite our Civil wars ?
Ah, I missed this post first time round.

What's wrong with trying to rewrite history? It's not immutable. If people didn't occasionally try to rewrite things then we'd still be stuck with a Victorian idea of what had happened in the past. New sources get examined, old sources get examined in new ways, new researchers place different emphasis on different things, and new ideas get formulated. There's no such thing as "right" history. The Victorians thought they had it "right", as did the SK in the 70s, and we know how that turned out!

The trick, of course, is to rewrite it in a sensible and mature way.
...and further this Informant saith not.

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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by Sophia »

For a different and interesting (though probably dated view) you could try anything by Christopher Hill, e.g. The World Turned Upside Down, God's Englishman, etc.. He was a marxist and held this position long after the broader swathe of opinion had changed but his work is well researched and readable. (Please note I may be biased - he taught my father and his were some of the first serious books I ever read on the Civil War).

If you want to understand popular politics you will also need to look at pamphlets and the groups such as the Levellers, Diggers and Fifth Monarchists.

Sophia

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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by Lord High Everything Esle »

Foxe wrote:
Nigel wrote:So is off the top of my head “commoner support” I have to ask is this some attempt to rewrite our Civil wars ?
Ah, I missed this post first time round.

What's wrong with trying to rewrite history? It's not immutable. If people didn't occasionally try to rewrite things then we'd still be stuck with a Victorian idea of what had happened in the past. New sources get examined, old sources get examined in new ways, new researchers place different emphasis on different things, and new ideas get formulated. There's no such thing as "right" history. The Victorians thought they had it "right", as did the SK in the 70s, and we know how that turned out!

The trick, of course, is to rewrite it in a sensible and mature way.
Ah a Postmodernist - each society/generation rewrites history in its own image.
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by Foxe »

I don't think you need to be a postmodernist to argue that there's room for new and different viewpoints about the past. My real point was that without the occasional rewriting of history we'd still be stuck with 'Cavaliers' (who were wrong but wromantic) in floppy hats, and 'Roundheads' (right but repulsive) in buff-coats and stripey sleeves.

I used to think I was a fairly Whiggish historian, but the more I go on the more I fear I'm becoming a Marxist. :crazy:
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Re: Charles I and the Civil War

Post by MeCo7707 »

Thank you for all the replies, I must admit I probably learned more about the wars from this small chunk of message board then I did from my advisor. I ended up dropping out 3 days before graduation. I turned in paper after paper for months and my teacher said not a word to me, then two weeks before my final thesis was to be turned in he sent me an e-mail saying I had to rewrite the whole thing and I was way off, and that I was a stupid American ;( . Ug - oh well, I will be changing schools and finishing somewhere else :thumbdown:

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