Civil War and Glorious Revolution World History/Napp

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Civil War and Glorious Revolution World History/Napp
Charles I, king of England, always needed money, in part because he was at war with both Spain and France. Several times when Parliament refused to give him funds, he dissolved it. By 1628, Charles was forced to call Parliament again. This time it refused to grant him any money until he signed a document that is known as the Petition of Right. In this petition, the king agreed to four points: he would not imprison subjects without due cause; he would not levy taxes without Parliament’s consent; he would not house soldiers in private homes; and he would not impose martial law in peacetime.
After agreeing to the petition, Charles ignored it. Even so, the petition was important. It set forth the idea that the law was higher than the king. This idea contradicted theories of absolute monarchy. In 1629, Charles dissolved Parliament and refused to call it back into session. To get money, he imposed all kinds of fees and fines on the English people. His popularity decreased year by year.
Charles offended Puritans by upholding the rituals of the Anglican Church. In addition, in 1637, Charles tried to force the Presbyterian Scots to accept a version of the Anglican prayer book. He wanted both his kingdoms to follow one religion. The Scots rebelled, assembled a huge army, and threatened to invade England. To meet this danger, Charles needed money – money he could get only by calling Parliament into session. This gave Parliament a chance to oppose him.
During the autumn of 1641, Parliament passed laws to limit royal power. Furious, Charles tried to arrest Parliament’s leaders in January 1642, but they escaped. Equally furious, a mob of Londoners raged outside the palace. Charles fled London and raised an army in the north of England, where people were loyal to him. From 1642 to 1649, supporters and opponents of King Charles fought the English Civil War. Those who remained loyal to Charles were called Royalists or Cavaliers. On the other side were Puritan supporters of Parliament. Because these men wore their hair short over their ears, Cavaliers called them Roundheads.” ~ World History
Identify and explain the following terms:

Charles I Petition of Right

The Law and the King Reasons for Charles’ Unpopularity

English Civil War Royalists or Cavaliers

Puritans Roundheads
At first neither side could gain a lasting advantage. However, by 1644 the Puritans found a general who could win – Oliver Cromwell. In 1645, Cromwell’s New Model Army began defeating the Cavaliers, and the tide turned toward the Puritans. In 1647, they held the king prisoner. In 1649, Cromwell and the Puritans brought Charles to trial for treason against Parliament. They found him guilty and sentenced him to death. The execution of

Charles was revolutionary. Kings had often been overthrown, killed in battle, or put to death in secret. Never before, however, had a reigning monarch faced a public trial and execution.




- In 1649, Cromwell abolished the monarchy and the House of Lords
- He established a commonwealth, a republican form of government
- Cromwell’s associate drafted a constitution, the first written constitution of any modern European state
- However, Cromwell eventually tore up the document and became a military dictator
- Cromwell almost immediately had to put down a rebellion in Ireland
- In 1649, Cromwell landed on Irish shores with an army and crushed the uprising; he seized the lands and homes of the Irish and gave them to English soldiers
- Fighting, plague, and famine killed many
- In England, Cromwell and the Puritans sought to reform society; they

made laws that promoted Puritan morality and abolished activities they found sinful, such as the

theater, sporting events, and dancing
- Cromwell favored religious toleration for all Christians except Catholics

- Cromwell ruled until his death in 1658; shortly afterward, the government he had established collapsed, and a new Parliament was selected
- The English people were sick of military rule
- In 1659, Parliament voted to ask the older son of

Charles I to rule England
- The reign of Charles II began; because he restored the monarchy, the period of his rule is called the Restoration
- During Charles II’s reign, Parliament passed an important guarantee of freedom, habeas corpus
- Habeas corpus is Latin meaning “to have the body”
- It gave every prisoner the right to obtain a writ or document ordering that the prisoner be brought before a judge to specify the charges against the prisoner
- The judge would decide whether the prisoner should be tried or set free
- Because Charles had no legitimate child, his heir was his brother James, who was Catholic; the Whigs opposed James, and the Tories supported him

- In 1685, Charles II died, and James II became king
- James soon offended his subjects by displaying his Catholicism
- Violating English law, he appointed several Catholics to high office
- When Parliament protested, James dissolved it
- In 1688, James’s second wife gave birth to a son
- English Protestants became terrified at the prospect of a line of Catholic kings
- James had an older daughter, Mary, who was Protestant; she was also the wife of William of Orange, a prince of the Netherlands
- Seven members of Parliament invited William and Mary to overthrow James for the sake of Protestantism
- When William led his army to London in 1688, James fled to France
- This bloodless overthrow

of King James II is called the Glorious Revolution

Identify and explain the following terms:

Oliver Cromwell

Cromwell and Ireland

Cromwell and Puritanism

Cromwell and Religious Toleration

The Restoration
Charles II

Habeas Corpus

James II

William and Mary

The Glorious Revolution
- Why was the death of Charles I revolutionary?

- What rights were guaranteed by the Habeas Corpus Act?

- How does a constitutional monarchy differ from an absolute monarchy?

- In your opinion, which decisions of Charles I made his conflict with Parliament worse?


- Why do you think James II fled to France when William of Orange led his army to London?

- What conditions in England made the execution of one king and the overthrow of another possible?

- Write a persuasive paragraph for an underground newspaper designed to incite the British people to overthrow Charles I.
Limits on Monarch’s Power

At their coronation, William and Mary vowed to recognize Parliament as their partner in governing. England had become not an absolute monarchy but a constitutional monarchy, where laws limited the ruler’s power. To make clear the limits of royal power, Parliament drafted a Bill of Rights in 1689. This document listed many things that a ruler could not do:

  • no suspending of Parliament’s laws

  • no levying of taxes without a specific grant from Parliament

  • no interfering with freedom of speech in Parliament

  • no penalty for a citizen who petitions the king about grievances

This engraving depicts the beheading of Charles I.

- What was the significance of the beheading of Charles I?

- How did this execution change world history?

- Explain which side gained and which side lost territory during each year from 1643 to 1645.

- Which side maintained control of London? Why would this be important?

U.S. Democracy

Today, the United States still relies on many of the government reforms and institutions that the English developed during this period. These include the following:

  • the right to obtain habeas corpus, a document that prevents authorities from holding a person in jail without being charged

  • a Bill of Rights, guaranteeing such rights as freedom of speech and freedom of worship

  • a strong legislature and strong executive, which act as checks on each other

  • a cabinet, made up of heads of executive departments, such as the Department of State

  • two dominant political parties

- Why is it important to check or limit the power of a ruler?

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