Essay Origins of the English Civil War

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The English Civil War of 1642-1651 can be considered as a feud between
the King and the English Parliament. Long before the onset of the
civil war, Parliament and king Charles I had distrusted each other.
As a result, Parliament often refused to finance the king’s wars.
Unable to gain enough support from Parliament, Charles I challenged
local control of nobles and landowners, who composed of the majority
of Parliament, by “levying new tariffs and duties, attempting to
collect discontinued taxes, and subjecting English property owners
to…forced loan and then imprisoning those who refused to pay…as well
as quartering troops in private homes” (Craig et al. 560). Parliament
attempted to control the king’s power when it
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Consequently, the “Whig
interpretation” is a philosophy arguing to defend individual
constitutional rights and liberty from a tyrannical figure such as
Charles I, who was obsessed with the notion of absolutism (Taylor
viii). It supports a revocable government and promotes constitutional
liberty for the people, both of which were advocated by John Locke.
Along with John Locke, Thomas Babington Macaulay also committed
himself to the Whig position. Their arguments will be examined in
detail later in this paper.

Economists such as Christopher Hill take on a different point of
view. They try to pinpoint the motive for the English Civil War to a
theory of class struggles for economic domination. Hill rejects any
interpretation of the origins of the English Civil War which ascribes
an independent role to individuals. For Hill and many of his
supporters, the war was a revolution of the rising gentry class in
Parliament to overthrow English feudal society in order to ensure for
themselves favorable conditions for development and expansion (Taylor
vii). Thus, a question arises: Was the Whig interpretation
responsible for the eruption of the English Civil War or did class
struggles play a more important role? After thorough research, I have
come to the conclusion that the Whig interpretation was the more, if
not most, important factor in causing the English Civil War of…

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