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…show more content…
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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