We remember Charles as the first and only King to be executed in this country. Others had been deposed and quietly murdered in the past, but he was the first to have a full trial and execution.
He is remembered for failing to recognise the importance of Parliament and refusing to compromise with dissident MPs. He antagonised Parliament by his attempts to rule without them throughout the 1630s.
When war with the Scots forced him to recall Parliament, Charles found himself forced to go along with a series of measures – including the arrest of some of his key advisers. However, as soon as the opportunity arose, he attempted to have his opponents arrested.
When that failed Charles panicked and, believing his life was in danger, fled north and raised his royal standard at Nottingham – the moment war was declared between the King and the parliament. It was the start of The Civil War, or English Civil War (historians disagree over what title we should give it).
The Civil War was in fact a series of wars that pitted supporters of the monarchy, known as “Royalists” or “Cavaliers”, against supporters of the English parliament, known as “Parliamentarians” or “Roundheads”.
Ultimately, the war was a struggle over how much power parliament should have over the monarchy and would challenge forever the idea that an English monarch had the right to rule without the consent of their people.
From the 11 Years’ Tyranny to the development of propaganda this eBook explores the life and portrayal of King Charles I, as well as certain events during the Civil War. Detailed articles explain key topics, edited from various History Hit resources.
Included in this eBook are articles written for History Hit by leading Stuart historian Leanda de Lisle. Features written by History Hit staff past and present are also included. You can access all these articles on historyhit.com. Charles I and the Civil War was compiled by Tristan Hughes.