Charles I, king of England, Scotland, and Ireland: Renewed Struggles with Parliament
Renewed Struggles with Parliament
Conditions in England reached a crisis when Charles attempted (1637) to force episcopacy upon the Scots, an attempt that was violently opposed by the Scottish Covenanters and that resulted in the Bishops' Wars. Unable to wage war effectively, Charles in May, 1640, summoned the so-called Short Parliament, which demanded redress of grievances before granting funds and was dissolved.
Another attempt to carry on the war without Parliament failed, and the famous Long Parliament was summoned in November. Under the leadership of John Pym, John Hampden, and Sir Henry Vane (the younger), Parliament secured itself against dissolution without its own consent and brought about the death of Strafford, the abolition of the courts of high commission and Star Chamber, and the end of unparliamentary taxation.
Charles professed to accept the revolutionary legislation, though he was known to hold strong views on the divine right of monarchy. Parliament's trust in the king was further undermined when his queen was implicated in the army plot to coerce Parliament, and Charles was suspected of complicity in the Irish rebellion (1641) and its resulting atrocities, especially in Ulster. In 1641, Parliament presented its Grand Remonstrance, calling for religious and administrative reforms and reciting in full its grievances against the king. Charles repudiated the charges, and his unsuccessful attempt to seize five opposition leaders of Commons in violation of traditional privilege was the fatal blunder that precipitated war.
Sections in this article:
- Civil War and Execution
- Renewed Struggles with Parliament
- The Years of No Parliament
- Early Struggle with Parliament
- Early Life
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