Civil War broke out in England in 1642 between Parliament and the king at the time Charles I. When war did break out it wasn’t surprising, because the events that led up to it made a Civil War inevitable. There are many reasons as to why war happened and I will be talking about two different reasons: money and religion. 

The Divine right of Kings was a doctrine that states that Kings are chosen by God and therefore they cannot be argued with. Charles I was a firm believer in this and hated when his words and actions were disputed as he saw it as his right to be King being challenged. An example of this was when he was criticised by parliament for going into war unnecessarily and in retaliation, he shut parliament down for eleven years. This is known as the ‘Eleven years tyranny’. When Charles finally called them back again in a moment of desperation, they refused to grant him what he wanted and instead made some demands of their own and so Charles shut them down again after this. That Parliament is known as the ‘Short Parliament’ as it only lasted three weeks. 

Religion caused problems in England and also created conflict in Scotland and Ireland as well. Charles I appointed William Laud to be the Archbishop in England. Unfortunately for Charles, Laud had some Catholic preferences such as incenses, candles, decoration in churches and songs in Latin. Laud changed the Church of England services. He introduced statues, music and candles that the Puritans hated. Many of the Parliaments members were puritans and so they hated Laud and his seeming Catholic beliefs. They disapproved in Charles’ choice in Archbishop and they didn’t bother to hide it, this angered Charles. Laud then introduced the ‘English Prayer book’ in Scotland and it received a lot of backlash as many Scottish people were Puritans and Laud had included some of his more Catholic views. The Scottish people were very angry with Charles and so attacked England. Charles had no money or army to fight. In Ireland the people were similarly unhappy with Charles as he had appointed the Earl of Stafford as Lord Deputy who was hated by the Irish. An army of 20,00 Catholics were raised by the Irish to fight Charles. 

The last straw came as a consequence of Charles’ marriage to Henrietta Maria who was a Catholic. Rumours were being spread that that the Catholics would take over and that Charles’ children were being brought up as Roman Catholics’. Parliament and the people hated this, and the fact Charles had shown favour to Catholics and was allowing them to carry on practicing Catholicism. Scotland and Ireland were rebelling, and Parliament were raising an Army. Charles had no choice but to gather his own army. This was the English Civil war. 

Another reason was money. Like many Kings before him Charles loved the splendour and luxuries that came with being king. However, parliament were the ones who granted money so when Charles shut Parliament down he effectively cut off his source of income. Charles spent large sums of money on himself; he liked paintings and expensive clothes and to be able to satisfy his own greed Charles had to come up with some ways to get rich quick. Charles came up with four schemes ‘ship money, forced loans, monopolies and custom duties. ‘Ship money’ was something you were supposed to pay if you lived by the coast (only during a war) in order to protect it. Charles completely abused the system by demanding money from people when there was no war going on and from people who lived further inland and out of the catchment area. This scheme was basically Charles robbing innocent people of their money and obviously people were outraged. The next one ‘Forced Loans’ was when Charles made very rich people pay very high taxes, Parliament especially hated this one as it was formed of very rich people. ‘Monopolies’ was when Charles sold one lucky person (the person who paid the most) the right to be the only one in England allowed to sell a particular thing. That put many traders out of business and England’s economy on the decline; to stop this happening parliament created some terms and conditions, but Charles refused to compromise. Charles also wasn’t supposed to be collecting tax without Parliament's permission, but he did so anyway for eleven years.

Charles’ actions caught up with him when Scotland demanded £850 a day for them to leave England. Charles didn’t have that type of money so in desperation he called Parliament. They flat out refused to grant him money in fear of his outrageous spending problems and his seeming ignorance in matters of money and how to rule a nation. Out of anger, Charles shut them down again angering Parliament further. Charles’ behaviour was too much so Parliament, Scotland and Ireland all wanted him gone. And so, the English 1642 Civil war commenced.