James I, Charles I and the descent into Civil War, the King executed, Cromwell rules

cromwell warts and all

James Stuart was a Scottish Catholic who believed in the "Divine Right" to rule as he pleased. This brought him into conflict with the English Parliament. The failed Catholic Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament in 1605 led to anti catholic riots. The failure of both James and his son Charles I to understand the English tradition of parliamentary liberty led eventually to civil war gunpowder plot and Guy Fawkes
England split between parliament and roundheads James died unlamented in 1625. Charles I immediately came in to conflict with Parliament. He tried to rule without summoning parliament for 11 years, but eventually ran out of money,and summoned Parliament in 1640
Parliament was naturally peeved about his neglect of their rights. They refused him money, and the country split between supporters of the king (blue on map left) and supporters of parliament (red on the map) King Charles I
charles I being executed
kings execution document
The first major Engagement of the Civil War was at Edgehill in the Cotswolds on 1642. Indecision among the Royalists and the moulding of the New Model army by the parliamentarians led to Parliament gaining the upper hand, and by 1645 Cromwell won the decisive Battle of Naseby. Charles was captured and put on trial for treason in 1649. He refused to recognise the court, but was regardless found guilty. 59 republicans signed the death warrant (above), and after the restoration Charles II prosecuted those that he could.
Oliver Cromwell and the army emerged as the power in the land. Cromwell dissolved parliament with the words "Depart I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God , go!" It was the start of England's only period of dictatorship Cromwell was unable to find anything to replace the monarchy. When he died in 1658 his son Richard suceeded him, but "Tumbledown Dick" was not a man to rule Britain, and in 1660 Charles II was restored to the throne his father had died for.
  cromwellian victory
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