Charles I wished to rule without the help of Parliament. In particular he wanted to obtain money from the people without
first receiving the permission of Parliament. The result of this was that there were constant quarrels between
the king and Parliament throughout the whole reign. Charles levied a great many taxes on the English people
and made them very angry, but no one dared to refuse to pay these taxes until Charles asked for Ship-Money.
By Ship-Money Charles meant money to enable him to have more ships built. The French and Dutch navies were
becoming very strong, and Charles said that the English must have more ships. He therefore commanded all the towns
in England to provide him with money for this purpose. Charles said that this money was not a tax, since it was the duty
of all Englishmen to defend their king and the country against all their enemies. The truth was that Charles was afraid that Parliament
would give him permission to levy taxes only on the condition that he governed the country as Parliament wished.
For some time past the people had been very angry because the king acted in such an illegal way, and they now said that the king had no right to ask
for Ship-Money without the consent of Parliament. One man, named John Hampden, refused to pay the money. He was tried before twelve
judges. Five of these acquitted Hampden, but seven of them condemned him. The people belived that these seven
judges condemned Hampden because they were afraid of displeasing the king.
The feeling against the king grew stronger every year, and at last war broke out between Charles and the people. There were brave leaders on both sides, but
the most important leader on the side of Parliament was Oliver Cromwell. He thought that the Royalists were
certain to be defeated because he believed that God was helping the Parliamentarians or Roundheads as they were sometimes
called. After the Roundheads had won the Battle of Marston Moor Cromwell said that the victory had been 'obtained
by the Lord's blessing upon the godly party'. In 1646 the Civil War was practically ended. Charles was taken prisoner
and in 1649 he was tried and condemned to death. The trial was not constitutional since the High Court of Justice, which was
especially formed, consisted of comparatively few members of he House of Commons. The House of Lords refused
to take any part in the trial, and many members of the House of Commons refused to be present. Charles said
that the Court had no right to pass sentence against a king. This was true, but his friends were powerless to save him.
He was accused of high treason and was executed on January 30, 1649.
After the death of Charles I England was declared to be a Commonwealth. The most important man in the Commonwealth and the
real governor of England was Oliver cromwell. He refused to take the title of king, but he was called the Lord Protector and many
of his duties were the same as those of a king. During Cromwell's government England won many victories abroad,
but Cromwell found the task of governing England very difficult, for the English people did not like being governed
by a soldier. In 1658 Cromwell died, naming his son Richard as his successor. Richard ruled for less than a year.
The people were tired of military government and wished to have a monarchy again. Therefore in 1660 Charles II, son
of Charles I, was invited to become King of England. He gladly accepted and signed a document in which he
promised to rule constitutionally.
Write a composition titled:
a. the cause of the quarrel between Charles I and the Parliament
b. the fight between Charles I and Cromwell
c. Cromwell's government