sábado, 22 de agosto de 2015

August 22: Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War in England, in 1642.

Charles I, painted by Van Dyck.

The English monarch was King Charles I of England, Wales and Scotland, arrogant and ruthless autocrat. He was precise to take bad decisions. He almost thought that he was his own worst enemy. His problems began right with his ascent to the throne in 1625, on the death of his father James I.

Henrietta Maria, painted by Peter Lely,1660.

The pretentious king despised and alienated his subjects and his Parliament, which eventually led to an inevitable war, during which they cut his neck and abolished his tyrannical monarchy. The problems created by Charles hovered around religion and money.

Session of the Long Parliament.

First, he married Henrietta Maria, Princess of France and devout Roman Catholic religion, which angered his Protestant subjects who suspected that marriage.

Maps of territory held by Royalists (red) and Parliamentarians (yellow), 1642—1645.

Secondly, the King wanted to impose Anglicanism to Scottish Presbyterians, which produced massive uprisings to protest such disrespect and new taxation imposed upon them.

Failure to resolve the issues before the Long Parliament led to armed conflict between Parliament and Charles I in late 1642, the beginning of the English Civil Wars. Before joining Parliament's forces Oliver Cromwell's only military experience was in the trained bands, the local county militia.

The king had to call the Parliament in 1640 in order to acquire the necessary funds to fight the Scottish riots. However, Parliament refused to back up the King.

Thirdly, King Charles wanted to rule as an absolute monarch by the grace of God. Parliament asserted the Constitution which imposed restrictions on the King, especially in taxation and public spending.

The so-called "Long Parliament", involving the three kingdoms, decided to, completely withdraw any support to the King, and send Charles I to court.

Execution of King Charles I

The Court´s decision was behead him publicly as a model or example for all realms.

Execution of Charles I. Illustration from History of England by Henry Tyrrell depicting the King´s head blooding red blood as an ordinary man.

Finally, the death penalty implementation served for the common people to witness joyfully that the king's blood was red, an ordinary one, when everybody believed that kings’ bloods were blue blood!