The ‘English’ Civil War

My current Tutor Marked Assignment (3/6) is about Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army.  On hunting around for external sources I found this BBC series and thought it would make an interesting post as a playlist.  It details the complex relationship between two of our Monarchs (three if you consider that Charles II was still King though living in exile in Scotland) and the two civil wars which resulted from a clash between absolute monarchy and a the religious reformers who ended up usurping the power of both Parliament and the King, in deed if not in name.









4 thoughts on “The ‘English’ Civil War

  1. I’m always amazed when fellow Atheists claim that Cromwell must have been wrong because he was religious. Do you think that the monarchy was composed of secularists? The primary argument presented against Cromwell in his time appears to have been that god had created humans with a king so what he was doing was demonic.

    Really, the Roundheads vs. the Cavaliers was more like a fight between Mormons and Scientologists.


    • This is only one historian’s interpretation. Starkey has always focused on the most prominent factors but does not pretend that the economic and political factors do not play their own part.

      The long term tensions between the king and a parliament which had been dissolved four times, and thus disillusioned, were a far more pressing concern. Religious friction had been on-going and was more than likely to have been a subtext. England and the British Isles have been secularised over time -what we have now is a modern phenomena – but prior to this period the reformers and Catholics had been vying for supremacy for over 150 years. It is a pity that more people don’t realised the wars were more multi faceted results of previous conflicts than they were isolated events. In many ways, it is the army Charles raised in Ireland in order to fund another being used to put down resistance to the imposition of an English prayer book in Scotland, which led to the ‘troubles’ in 20th century Ireland.


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