Sample Essay on English Civil War

English Civil War

The English Civil War started when Charles I raised his royal standards in 1642 in Nottingham.  The step caused a split between parliament and Charles I. Each side was holding on to the principles it had held over the years. Therefore, war was inevitable as it seemed the only way to solve the problem. As a result, the people of England were split into two, those who supported King Charles and those that supported parliament.

The English Civil War did not last for long. This was a common feature of most wars in C17th because

  • Armies lacked mobility
  • Similarly, it took a long time for relevant authorities to collect the needed war equipment
  • The weather also dictated when the armies could fight
  • The roads were in bad condition and could only be accessed by tracks. In winter, the roads were inaccessible and moving armies was very difficult.

These conditions made it difficult for armies to fight in the 3 major battles of the war. The English Civil War included the

  • Naseby battle of 1645
  • The Edge Hill battle of 1642 and
  • The Marston Moor battle of 1644

In the 3 major battles, it was also difficult to provide a breakdown of supporters of the king and supporters of parliament. There were regional variations where Anglicans and many landowners supported King Charles I. On the other hand, town and city dwellers supported parliament.  There were also noblemen who supported parliament while residents of Newark supported King Charles.


Edge Hill witnessed the first battle of the war. Parliament and King Charles I however claimed success because there was no decisive result from the battle. In 1643, a series of smaller battles erupted. They were also indecisive because there was no side that suffered a fatal blow.

In 1643, there was a more intense desire for a new army or a New Model Army by Oliver Cromwell. He aimed at helping the fighting armies to achieve a decisive result. The new force also had a great impact on the English Civil War.

King Charles I lost his control over northern England in 1644 following a major defeat in the battle of Marston Moot. The Royalties were defeated by the Scots and the armies of Parliament.

Later in June 1645, the king’s army suffered a fatal blow in the Battle of Naseby. The king lost his cause because he couldn’t recover from the blow. In 1646, king Charles I surrendered to the Scots with the hope that Parliamentary and Scottish alliance would collapse.

However, the Scots sold the king to Parliament in January 1647. Parliament did not know what to do with the king and in November 1647; King Charles escaped to Carisbooke Castle. His stay in the castle on the Isle of Wight did not last long because a civil war broke out in 1648.

1Supporters of King Charles in Preston were defeated in the second civil war and he could not be trusted anymore. He was later on tried at the Westminster Hall in January 1649. King Charles I was found guilty for maliciously and traitorously levied civil war between the Parliament and the people it represented. In January 30th, 1649, King Charles was executed.

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