Monday, April 7, 2014

#AtoZChallenge: E is for #English Civil War: For #King OR Country? #England #CivilWar #Monarchy #History

This past weekend was so busy for my husband and I that I didn't have a chance to post anything. The Author Spotlight will return next weekend. I have also fallen a day behind in the A to Z Blog Challenge so today I'll be posting two historical pieces for you.  Let's start with the letter E and in my next post I'll post the letter F entry.

E is for the English Civil War

The English Civil War occurred from 1642–1651AD and was a very important conflict that had lasting effects upon that country. 
Although the conflict began in 1642, it's roots lie in the death of Queen Elizabeth I ( I have to admit Queen Elizabeth I is one of my favorite English monarchs. I'll be covering her at a latter time in the A to Z Challenge. She was such an interesting person.) Queen Elizabeth I had decided not to marry because she loved her country so much she didn't want England to fall into the hands of a foreigner. That would have happened if she married because the law stated she would have to pass her rule over to her husband because she was a woman. The only problem with her thinking was that she didn't have heir. Queen Elizabeth had reigned over England since the death of her half sister, Bloody Mary, in 1559. The daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I had transformed her beloved country from financial ruin to one of the richest and most powerful countries of that time. She had been urged several times by other nobles and her advisors to marry so her heir could continue the legacy her father had begun and she had completed.
Queen Elizabeth decided to name her cousin, James Stuart, as heir to her throne. James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and had reigned over Scotland since July 29, 1567. On March 24, 1603, the beloved queen of England and Ireland, Queen Elizabeth died and her cousin was crowned James I was crowned King of England and Ireland on July 25, 1603. His coronation brought the rule of Ireland, Scotland and England under one ruler for the first time in history. 

King Charles I 
Charles was the second son of King James I and his wife, Anne of Denmark. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on November 19, 1600. He joined his family in England after his father was crowned King of England and Ireland. Charles spent much of his life in the English courts. He became heir apparent when his older brother died in 1612. Charles father had suffered from arthritis, gout and kidney stones since 1616. He was a heavy drinker and had lost all of his teeth. James had suffered from bouts of severe attacks of arthritis, gout and fainting fits in the early months of 1625. In March of that year, he fell seriously ill with tertian ague and then suffered a stroke. He was left bed bound and unable to visit London. The Duke of Buckingham, a most trusted friend of the family, helped Charles a great deal while his father was ill. Charles and Buckingham had assumed much of the royal responsibilities while King James as was ill and rumors had spread around the realm about the kind of government Charles would have when he ascended the throne. On March 27, 1625 King James I died at Theobalds House after a serious bout of Dysentery. Buckingham had been by his bedside. He was buried on May 7 at Westminster Abbey, just six days after Charles was married by-proxy to the fifteen-year-old French princess Henrietta Maria in front of the doors of the Notre Dame de Paris. 

Many commoners were opposed to the union of Charles and Henrietta because they feared Charles would be undermine the official establishment of reformed Church of England and he would lift restrictions on Catholic recusants. Charles believed kings had divine right to rule and he ignored all the concerns of his people. He married Henrietta Maria in person at Canterbury on June 13, 1625. He opened the second installment of Parliament after his wedding in order to forgo any opposition he may have from them concerning his union with the Catholic princess. His union with Henrietta caused much strife with commoners and members of his Parliament because he allowed his wife to openly practice her faith. 

Charles was a devout Anglican but had very controversial beliefs about how he should rule over his kingdoms. He was open minded in a time with Protestants and Catholics hated each other. He believed in the divine right of monarchs and ruled England without a Parliament for eleven years. The longer the king reigned the more enemies he created. Eventually war broke out between those who were loyal to the crown and those loyal to Parliament. 

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