English Civil War vs. French Revolution
This essay will explain the English civil war and the French revolution. Then will make a contrast and compare their differences and similarities.
The English Civil War was starting to brew when, the Scottish king, James I came into power. During his reign, he was a very autocratic king and offended the parliament by his extravagant spending. His son, Charles I, also inherited this attitude to the parliament. However, Charles made things more difficult by marrying a Spanish Catholic princess, which offended Protestant England. Charles was also more arrogant with Parliament and more forceful. This was shown when he tried to arrest five parliament members at the advice of a friend
From 1629-1640, Charles did not call Parliament into session which frustrated Parliament to the point where it refused to grant the king any funds unless he would agree to limit his power. The king refused to do this causing both sides to resort to their military.
These events caused the English Civil War to escalate into a struggle with the King and his supporter’s, the Cavaliers, on one side and the Puritans, on the other. In the beginning of the war, it looked like the king would end up winning the war until Oliver Cromwell and his supporters entered the war, on the Puritan side. Cromwell’s soldiers were called the Ironsides, as they were a very hard army to defeat. Cromwell’s support and entrance into the war caused a large momentum shift from the King to the Parliament. By 1647, the Parliament had captured their king and the Parliament had fully established itself as the new government. The Parliament decided to “try” the king before passing sentence. Coincidentally, before this happened, the army removed the more moderate members of parliament.
... were all ruled by Charles I. It may be that the main reason why the causes of the English Civil War have created so ... itself reflects superior Scottish generalship. The English defeat at Newburn led inevitably to a Parliament, and that Parliament to the first of the ... fought without a Parliament since 1323. In 1639 it seems that the political explanation may be paramount: the King's army was still ...
However, when the King was brought before the court to answer the charges he refused to do so forcing the Parliament pass sentence, which was decapitation. This however still left a power vacuum in the English government, a power vacuum into which Oliver Cromwell stepped. However, through time, Cromwell proved himself a dictator, not much better than Charles I. This caused the English people to overthrow Cromwell and, in a surprising move, to invite Charles II, Charles I’s son, to rule as long as he would rule with limited power. This ended the English Civil War.
The French Revolution, although it was similar to the English Civil war, was more desperate and passionate as it was driven by the starving French peasants. The French Revolution was started by dissatisfaction in the middle and lower classes. The government was riddled with financial problems and costs. In addition, the Age of Enlightenment had introduced new ideas about government which cause the French people to question their divinely appointed absolute monarchy and wonder whether they should have a change. As the various divisions increased, the peasants continued to starve and be oppressed by the nobles.
During this time, no checks in place to limit King Louis XIV’s power and Louis XIV were an absolute ruler by divine right. In essence, he could do basically anything. However, during the Enlightenment Age, new political ideas were birthed which introduced doubts about whether or not a nation needed a king.
These doubts, as to how well Louis could rule and manage the country, were strengthened, as the parliament was bankrupt from the Seven Year’s war. The parliament decided to put an end to this exorbitant spending by forcing Louis XIV to call a meeting of the Estates-General if he wanted to borrow more money.
The French parliament, known as the Estates-General, was made up of three estates. The first was made up of the nobles, the second was comprised of the middle class and the third was fabricated of the peasants and lower class who made up most of the population. The Third Estate wanted to write a constitution, which the king and the first and second estate refused to do. The Third Estate became frustrated as it felt that it was the estate, which was the representative of the majority of the French people. Taking drastic steps, it dubbed itself the National Assembly of France and refused to disband, until they were, listened to, in the Tennis Court Oath.
Elizabeth's death- James I - Divine right- The Powder Plot- Petition or Right - Habeas Corpus- Charles I- Scottish Rebellion The Stuarts monarchs quarrelled constantly with Parliament. The first signal of trouble between Crown and Parliament came in 1601, when the Commons were angry over Elizabeth's policy of selling monopolies. But Parliament did not demand any changes. When Elizabeth died, she ...
As the third estate gained more power, Louis XIV gathered his troops, which threatened the people. The Third Estate tried to get weapons by capturing the Bastille, and although there were not many weapons in the Bastille, it was a huge moral boost for the Third Estate.
The National Assembly challenged the king by writing the Decrees of August 4 and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. The court of Louis XIV refused to accept these documents, as they would have abolished tax advantages, feudal dues, and many more revenue-producing items. As tensions grew, Louis XIV called for outside military help and received some from Prussia and Austria who jointly invaded France. Louis was put in prison as the Prussians gained ground. However, the Prussians were defeated and another political dispute grew between the two major parties in the parliament to the point where many people were being dragged into the street to be executed. This was called the Reign of Terror, in which many people were executed including many of the nobles, approximately two thousand. The Third Estate finally got its wish when it found and sent King Louis XIV to the guillotine on September 1st, 1715.
They were both the same in that they were born out of an extreme dislike for the King and the way they treated the people. However, the French Revolution was also born out of the fact that the peasants were severely oppressed and they were in a starving. The French Revolution was more passionate and more desperate than the English was. The English Civil War was also a war to get rid of one king while the French Revolution was out to do away with kings.
They both had strong believes in the divine rights of kings. One of the few differences between them was that Charles I was a constitutional monarch and Louis XVI was an absolute monarch. Another difference was that Charles was born Protestant and Louis was Catholic, but, when Charles married Henrietta Maria, he wanted to become catholic as well, which caused a conflict between English Parliament and Charles I. Both Charles and Louis had inherited many problems from previous kings and were not very popular. In France it was the middle class or bourgeoisie which generated the revolution. This was not the case in England, where it was the conflict between the King and Parliament which caused the war. In England the Parliament had a strong historical position since the thirteenth century and was very experienced whereas the French didn’t have a stable and strong ruler such as a Parliament. England was one of the richer countries in Europe while France was bankrupt.
Political, social, and economic conditions have often led to revolutions that have changed the course of history for nations and peoples. These revolutions had such a significant impact that they can fittingly be labeled turning points. Two of these turning points, the Neolithic and French Revolutions, have drastically altered the world today. During the Paleolithic Period, which lasted from the ...
The English Civil War was a rebellion by parliament against the encroachment of the King on their power. He attempted to rule without them. Basically the members of parliament who rebelled against him were protecting their own interests. The officers on both sides were gentlemen; they were basically all members of the upper class. And the men who fought under them on both sides would basically just have followed whoever their local landlord was regardless of
whether he was for King or Parliament. The French Revolution was more of a popular uprising against the power of the monarchy and the nobility, in which the middle class and the peasants united against the upper classes. Although both Kings of the English Civil War and the French Revolution needed money for facing the problems their countries were starting to suffer, like expensive wars.
Finally, the English Civil War and the French Revolution were two events that were very significant. The English Civil War introduced a possibility that a nation could exist without a king and the French Revolution showed how dangerous completely removing an old government system can be to that particular nation, having both of them different similarities and differences. We can learn and become more aware of how to prevent massacres and other such disasters, and realize that to rule and govern a country is a very hard job.
Charles I came to the throne in 1625 after the death of his father, James I. His reign maintained some similarities with his father’s reign. For instance, both Charles and James had very little money and both of them believed firmly in the Divine Origin of Kingship1. During his reign, many events took place which led to the English Civil War in 1642 and which ended up with the public execution of ...