King James I, as did other kings in Europe believed that they ruled by “Divine Right” and were unanswerable only to god. (Lewis 15) This was a belief that God had made someone a king and as God could not be wrong; neither could anyone appointed by him to rule a nation. James expected Parliament to do as he wanted; he did not expect it to argue with any of his decisions. His Son Charles, who succeeded James in 1625, believed that he too was ordained by God and his right to rule was unquestionable. Within one year, Parliament and Charles began fighting over governmental matters.
Parliament struck first by impeaching the Duke of Buckingham. Charles responded by dissolving Parliament. (Lewis 15). With the Royal funds running low, Charles reconvened Parliament once again, and requested the money. Parliament voted for Charles to receive the funds, but lashed the “popery” of the royal court. (Lewis 15). This angered Charles so much that dismantled Parliament once again.
Charles reined for eleven years without Parliament, but he soon found himself in the same position as before. In 1640, Charles called back Parliament to request money, but Parliament refused and turned itself into a platform for more Puritan attacks on Charles. (Lewis 15). When Charles saw that no money was coming, he dissolved the “Short Parliament” in less than a week.
Soon after, The Scots Evaded England and with minimal resistance took possession of Northern England from Berwick to York. Charles’s reputation was further damaged when England agreed to pay the Scots 860 pounds per day until a peace treaty was signed. Charles was forced again to convene Parliament, but this time parliament came put forth bills that would take the power of dissolving parliament from the king. In 1640 and 1641 Parliament executed one of Charles’s closest advisors, the Earl of Strafford, and imprisoned another, Archbishop William Laud in the tower of London; executing him four years later. Charles at Parliaments mercy had no choice but to agree to the bills that dispensed with special Royal courts such as the Star Chamber. (Lewis 15). On January 4, 1642, Charles attempted to arrest key members of Parliament, but all escaped prior to Charles’s arrival. I suspect that this last act pushed both sides to settle the conflict of King and Parliament with civil war.
The first key battle of the English Civil War was the Battle of Powick Bridge, which took place between the cavalry of Essex's army, and a Royalist cavalry under Prince Rupert. The "battle" was closer to a skirmish, but nonetheless important as it set the stage for battles to come. Prince Rupert Instructed his men to mount up and attack before the Parliamentarians could organize themselves, he led his force into the enemy camp, with some of them not having had time to put on their amour. His men surprised and dominated the opposition. Casualties were minimal on both sides. The battle ended with Parliamentary forces broke away and fled. (Atkin 1)
Prince Rupert Rupert is considered to have been a quick-thinking and energetic cavalry general. Prince Rupert had an interesting carrier. He was a soldier from a young age, fighting against Spain during the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) and against the Holy Roman Emperor in Germany during the Thirty Years' War (1618–48). At age 23, he was appointed commander of the Royalist cavalry during the English Civil War by Charles, becoming one of the key leaders in the war. (Truman 1)
The battle of Marston Moor is believed to have been the largest battle ever fought on English soil.