Why Did Charles Lose the Civil War?
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In April 1642, the Civil war started in England. The civil war ended up by King Charles losing the war. And in my essay I am going to talk about many reasons why Charles lost the civil war. In 1642 most people thought that King Charles would win the civil war, as he had won the battle of Edge hill, but unfortunately King Charles did not take advantage of this opportunity and marched to London. King Charles didn’t know what to do when it came to big decisions, in my opinion I believe he was indecisive with a weak personality, which was one of the main reasons why King Charles lost the English civil war. One of the mistakes that Charles has done is that he left leaving London. Without having full control of the capital he couldn’t control all of England.
The effect of people around King Charles, was not positive. He was not surrounded with intelligent commanders as the Parliament. Instead King Charles suffered from having some dimwitted generals, like Lord Byron and Prince Rupert
In 1642 Charles was aided by his nephew Prince Rupert, which is one of the reasons why King Charles lost the battle of Marston Moor. The biggest battle was the battle of Marston Moor, one of the main reasons why the parliament won is that Oliver Cromwell the commander of the parliament forces, commanded 2500 men to attack from East Anglia. In this battle only 300 men from parliament’s side were killed, while from the Royalist’s side 4000 men were killed and 1500 were taken prisoners. The victory of the Parliament came from the dim witted Prince Rupert, because when the Royalist’s reached Marston Moor they just had one hour till it became night, so Prince Rupert ordered his soldiers to rest so the roundheads took advantage of the Royalist resting and attacked them. This battle was written in Horrible Histories by the two historians Terry Deary and Neil Tonge “Prince Rupert came face to face with the roundheads on Marston Moor. By the time he reached the battlefield there as just an hour of daylight left. He thought it was hardly worth starting a battle, so he stopped and ordered his men to rest and have supper. While the Cavaliers were having supper the Roundheads attacked them. The fought in the moonlight and by midnight the Cavaliers had lost battle.”
In 1645 Oliver Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fair Fax, built the new model army, and in the same year parliament won the battle of Naseby, while the royalist’s armies were still indiscipline. The King had rich supporters, but they also ran out of money, when it came to the battle of Naseby, so the king’s soldiers were in a bad state compared to the parliament’s new model army. After this battle he could have had another chance, but because King Charles was short of money, and unable to build a new discipline army like the Parliament’s. King Charles suffered from his immature army. In many times soldiers forgot to change sashes they wore when fighting, so their new allies shot them. Before Oliver Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fair Fax built the new model army the armies were undeveloped, until Cromwell and Fair fax built the new model army, for the Parliament.
“Upon the King’s return from oxford there appeared nothing, but dejection of mind , discontent, and secret mutiny in the army.” (a historian from the 1800s described the King’s army). King Charles was very stubborn, because even after he lost the battles of Naseby and Marston Moor, he did not accept his lost and continued fighting, although it was obvious to everyone, that Charles had already lost the civil war, as he had just lost 5500 men in the battle of Naseby.
King Charles was also short of money and he was very desperate that he sent his wife Henrietta Maria to France, so she could sell the crown jewels and bring back money, but his wife was not successful, because no one actually was willing to buy the crown jewels, cause they were extremely expensive, even for wealthy people. Charles was short of money which means that he can no more buy food, equipment and other supplies and also could not pay his army.
Parliament had better resources, because they controlled the capital of England, London and controlled south-east of England which was richer than the south-west and Wales. The King controlled mainly poorer parts of England compared to the south-east of England.
Parliament had more soldiers than the Royalist’s when it came to the important battles, like at Naseby the Parliament had 14000 men, while the Royalist’s only had 7500 men and in the battle of Marston Moor the Parliament had 23000 men including the Scottish army that was fighting on the Parliament’s side and the Royalist’s had 18000. The navy was also on the Parliament’s side, which meant that King Charles can no more travel freely around Europe even if he wanted.
After King Charles lost the English civil war the Parliament did not know what to do with him, some of them thought of sending him to France, so he would not have any power or authority, but some of them thought that even when king Charles was not in England people will still think he is King and others thought a long as king Charles is alive there will be no peace in England, because of his supporters, whom will try and get their King back to the throne. So they all agreed to the execution of King Charles, but they could not do that until it was proven by the law, so they did. King Charles was brought to court to be charged of treason and when they had proven it they executed King Charles and that was the end of the English Civil War.
I believe that King Charles lost the civil war, because of his weak personality and because he did not have control on the capital of England London, but I believe that the main and most important reason why he lost the civil war was the breakdown of the financial and political system.