English revolution 1640 essay

In London, whilst monopolists and the ruling oligarchy supported the court from which their profits came, the main body of merchants, artisans and apprentices gave active support to the forward party in Parliament, and pushed it steadily further along the revolutionary path.

Was the english civil war inevitable

But there could be no financial concessions to a government which the moneyed classes did not trust. The Tories, on the other hand, stress the class nature of the revolution in an attempt to deny its progressiveness and value in its own time, to whitewash feudalism, and to suggest that revolutions never benefit more than a narrow clique. Meanwhile this essay must stand as a first approximation, with all its crudities and oversimplifications. That is why political theories tended to get wrapped up in religious language. There were still many legal restrictions on the full unhampered capitalist utilisation of landed property, on free trade in land. Under the old order, in the century before , real wages for labourers in industry and agriculture fell more than one half: in the century after more they than doubled. For many years the. The new class of capitalist farmers was there, thrusting its way forward, hampered by feudal survivals, without whose abolition it could not develop freely; in the revolution, in alliance with the urban bourgeoisie, it took over the State, creating the conditions within which further expansion was possible. The new men prospered under the shelter of the throne; the monarchy defended them from internal reaction or revolt, as when it defeated the Pilgrimage of Grace and the rising of the northern earls The Cavaliers, on the other hand, relied mainly on the north and west of England, economically backward and badly policed; they, with their tenants and dependents, were used to hard riding and fighting. Silver had been discovered in America and began to flow into Europe at a time when commerce was expanding and money relations between landlord and tenant, employer and workman, were replacing the old relations based on payment in goods or labour services. The judges in the Star Chamber were for all practical purposes almost identical with the Government in the Privy Council. The bishops also were notoriously easy-going landowners, whose estates were developed, ff at all, by lessees. The boroughs, too, came more and more to be represented in the House of Commons by a neighbouring gentleman.

Eliot died in prison, as the Government intended him to do. The market town could no longer bully the surrounding countryside, for it had to face the competition of merchants from London, peddling their wares and buying up the products of local handicrafts.

Causes of the english civil war essay

The Independent and Sectarian congregations were the way in which ordinary people organised themselves n those days to escape from the propaganda of the established Church and discuss the things they wanted to discuss in their own way. In the country as a whole, the division went along broad class lines. There was Archbishop Laud in London. Consequently, it came to reflect the division among the English gentry corresponding roughly to the economic division between feudal north-west and capitalist south-east. Those with fixed incomes got poorer, those living by trade and production for the market grew richer. Now all this is true — as far as it goes. For the objection was not to taxes s such; it was to the policy to implement which those taxes were collected. That is why they were to fight for it so desperately in the Civil War. It outraged the whole business population, capitalists and employees alike. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, relied mainly on the north and west of England, economically backward and badly policed; they, with their tenants and dependents, were used to hard riding and fighting. With the withdrawal of Strafford, the English Government there, which had long been oppressive, ceased to be strong, and the Irish seized the opportunity to attempt to throw off the English yoke.

The overwhelming mass of the population lived in the countryside, engaged either wholly or partially in producing foodstuffs or wool.

They were hit especially hard by the general rise in prices, and were being brought into ever closer dependence on the merchants and squires.

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It was not merely that, when the victory of the bourgeoisie had been achieved, thinkers like Winstanley, Harrington, Neville, Defoe recognised that the war had been primarily a struggle over property.

England had long been a great wool-growing country, exporting raw material to the Netherlands to be worked up into cloth. Most of the monastic estates went ultimately to those who had money to buy them, and so strengthened the new element in the countryside.

English revolution 1640 essay

The bourgeoisie had gone on strike. Now, with the development of the capitalist mode of production within the structure of feudalism, many landowners began either to market that portion of the produce of their estates which was not consumed by their families, or to lease their lands to a farmer who would produce for the market. The destruction of the royal bureaucracy had left a void which was ultimately to be filled by a new middle-class civil service. Yet this class was still a social and political power; the State was organised to safeguard its interests. The high standards of quality of the town craft gilds, their restrictions on competition and output, became in the eyes of capitalist entrepreneurs so many stupid obstacles to free production, preventing them meeting the demands of the expanding market. Up to a point, indeed, the bourgeoisie and the feudal gentry were able to get along together under the monarchy. These were associations of producers who established a monopoly over the local market and kept it by restricting output and competition, regulating prices and quality of production, controlling their apprentices and journeymen. In feudal England land had passed by inheritance from father to son, cultivated all the time in traditional ways for the consumption of one family; it had changed hands comparatively rarely. Its foreign policy reflected the interests of reaction in England and Europe, and a fundamental reversal of foreign policy is possible only by means of a fundamental change in the social system.

That is why political theories tended to get wrapped up in religious language. As the Stuart monarchy became progressively less useful to the bourgeoisie, so it became more indispensable to the aristocracy and courtiers, their only guarantee of economic survival.

Because he lost all favour with the moneyed classes, he had to levy illegal taxes, to aim to dispense with Parliament, to rule by force.

importance of english civil war

The Cavaliers, on the other hand, relied mainly on the north and west of England, economically backward and badly policed; they, with their tenants and dependents, were used to hard riding and fighting. The opposition was temporarily driven underground.

Glorious revolution essay

The causes of the civil war must be sought in society, not in individuals. The State machine — which depended on the support of the middle-class J. His ministers were not inefficient. Parliament under the Tudors did not meet often, and then normally approved the royal policy. It annoyed the common lawyers by interfering with judges to get the sort of legal decisions it wanted James I had been guilty of this, too and by relying on the prerogative courts Star Chamber, Council in the North and in Wales as instruments of policy. The Government alienated all sections of the community. The Tories, on the other hand, stress the class nature of the revolution in an attempt to deny its progressiveness and value in its own time, to whitewash feudalism, and to suggest that revolutions never benefit more than a narrow clique. After that the war soon ended. Monopolies were the most uneconomical form of taxation. Thus all honest Puritans, and many who had no strong religious views at all, were driven willy-nilly into political opposition, and even such a long-established custom as the payment of tithes to the established Church began to be widely called in question. By then the new landed gentry and respectable traders wished to settle down to peaceful development and legitimate trade. Laud was no doctrinal papist, and he refused all overtures from Rome; but the social policy which he personified was an attempt to revive and perpetuate obsolete mediaeval economic and social relations and the ways of thinking corresponding to them. The word progressive as used in this essay does not necessarily imply moral approval.
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The English Revolution an Essay by Christopher Hill