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English Civil War Home page New Model Army Tower of London Parliament’s resources King’s poor finances Rupert’s cavalry charge Solemn League & Covenant.

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Presentation on theme: "English Civil War Home page New Model Army Tower of London Parliament’s resources King’s poor finances Rupert’s cavalry charge Solemn League & Covenant."— Presentation transcript:

1 English Civil War Home page New Model Army Tower of London Parliament’s resources King’s poor finances Rupert’s cavalry charge Solemn League & Covenant Solemn League & Covenant Conclusion menu

2 English Civil War New Model Army ‘page2’ The New Model Army was an important reason for victory because they had many advantages over the Royalist army. Sir William Waller was the man behind the ‘remodelling’ of Parliaments’ army, after his defeat at Cropredy Bridge June Soldiers were recruited from most areas but soldiers were reluctant to be away from their local areas, as Waller found when trying to control his mutinous London Regiments. Oliver Cromwell backed Waller’s idea of an army with no regional affiliations and in December 1644, gave a speech to parliament on the idea. The Self Denying Ordinance was passed through Parliament quickly to eliminate the current military high command, and the New Model Ordinance was passed on 19 February Generals would now be chosen on merit, giving the parliamentary army an advantage over the Royalists who still chose officers by standing rather than merit. The New Model Army was planned to compromise Pike men, Dragoons, Musketeers and Horseback. This gave it an advantage over the Royalists because it was better organised, and had more discipline. If the army had not been used, the Cavaliers would have reigned supreme in battle and the civil war would have had a different end. Troops from the New Model Army were better equipped than the Royalist army. Each soldier was equipped with a rapier (a sword) and all were armoured – except the musketeers as the armour would be too bulky and would prevent them from using the rifle properly. Because the New Model army was well equipped, they had an advantage over the Royalists, because they had a plentiful amount of munitions and this showed they were ready to fight. It showed determination.

3 Troops from the New Model Army were better equipped than the Royalist army. Smith agrees that it was a combination of “Parliament’s reorganisation of its finances and its military forces” which ensured a Royalist defeat. Each soldier was equipped with a rapier (a sword) and all were armoured – except the musketeers as the armour would be too bulky and would prevent them from using the rifle properly. Because the New Model army was well equipped, they had an advantage over the Royalists, because they had a plentiful amount of munitions and this showed they were ready to fight. It showed determination. English Civil War New Model Army contd

4 English Civil War Possession Of The Tower Of London ‘page3’ The possession of the Tower of London provided parliament with a source of trade, power and wealth which gave it an advantage over the Royalists. It provided parliament with: 1) Money- from the royal mint and melting the crown jewels – to pay for a professional army. 2) Weapons from the armoury to equip the army 3) The control of London, giving a permanent garrison in the Tower, prison & army base 4) Propaganda- making use of the dominance of the White Tower & the ownership of the ravens legend It therefore proved to be a big Royalist Mistake to lose the Tower. Charles did not seem to realise its significance, since the Parliamentarians seized the Tower early on in “The loss of the Tower, and London as a whole, was a crucial factor in the defeat of Charles I by Parliament” [Tower of London official guidebook*]

5 English Civil War Parliament’s superior financial resources ‘page4’ Whoever controlled the most resources had the strongest chance, and here Parliament held that advantage. Parliament controlled London throughout the war, a fact of very considerable significance in view of the city’s importance as a supplier both of money and men. Most of the larger towns in the country were also under parliamentary authority as were most of the seaports, even those in royalist areas. The Parliamentarians had the ability to collect most of the customs revenue which continued to flow into the country. They were able to use the navy under authority from the beginning of the war. This was to ensure that their general control of the coasts was maintained and to move food and men to ports which were threatened by Royalist attack. Parliament therefore controlled the greater part of the country’s wealth and manpower, and the major issue during the war was whether it would be able to bring this superior material strength to bear in an effective assault upon the King. ‘’Parliament’s victory in the Civil War was less to do with their greater physical resources, and Sir Thomas Fairfax's strategic flair, than on the King's faulty command structure’’. - Malcolm Wanklyn,

6 English Civil War King’s Poor Finances ‘page5’ Charles faced financial difficulty when his first Parliament refused to follow the tradition of giving him the right to collect customs duties for his entire reign, deciding instead to grant it for only a year at a time. This meant that he had an unpaid and ill disciplined army According to Alan GR Smith, The Emergence of a Nation State, Parliament therefore controlled the greater part of the country’s wealth and manpower, and the major issue during the war was whether it would be able to bring this superior material strength to bear in an effective assault upon the King. As King of Scotland, Charles needed to find money to pay the Scottish army and equip them. But he was in a bad financial position.

7 English Civil War PRINCE RUPERT’S CAVALRY CHARGES ‘page6’ On the eruption of the Civil War, Prince Rupert was put in charge of the cavalry, where he introduced a new cavalry tactic that he had learnt fighting in Sweden. This involved charging full speed at the enemy, where the horses were kept close together and just before impact the men fired their pistols, usually causing the roundheads, threatened by the full speed attack, to turn and run. However, soon Oliver Cromwell realised a disciplined and fearless army would easily defeat Prince Rupert’s charges by standing their ground with sixteen-foot-long pikes at the ready. Rupert’s army were ill disciplined, and because of the impulsive order of Princes Rupert, they became easily tired after all of their charges, prohibiting them from further attacks. This lead to significant defeats, including the surrender of Bristol by Rupert to Cromwell, giving great encouragement an confidence to the parliamentarians, and hugely weakening the Royalist armed forces.

8 English Civil War The Solemn League and Covenant ‘page7 ’ In 1643, the English Parliament and Scottish covenanters solidified their alliance by signing the Solemn League and Covenant. First proposed by John Pym, he was set on securing military support from Scotland in order to counter Royalist victories; at the time, the cavaliers were seemingly gaining prominent strength and power in the civil war. Yet the Covenanters regarded the alliance principally as a religious union of the two nations, hoping to unite the churches of Scotland and England under a Presbyterian system of church government. In January 1644, the Army of the Covenant marched into England against the Royalists. Parliament decreed that the Covenant was to be taken by every Englishman over the age of eighteen. This alliance contributed to the parliamentarian success almost immediately, as G.E. SEEL highlights; ‘having formed an alliance with the covenanting Scots – the solemn league and covenant – on 25 September 1643, the tide seemed to turn in favour’. This was because firstly, the roundheads were given significant military support, giving them an additional advantage over the cavaliers. Moreover, the support of another close located, powerful country gave parliament great confidence in the war effort, and unnerved the royalists greatly, leading to their downfall both on and off the battlefield. Additionally, Jane Ohlmeyer in History Today states, ‘It is doubtful whether Parliament could have won the First English Civil War without Scottish intervention’, which shows how highly significant the Scottish alliance really was in the final parliamentarian victory

9 English Civil War Conclusion ‘page8’ Of all the various factors, the most significant cause of Parliamentary victory was the fact that the New Model Army was paid and well equipped. Whilst some historians argue that the army itself was the main cause of Charles’ defeat, we would argue that it was Parliament’s control of finance which won them the war. As Giles argues, victory was “ultimately dependent “ on controlling resources.


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