English Civil War & Interregnum


Below is a detailed article about the English Civil War and the Interregnum that occurred in England during the 17th century. The word Interregnum refers to a period where a throne is vacant between to successive regimes. At this time, government control is at a halt. Instead of government control, there is more of parliamentary and military control in the Interregnum. It is a period when normal government functions are suspended. Such a period in British history is known as the English Interregnum. It took place right after the execution of Charles I of England. Let us learn more about how the Civil War in England was related to the Interregnum.

English Civil War and Interregnum

Due to the conflict between the monarchy led by King Charles I against the Parliament, a civil war broke out in England in 1642. This incident literally marked one of the weak points of the English monarchy for the long term. He lacked a strong army and even a team of bureaucrats that made him unable to control his own subjects.

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A portrait of King Charles I of England

Charles I also lacked financial power as he had no income from his legal sources. The parliamentary taxation also came to a standstill due to the Stuartian Kings that levied unnecessary taxes on the people. They invented new types of non-parliamentary taxations that disturbed the people. However, they were forced to pay the. This led to the Parliamentarians to earn support from the people to bring down the monarchy.

Soon most of the nobility, the lawyers, merchants, and the gentry turned against Charles I. The dissolving of the parliament – which was a disturbing move by Charles I as a leader led to him prove as inefficient not only in England but also in Scotland and Ireland where he is King and Lord respectively. The Scottish influence slowly led to the spread of Anglican Christianity and the Presbyterian Church was being replaced.

The House of Commons refused to pay his taxes due to his irresponsibility as a leader and inefficiency that led to many political disasters. He attempted to gain control of the army in the Bishops War in 1639 and 1640 but failed. Finally, the outbreak of the rebellion in Ireland led to the Civil War in 1641.

The Civil War (1642 – 1646)

The Parliamentarians were afraid that the King was unable to attend to his responsibilities as King. Instead of being for and by the people, he was against the people and the entire military and political group. He also violated many Protestant values by supporting international Catholicism. Rumors were spread about him being a cryptopapist and a traitor to the Protestant community.

Therefore, King Charles, I of England was executed for treason. He was beheaded in London on January 30, 1649. In the year 1625, he ascended the throne. He then married a Catholic French Princess which offended his protestant subjects. Due to protests by the Parliament and political opposition, he dissolved the parliament in the year 1629. He continued to rule entirely by himself in the following year.

All these impromptu and not devised decisions led to the outbreak of the English civil war in 1642 between the parliament and the king. The group of Parliamentarians was led by Oliver Cromwell – an English military and political leader; also known as the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland.